Christmas. How can it be Christmas? How did the days go by so fast? Happy three months from your favorite daughter among sons! Can you believe how much I’ve grown? I look taller right? Somehow I’m sure, I look taller.
The past two weeks have been full, full, full! To get it all in I am happy to announce the first annual “DaughterAmongSons (Probably More Than) 12 Pictures of Christmas Update!” (Or DASPMT12PCU for short). Enjoy!
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me – An American Mocha Coffeeeeee* (actually not coffee). We visited some friends in a village not far away and got a chance to hang with their local friends, throw a birthday party, throw a Christmas party, and see some of the sights!
We also had some time to tell the Christmas story- taking turns so everyone could read different verses in their native language. In one room we read in five different languages! It was such a beautiful fun picture of heaven! Then we sang more carols = CHRISTMAS
Back in the city grind and what do we find? Ahem – On the fourth-or-fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – prepping crafts and a little TVEEEEEEEEE
At school, we use the week before Christmas as a chance to do some Christmas crafts, tell the Christmas story, and celebrate! I was in charge of three out of four crafts. Knowing what I know about tiny preschoolers, I wanted to prep everything as much as I could so they would have the easiest time possible in making it – and potentially easy enough that the teachers (myself included) would not have to make the crafts for the kids. I prepped well! Annnnnnnd still had to make the crafts for the kids. Oh well. They’re cute and they liked what they made.
On the sixth-ish day of Christmas my true love gave to me – roommate fun and tiny bunnieeeeeees! I came home one day this week only to hear my roommates yelling “Seng Chan! Seng Chan*!” I came running to the kitchen, worried I’d accidentally locked them out. “Look what we found at the market!” They came running in to show me the two tiny baby bunnies they had bought at the market for pets! So unbelievably cute! (They took them to their villages to keep, so probably best not to get your hopes up for #BabyBunnyUpdates in the future)
*For those of you late to the party Seng Chan is my name here. It’s not like…an alarm or anything useful.
I decided last minute to bake some cookies for the teachers at school, but it was (ahem) a rather late evening since I got a late start. (Very last minute). I was also wrapping presents (probably too loudly) and my roommate L. came out to see if I needed help. This sweet girl ended up helping me bag my cookies, wrap my presents, and clean up a little afterward. I laughed at the mess I had made and all she could say was ” Next time tell me you’re making cookies! I want to help and make cookies with you!” Talk about generous and fun on her part- and completely clueless of me. I’m too individualistic for my own good, and figured that, since it was late, L. and O. wouldn’t be interested in helping me. Turns out they might have just felt left out. #ChristmasLearningCurve
On the (sorta) eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me- three giant Christmas partieeeeessss! The school had a huge Christmas party, complete with several performances by each class at the school, a teacher performance (which I participated in and pretended to know all my lines. Thank goodness we’re using a recording!), teacher Christmas games and a teacher party, only to be followed the next night by a Christmas party thrown for some University students! We’re talking crowds, cookie decorating, ridiculous games, presents, food, kid shenanigans, and so much red clothing. It was a delight!
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me- Waterfalls and angry monkeeeeeeys!! On Sunday we went to my first national Christmas celebration. Here, each village church has a big celebration where representatives from the other churches will come watch and perform and then everyone eats afterwards. There was also a message from a teacher and remarks from the headman, as well as government officials to welcome us. Basically- It was a Christmas program like I’ve never experienced but will continue to experience over the next few days!
After church we went to a nearby waterfall. It was so beautiful and fun! The kids could swim in the calmer pools at the top, and at the bottom we got some sweet pics! Just before we left, we spotted a monkey in a cage near the parking lot. Being the successful and fun blogger that I am, I decided to selfie it up. I historically don’t trust monkeys after I saw this one episode of Oprah where a Chimpanzee bit off his owners face, so I kept a healthy distance. NOT FAR ENOUGH. The monkey starts hissing and screeching and reaches through the bars and grabs my hair! I yelled and had to literally pull my ponytail out of his hand. In the picture you can see his diabolical plan and his hand ready for the snatch. I was quite…ahem…alarmed. (Just glad it wasn’t my face!). The worst part is he didn’t even really want my hair! He sniffed the chunk that he managed to hang onto and then just threw it on the ground! I mean if you’re going to attack me, please just have a reason other than “I despise this human and want to cause her pain.” It would have been at least gratifying for the monkey to be like “I just love this hair. It’s so beautiful and I will keep it forever!” or “I need this.” (These ‘acceptable’ reasons for pulling my hair only apply to monkeys…not humans.)
I don’t have a picture of the actual event but we found a carving that was clearly done by someone who had the same experience as me.
It’s been a full and fun few weeks, but it feels untruthful to say that it’s been glorious and breezy and perfect. I did get a little frustrated with craft time. I stressed more than I should have about making the “perfect” games for the parties and needing to have cookies made as presents. I should have invited my roommates to help me, and planned in advance! And…today is Christmas Eve and, while I have a lot to do and I’m keeping busy and excited for my time here…I’m missing home. I read in Corinthians today about strength being in our weakness. (It’s 2 Corinthians 12: 9). Paul boasts and glories in his weakness so that Christ’s strength can be seen all the clearer. I think while sitting in my church seats or reading the bible on any other day, this verse is one I agree with and am ready to experience! But now, sitting in weakness and pushing through the next few days, I remember that being weak doesn’t exactly always feel super great. I guess that’s why they call it weakness-who knew? His grace is sufficient for me. And His power is made perfect- that’s what it says. For His sake, and no other, I will be content in my weakness for when I am weak – He makes me strong.