Thousands of Words (Metaphorical)

Google – as usual – says it best. “Five-month old babies can sit upright for longer periods of time. Your baby probably still needs to be propped up with a pillow…but he [she in this case] may also be able to sit unsupported for a few seconds at a time.”

Look at that…she’s sitting up. Neat.

Y’all can be thinking of my supervisors right about now.

I can say that I’m right on track and can sit by myself for long periods of time. The past two weeks have been packed with teams coming to help out at the preschool, holidays that involve fireworks (thnx China), and then some exploring.



Our school is getting a fun new makeover as a few teams have come to help spruce up the place. It’s been a fun way for me to connect with some fellow English speakers and bring out my “inner camp counselor” that lies dormant until it’s needed. (weirdest superpower ever – writing my screenplay right now- copyright!) The school has never looked better and it’s been fun to realize I’m a “veteran” now at five months. (You mean you don’t have any polos? Weird. Also, let me show you how to sit in these skirts…)

We took a head count of the children who desperately wanted to get in the “wet paint” area and counted ALL OF THE CHILDREN

Who knew that the holiday season also came in February! China is well represented in our city, meaning that many of my familiar places to shop are (surprise!) owned by Chinese immigrants and were closed for a few days! Good thing they hang those lanterns everywhere. It was fun to talk to a few of the families at our school celebrating – though the celebratory fireworks resounding loudly on my metal roof in the middle of the night gave me a bit of a fright.

Happy New Year China! You made it sound like my roof was collapsing!

The super bowl came and went and (I still didn’t care about it a whole lot) so we can just skip that and move on to Valentines day!!! We had a huge celebration at our house including decorations (that are still up…just in case someone wants to get married) and prizes, roses, games, spaghetti, music, and the story of St. Valentine. It was so much fun – one of the best valentines I’ve ever celebrated (second probably to 4th grade. You just can’t beat homemade mailboxes filled with 80 cards and candies to take home to your mom.)

They are definitely posing, but let’s be honest, I’ll never have this many people offering me roses again!
Selfie Game Strong
The Best.

So for the next few months I’m borrowing a car from a friend who is in the states who wanted someone to keep her car moving while she was gone. I said – “uh…YES PLEASE!” I was so excited and was like “I have learned stick shift for this very reason and can’t wait to get on the road and…wait it’s automatic?!?!?!? WHERE ARE WE??” I literally don’t think I’ve ever driven a car this nice, even in America, and therefore have taken it almost zero places.


However, there are so many advantages to having a car. Namely that you can drive it, and so I decided that  it was time to get outta dodge and use that air conditioning and cooled seats!!! (and like…explore…whatever…did you read that the seats get cold?!?!?!?!) Me and a few friends were able to get our tourist on, and check out some cool places around the city. Old places. Old old oooolllld beautiful places. I used as little english as possible, and found out some more words I don’t know, and also found out that I can communicate more than I thought.



Time wears away all things.
Me – (pointing at the top picture) “What is that?” L. – “A foot.” Me – “REALLY?!?!” L. – “Uh…yes”


It’s the eyes. I cannot stand painted eyes on giant statues. Here’s a pic. Feel free to agree with me.

I expected that there would be times when I didn’t know what was happening, and I was absolutely right. (I think we might have snuck in the back to visit a friend who was working there? Uh…sorry…tourist…place…) But it was beautiful and incredible and I’m so thankful that it’s nearby.

Friendship is asking how spicy you want your papaya salad. And getting you in for free. ❤
Bless the men and women who think to take attractive candid photos.

I’ve been trying to review the past few weeks, looking through pictures to glean what I can take from the time and rethinking how I can change. I think that pictures say the things that my self-critical mind cannot see. Relationships are being built. I’m growing in independence physically and depending more on the Father as I go. My friends here are some of the most courageous and faithful people I’ve ever met, and I have so much still to learn from them. Cheers to month five! See you in March!

If you don’t take a picture with the peace sign, did you even go somewhere?




Life just happens. Has anyone ever said that to you? Life happens? Obviously this is a true statement, I mean, we can’t deny that life just keeps going. New becomes habit. Change become routine, we keep moving and so does everything around us. I usually start writing my blog by looking through the pictures that I have on my phone and then decided what stories to tell. We can call these stories “adventures” if you like, because what is a story if not an adventure that you’ve lived before? We can debate the semantics later…

Just like we can debate whether or not juice is better in a bag or not. This is sugar cane juice with lime. Served in a bag of course – how else would you take it on a motorbike? 

My language teacher needed a ride home after our session and I was happy to have the chance to drive her. She rode side saddle on the back of my bike and spoke to me in my new language, practicing directions, pointing things out, telling me how to drive etc…I watched for traffic, constantly checked my balance so she wouldn’t fall, had to drive with my face shield up so I could hear her (so grit sometimes flew in my eyes), and also was thinking and trying to answer her in a new language. It felt like (what I imagine) juggling to be like. We arrive at her house without incident** and there at her house was her mother and father saying goodbye to two sweet women. They took one look at me and started saying “beautiful! beautiful!” and then walked over to take my picture. Not one to miss out on getting a picture taken, I took out my own phone and snapped a picture. They laughed, spoke to me a little (found out I could only really speak a little) and then waved, jumped on their bike, and headed out.

Totally famous. 

**we didn’t crash

I turned to my language teacher to say goodbye and then asked “Who are they?” My language teacher shrugged. “I don’t know them. Maybe they are neighbors?” Me- …what

Why does this keep happening to me???? #stopAssuming #TalkingToMyself

My new roommate and I have been able to bond more over the weekends when O. and L. go home to visit their families. We’ve worked out a few times, made mac and cheese, and gone shopping in a nearby country!

Traveling to nearby fellowships to see friends, and we had to stop to take pictures of the mountains and rice fields.


It’s been a good two weeks – and with February now beginning I can say that we’re well into 2019! Cheers to more good times and adventures to find!