December 30, 2012


Christmas was not the same without snow…
Christmas was not the same without my family…
Christmas was not the same without my favorite foods…
Christmas was not the same…

It was however, a wonderful time spent with my family on Fefan and on Weno!
Christmas morning was not overly eventful, my family opened their gifts…before I was awake (kind of made me sad, not to see their faces, but they were so thankful!)
My American family called and it was the first time they talked to my Fefan family! That was fun to have my families talking to each other!
I was able to go to Weno and Skype with my family! (I really enjoy Skyping with my family!)
I spent a few days with my Weno family too!
I was able to really concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas this year, without all the craziness of materialism! (this was my favorite part of the season!) There were days when I played my IPod with a speaker so we could all listen to Christmas music. I even decorated a “Christmas tree” with my siblings!
Even though it may not have been the same as I am use to…I really enjoyed the holidays.
The one thing that was the same…Happy Birthday Jesus!

December 23, 2012


One of my cousins left for Guam.
He also happened to live in my house and be one of my 5th grade students. His name is Arson, but he went by Sonson.
I was very sad to see him leave, because of his new found love for reading, and he was one of my swimming buddies. (if I left back to America now I would be happy knowing that I helped him create a love for books).
He has a big heart, a warm smile, and like any other boy his age…climb trees (he would climb the apple tree in front of the school and give me apples), build things out of sticks (I once watched him build a trap to catch things, he worked on it for over an hour!), and be adventurous (he was always off doing something with other kids).
I spent the first few weeks with his class going over the basics of phonics, and then I gave them word lists of short words to practice their phonics. It was so amazing to see them understand that you can sound out words and read a book. (from my observations most learning has been memorization, they never knew that letters made a sound and when you put them together it makes a word).
I was given some decodable books (they are short easy to read books for students just learning to read) from a teacher I worked with back in the States.
Sonson loved these books! Every night he would come to my room and ask to read some books! It made my heart so happy to see him want to read! Or he would ask for some paper to study! (He would first ask me in Chuukese, but I would always make him practice his English and tell him to ask me in English…)

We had a party with all the kids in the village to say goodbye. We had tons of food, and I even bought some ice cream! (the little kids loved this!) As with all Chuukese gatherings, we had speeches…I told Sonson how proud of him I am and that I would miss him very much! (all while crying…)
me and SonSon
I am going to miss him coming to my room and asking for books or paper…but hopefully I sparked a life-long love for learning! (I know I still have a long time here in Chuuk, but if he was the only one I was able to help while I was here, I would say my time here was well worth it!)

Wiooooo Sonson!

December 16, 2012


Tour…graduation and Mortlocks
One of my aunts graduated from college! It was an exciting event! I went to Weno for the day to be the photographer and show my support for such an amazing achievement. Her class was the first graduating class for CCPI (an online division of a school in Hawaii). 
I live with a family where education is important (that is rare in Chuuk). Most of the families that do value education have parents and or grandparents that finished school (even if it was just high school). The one thing I found out through conversations with them is that a majority of them had an American teacher (either Peace Corps or other volunteer teachers). Almost everyone who has a job which requires schooling will tell you that they had a Peace Corps teacher when they were younger. The school I teach at was started by my host grandpa and a few of his friends (I think in the 80s, anything that deals with time, I always get conflicting information…Chuukese have no concept of time). He also was the one to apply for the school’s very first Peace Corps! (since then I believe there have been 4 other PCV’s, so that makes me the 5th, again conflicting information).
It is comforting to know that I live with a family that values education, and supports all the work I am doing for the children of the community.

Another big event that happened this week…some of my fellow PCV’s from the Mortlocks came to Weno! (the Mortlocks are part of the state of Chuuk, but they are outer islands, meaning a ship ride of about 24 hours or a tiny (8 seats) plane ride of about an hour). They have not been to Weno since they left after swear-in in August! I was super excited to get to see them and hear all about their sites and life.
(some background information…team Chuuk has 7 PCV’s, 3 in the Lagoon (where I am) and 4 in the Mortlocks-we are one big family!)
I feel like I live in complete luxury compared to them.
They may live on tinier islands and be able to see the ocean from their front door and walk on beaches…but they do not have the ability to get away to town like I do (sometimes you just need to get away)
Here are a few of the differences…

I can hop on a boat and go to town whenever I want.    
I have cell service.
I have a variety in food choices, including vegetables!
I do not have internet (unless I go to town)                                                                                       
They are ‘stuck’ on their islands. (They are given one drum of gas for emergency purposes, but other than that they have nowhere to go…)
No cell service, they use satellite phones.
They literally eat fish and rice three times a day (they only get large ships to drop stuff off about every other week)

Two of the islands have internet! (although it would be so nice for school, I actually enjoy not having the internet)

December 9, 2012

dark dark dark!

I now feel like a real Peace Corps!
You may be asking, why?
Yes it is true I already live with limited amenities. (no electricity, cars, running water…)
But up until a few nights ago I had light every night, provided by our generator.
Well we ran out of gas or the generator was broken depending on who you ask…

First let me tell you a typical night I have been experiencing…once the sun goes down, at 6pm on the dot every night (living on the equator time and weather are super predictable!) we turn on our generator and have light until about 12 or 1 in the morning, once the gas runs out (I am the only one who turns out my light when I sleep everyone else sleeps with the lights on…). So I have ‘power’ to have lights on, charge my phone (PC policy says I have to have one so they can get a hold of me in case of emergency or I can get a hold of them…at first I did not like the idea of having one however it has been nice to also be able to chat with my family back home!), use a fan (I really like and am thankful for this!), charge my computer when I need to (I only use my computer to type up my blogs, organize my photos, or write PC reports I usually only pull out my computer once or twice a month when I am on Fefan), charge batteries, school work (grade papers) or anything else I may need to do.

So I had my first night of complete darkness! (well almost complete…I had my headlamp)
I ate dinner by kerosene lantern.
Everyone went to bed by 7.
I wrote letters and read with my headlamp.
It was a quiet evening.
I had a great night sleep because it was super dark and no hum of a generator…

I realized that I do not really need light, it only makes life easier.
Now I have experienced life as most locals live daily (not everyone is able to have a generator).
Actually this is what I was expecting when I signed up for Peace Corps, so I am blessed to have the generator, but I do not need it. (actually I prefer not having it)

That is why I now feel like a ‘real’ Peace Corps (I do not think there is actually any one experience that qualifies as a ‘real’ Peace Corps experience, it is all in what you make of the entire experience over the two years)

December 2, 2012

6 months!

Tour…6 months, is it really December?!
On December 6th I will have been away from Colorado for 6 months! Crazy! I feel like I just left yesterday…
I believe that there is one big reason why I feel like it was only yesterday that I left…there are no seasons here so it still feels like the middle of summer! Do not be mistaken, I do not miss the cold at all (I am a warm weather girl) but there is something to be said of a nice snowy mountain view… (oh Colorado mountains how I miss you!)
This has also played a big role in me not feeling like it is the holiday season. No snow, no crazy shopping frenzies, no yummy foods that my mom makes…
I do not miss the cold feeling of snow, only the way it looks.
I do not miss shopping! (actually I am super super excited to spend a Christmas away from commercialism and remember what it really means…the birth of Jesus)
I do miss the yummy food…I could go for a good raspberry filled, powder sugar covered cookie (also known as a snowflake or the best cookie ever!) and some homemade checks mix (oh checks mix how I miss your smell filling up the house) right now…
The one thing I do have (thanks to my awesome friend B!) is Christmas music! Now that it is officially December I have started to play it!
Even though it does not feel like Christmas, I am going to make the best of it. Decorate my classrooms with fun crafts I do with the students (pictures to come later), sing Christmas songs every single day, and if I am really lucky bake some cookies (my family on Weno has, wait for it…an oven! and if it is working when I come to visit them I am totally going to bake!)
I am going to share the joy and spirit of the Christmas season, and create some new traditions with my new families!

This year try spending more time focusing on the reason for the season, Jesus, and see how He moves in your heart (by the way it will be totally worth it! so go ahead and give it a try)

November 25, 2012


Here in Chuuk Thanksgiving is not really a big deal…it was just a regular day. The only thing that is really important about it is that it is a day off work… (Chuukese ‘celebrate’ all American holidays as well as Chuukese holidays-so they can get double the amount of time off of work)
This was my first big holiday away from home, so I am not going to lie it was tough… (especially considering I was sick all week with a cold)
So how did I spend my Turkey day you ask?
I slept in, spent some time reading in my room, watched the movie RIO with my little sister (which by the way was my 1st movie since I left home!), wrote some letters, and enjoyed staring off into the sunset…
What did I eat?
The usual…canned tuna and rice (I suppose it was a little more ‘special’ because it was spicy tuna!)

I did talk on the phone the next day with all my family from back home! That made me a little sad. I started thinking about all our traditions and the things I love about the holiday season back home; but at the same time it was totally awesome! I love being able to still be a part of family events back home (since I am a day ahead it was actually their Turkey day!), they passed ‘me’ around the room to talk with everyone!

What am I thankful for?
I am thankful for…
Jesus being my Savior and best friend!

My families (I am now a part of four families…my American family, my Pohnpeian family, my Weno family, and my Fefan family)
my American family
Behonest my Pohnpeian brother
McHenry my Weno brother
Enrich my Fefan brother
Richen my Fefan sister

My friends (thank you all so much for your support!)
Team Chuuk (you guys rock!)

My co-teachers         
My students
Beautiful flowers to look at

The most amazing views

A roof over my head (I love the sound of rain on a tin roof!)
Food to eat everyday (even if it is the same thing…I am never hungry)
Letters from home
The list could go on forever…

A holiday…is not about who you are/are not with or what you do/do not do on a specific day of the year…it is about what you make of it.

What are you thankful for?

November 18, 2012

Lady in Waiting

Tour…Lady in Waiting
Picture this scene…

Local “are you married?”
Me “no”
Local “why?”
Me “I don’t know” (while shrugging my shoulders)
(this question is not only asked in America, but everywhere of people my age; and by all the locals because they really want PC volunteers to marry locals so we can be a part of their family forever)

Actually I do know why…it is not my time yet.

I am specifically using this time to strengthen and grow in my relationship with the Lord. So I have been reading a ton of devotionals. One that I read was “Lady in Waiting.”
Lady in Waiting
is not about finding the right man,
but becoming the right woman.

The lady in Waiting
recklessly abandons herself
to the Lordship of Christ,
diligently uses her single days,
trusts God with unwavering faith,
demonstrates virtue in daily life,
loves God with undistracted devotion,
stands for physical and emotional purity,
lives in security,
responds to life in contentment,
makes choices based on her convictions,
and waits patiently for God to meet her needs.

I have realized, after reading this book, that singleness is actually a gift. (though I do not always feel like it is…)
The focus of this devotional was the story of Ruth.
Reckless abandonment-she left her home to follow the Lord (so did I)
Diligence-she did not waste her time, she went to work (I am doing what I love, teaching children)
Faith-she knew God would provide for her (I am working on the unwavering part of my faith)
Virtue-she had great character (I try to be myself at all times)
Devotion-she only focused on the Lord (I have no distractions here in Chuuk!)
Purity-she did not draw attention to herself (when it comes to being a girl…I am as simple as they get)
Security-she did not worry about her future (I need to stop trying to plan mine…)
Contentment-she was happy with what she had (I love my simple life here in Chuuk!)
Conviction-she had Biblical standards (what is important to God, is important to me)
Patients-she did not try to write her own story; she let God do the writing (I am handing the pen over)

Being single is the best time to spend with the Lord and get out and enjoy life, because you do not have the responsibilities of married life (husband/children).
The next two years I have to spend with my best friend, Jesus! When my time is right He will lead me to the one He has planned for me. How lucky am I? (Considering He not only gave me the opportunity to spend time with Him, but to do it on a tropical island…I would say I am pretty darn lucky!)
Until then…I am going to enjoy my time with Him!

*random thoughts…
How do you make eating rice three times a day exciting?
You use food coloring of course!
For special events the rice is usually cooked in either food coloring or soy sauce.
Cooking it in soy sauce gives it flavor…I like it because it is something different.
I have also eaten purple rice, and orange rice. (the first time I saw orange rice I thought it was cheesy rice-silly me I do not even know why I thought that since I have never seen cheese in the stores…)
That is how you make eating the same thing everyday fun!

November 11, 2012

and then there was one...

Tomorrow Johnny leaves and I will be the only American on my island…
I am sad to see him go, he has been such a good friend to me during my first few months here (God knew I would need a friend to ease me into my service)
I am also excited to see what is in store for me!
I have taken over Johnny’s projects that were not yet finished. I will be overseeing the completion of a basketball court and helping to raise funds to provide solar lights to my community. (God knew I would need help integrating into my community and he gave some stuff to do)
I am also blessed to know that I will always have a friend to talk to about my experiences, and he will know exactly what I am talking about because we lived in the same community.
While it is always sad to see someone go, it also allows us to look forward to meeting back up in the future…

November 4, 2012

canoe to an island, sure why not!

I have decided in my time here…I am going to take full advantage of all the things I can do here in Chuuk.
I went on a planned last minute canoe trip to a picnic island…Pisiwi
It took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to paddle out to the island. (we were going against the tide)
We spent the day just hanging out…swimming, jumping out of trees into the water, doing back flips off Ben’s shoulders, building sand castles…
I love just going and doing whatever on an island all day!

It took us about 45 minutes to paddle back. (we were going with the tide)
The things you do while living in the South Pacific…
Thank you Jesus, I love my life in Chuuk!

October 28, 2012


Community is the center of Chuukese culture.
I have realized that community can be shown in many ways.
Things you do to help others learn…I handmade 80+ tests, for the end of quarter finals for my students
Things others do for you…my 3 year old sister did my laundry
Spending time with others…Johnny organized a volleyball tournament between the schools (our team won!)
Sharing…in front of our school there is an apple tree (they are different apples than I am use to, they are called mountain apples, they are small and sour) when they are ready to eat, all the kids take turns climbing, picking and then handing out the apples for everyone to enjoy
Celebrating…when there is a wedding almost everyone comes to join the ceremony
Food…everything usually involves food, I was invited to a special dinner (a combination welcome to me, goodbye to Johnny, recognizing a newly married couple, some family going back to Hawaii and Guam)

It does not matter who you are, what you do, how old you are…Chuukese culture is all about accepting everyone into the community, and making you feel like you belong.

October 21, 2012


I helped give my first standardized test…who knew there was such a thing in Chuuk? (well based on the fact that FSM models everything after the United States, I guess it should not have been that big of a surprise to me)
Picture this…your handed a test that is in a language you barley know and your expected to do it. (If I was given a test in Chuukese…I would want to cry!)
Even though these students have been learning English since kindergarten, they most definitely are not fluent. A majority of my students cannot read. If they can read, they have trouble comprehending. Even more of my students have a hard time writing in English.
The test is to gauge how well the students know English, which I understand to a degree. (the test was way to advanced for their level of English knowledge)
However, the majority of public school students in Chuuk are at the level of a low 5th grader in America; based on what I have seen so far. (instead of giving the 5th graders a test that you would give an American 5th grader, they probably should have given them a test that would be for the level of an American 1st or 2nd grader-that would have been a more accurate gauge of their knowledge)
I felt bad because I could see that they were very confused.
I could say that testing them is not fair (which it is not) but at least it gives me some data to use in deciding what I want to focus the most on teaching them.
I have a lot of work to do…but I love teaching kids!

October 14, 2012

a small world

Tour…it is a small world
I met a Chuukese the other night…who lives in Colorado! Not only does he live in Colorado he is from Aurora!
He was here visiting, because someone in his family passed away.
It is so crazy to think that here in Chuuk I met someone who knows exactly where I am from!
But wait the world gets even smaller…
Not only does he live in the same city…he also use to work at the same retail company as me! We did not work at the exact same store, but within the same company.
It is amazing to see how small the world really is!
God places certain people in our lives for a reason, which we usually do not realize until after the fact…
Come to find out there is a large Chuukese community in Denver!
I will now have a connection to Chuuk, when I move back to the states in 2 years!

October 7, 2012

i love Skype!

Tour…staying connected
I was able to go to Weno and Skype my mom for her birthday!
I am so amazed by technology.
Part of me was looking forward to the idea that I would be getting away from the technology addicted American lifestyle.
However…I am so thankful that I am able to be so connected to my family and not only talk to them, but to see them with Skype!
I only use my computer to upload pictures, and write blogs when I am at my site. I love not having any distraction from modern technology!
It has allowed me to focus on my relationship with Jesus and I feel our relationship growing more than I ever have before. I am sure that has a lot to do with circumstances of living in another part of the world; but I also know that it is because I have no distractions of technology.
I hope I do not get sucked back in when I moved back in 2 years!

September 30, 2012


I hiked to the top of my island today! (They call it a mountain, but nothing here is close to what I am use to being from Colorado...)
I went with some other volunteers and local kids.

Our guides name was JackieChan Tokyo! (love it!)
I can now add hiking an island jungle to my list of hiking trips!
It was an adventure!
It was actually really steep up to the top.  One thing I love about Fefan, whenever you need a drink or a break you just stop for a coconut!
The view from the top...was absolutely amazing!
I can not believe this is my home!
I felt so at home hiking today. It was an amazing day, blessed by God with great company and spectacular scenery!

random thoughts...
I love giving my camera to the locals and seeing what they take pictures of! I have over 700 pictures most of which are from the viewpoint of locals!

September 23, 2012

what do i know of Holy

tour...What do I know of Holy?
This is my new favorite song by Addison Road.

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
So What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
So What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life it's name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?

It has been hard for me to blog lately-I do no know how to put into words all of my experiences-words just do not seem to do any of them justice. Neither do pictures...
I am beginning to enjoy the slow pace of life. One of the things God is teaching me is to be still and I have plenty of time to be still!

random thoughts...
-my favorite day of the week is Monday-I have weekly phone calls with my family!
-as my hair is getting longer I am mastering the Chuukese comb!

September 16, 2012

a little walk...

Tour…a tour of my island
I walked around my entire island today…it took 7 hours!
My tour guides were Johnny (the current Peace Corps), Sonson (my cousin), Enlet, and Mureno (Johnny’s brothers).
It was nice to get a lay of the land.
My island reminds me more of a jungle than a tropical island. For a majority of the walk I never saw the ocean.
There is actually a tiny bit of sand…on the other side of the island!
There is a road (that is barely visible) that goes all the way around the island.
It is crazy to think that about 20 years ago there were cars here!
In true Chuukese fashion…it rained the entire day. (rain is so common here; people still go about their daily routine)
I like my little island, it is simple quiet and the people are very kind!
I made it all the way around the island without injury (the road can be very slippery when wet) I was about twenty steps from my house, I was staring out at the amazing view, lost my footing and...fell! I cannot believe I walked around the whole island and then I fall on the part of the road I walk everyday! (do not worry it was just a little cut on my knee...and now I will have a scar to always remind me of my time in Chuuk-these kinds of souvenirs are the best for memories!)

September 9, 2012

the call

tour...following the call

I have had amazing days and I have had frustrating days. I know this journey would have its ups and downs, that is part of the call from Jesus.
I am reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship.
I am reminded page by page what it meand to follow Jesus when He calls.
The call is simple...come, follow me.
The answer is what is difficult for us.
My answer was yes I will follow You.
"The old life is left behind, and completely surrendered. The disciple is dragged out of his relative security into a life of absolute insecurity (that is in truth into the absolute security and safety of the fellowship of Jesus), from a life which is observable and calculable (it is, in fact, quite incalculable) into alife where everything is unobservable and fortuitous (that is, into one which is necessary and calculable), out of the realm of finite (which is in truth the infinite) into the realm of the infinite possibilities (which is the one liberating reality)."
Jesus wants to show me His people and share His love with everyone I meet.
"Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend-it must transcend all comprehension" (Luther)
I am not even going to try to figure out what Jesus has planned for me...
He called me to join PC, I listened, obeyed and left me old life to simply follow Him.
He will guide me way!
I am only about one month in at my site, and I am so excited to see where He leads me in the next 2 years!
Stayed tuned for more adventures!

September 2, 2012


Tour…1st all day church event
There was a newly ordained priest, so he came to our church (which I am told is the biggest in all of Chuuk) to give his 1st mass.
We spent all morning waiting for mass to begin…Chuukese time!
As with all Chuukese events there was food!
After mass there was a special meeting, some people spoke and then the real fun began! Each sub-parish danced and sang and it turned into a huge celebration! The crowd was throwing candy everywhere!
It was a fun filled day complete with a boat ride home!

Random thoughts…
Instead of the sound of cars driving by, I hear the roar of motor boats
I love falling asleep to the sound of rain on a tin roof
It doesn’t matter how hot it is outside…the 1st bucket of a bucket shower is always cold
I have a new “favorite” food…rice…I eat it at every meal! 

August 26, 2012

what i have been up to

Tour…what has been happening?
July 21 good-bye Pohnpei, hello Chuuk!
August 3-5 weekend on a tiny island…Pisar!

August 10 lost mail was found! (I gave out the wrong address…)
August 11 scavenger hunt with the JVs (Jesuit volunteers who are great friends!)
August 14 PCV!
August 15 hello Fefan!
August 20 1st day of school for teachers
August 24 Enrich’s (my little brother) birthday
August 25 1st Chuukese wedding

PC life begins…
A 20-30 minute (depending on weather) boat ride from Weno, and then I am home…we dock our small fiber glass boat in front of our house, which is right on the water! The view from our porch is…indescribable!
My family: parents and a little brother and sister, we live with my mom’s family-some of her sisters, her dad, and some cousins live with us full time, but other people are always visiting-so it is always a full house!
There is no electricity (we use a generator at night), no cars, no running water (except for large rain catchment tanks).
I take a bucket shower, flush my toilet (yes, I actually have a toilet seat!) with a bucket of water, cook on kerosene/propane stoves, walk everywhere, and wash my clothes by hand.
Most of my time is spent hanging out in our traditional house-called an utt- it is the coolest place to be.
There is not a lot to do here, so most of my time is spent reading, chatting, and hanging out…oh and swimming!

Chuukese culture…
Chuukese time-nothing ever starts on time…
Just about everyone carries around a machete (including kids as young as 5!)…just in case you need to chop something down or open a coconut!
Eating is done as a group…with your hands, usually off of a community plate while sitting on the floor.
Church is the center of everything (my village is Catholic).
Everyone showers at least twice a day.


Our school is renovating our building, so we are using the old building-which means there are not enough classrooms for every class.  So we are starting a week late…we will have 2 ½ day sessions of school. K-4th in the morning from 8-11:10 and 5th-8th in the afternoon from 11:30-3:30. Our new school should be done sometime between late December-February (remember we are using Chuukese time calculations here so it is probably more like late February!)
I work with all the grades 1st-8th as an English teacher.
Teaching should be an experience…coming from a super technology based school in the states to a school with almost no supplies! (each classroom has a chalkboard, paper-computer not lined, pencils, tables/benches made out of scrap wood by the teachers, incomplete sets of textbooks that are probably from the 90s)
This year the DOE is implementing a few new things…year round school (go to school for a quarter, then 2 weeks off); DLA (dual language arts) students will get a Chuukese language class and then an English language class with the same lesson.
Stay tuned for more adventures in my teaching…

How am I doing?
There are good days.
There are bad days.
But the truth is I am doing just fine adjusting to Chuukese life! I just take one day at a time with Jesus always holding my hand and leading the way!

August 14, 2012

I am a Peace Corps

tour...I am official!
Tirou me fairo womi achengicheng amafen, Pwan tori kich meinisin. Ai kapongen nekunion annim ngeni kich meinisin...itei Elana upwe sopwei, ai kapong fiti ai kinisou chapur ngeni Al-Green, McCarlyn me MeHenry. Fokkun kinisou chapur ren ami etiwa ei, ai upwe emon chon ami ewe famini. Ngang uwa men pwapwa ai usun emon noumi nengin. Uwa men mwotores oh chengen ren pwapwa ai upwe ne no fefan pwan ai ne nonom ren ewe faminien Joseph. Ngang uwa fokkun pwapwa ai upwe emon sense non ach ewe UFO Elementtary tori ach ewe community. Upwe soppwei an ai ewe  famini Merikia kapongen fiti ar kinisou ren ami anisiei pwan etiwa ei. Ngang me kemoch pei fiti an manamanen aninis ngeni ei. Uwa monota ngeni ei ruu iir ngeni Peace Corps fokkun ai kinisou chapur.

I would like to thank Al-Green, McCarlyn and McHenry for welcoming me into your family. I am happy to be your daughter. I am excited to be a teacher at UFO Elementary and be a part of the community. My family in America says thank you for helping me and making me a part of your community. I know the God is holding my hand and has blessed me with all of you to help me along the way. I am ready to begin my 2 year journey in the Peace Corps. Thank you very much.

This was my speech I gave.

July 15, 2012

I am a ragamuffin

Happy Anniversary to my parents! I was so glad to be able to Skype with them today!! YAY!
*from now on when I use another language it will be Chuukese*
Raan Annim Aami! (good day everyone)
Ifa ussumw? (when someone asks me how I am doing)
Chaiwakawak (this is my usual means that I am super strong-and that is definitely how I feel with Jesus always by my side!)

June 9 - I have been here for 1 month! and I also began language training! (my current host family speaks Chuukese so I am able to practice at home!)
July 14 - family picnic at Nicho Marine Park! My nohno wanted to take me on a picnic before I leave. It was a great day! I even went on a canoe!

I have been reading "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning, it is amazing! (by the way I have been enjoying every one's random messages throughout the book, thank you!) I love the word ragamuffin! It describes me so perfectly - I know I am a sinner...and that is why Jesus loves me!

some recent deals in my window shopping experience...
*all quotes come from Brennan Manning's book*
-keeping an open mind
"There is a wondrous open-mindedness and an insatiable desire to learn from life. An open attitude is like an open door - a welcoming disposition toward the fellow travelers who knock on our door during the middle of the day, the middle of the week, or the middle of a lifetime."
I look at each new day as a new door and I am so excited to see what Jesus wants to show me behind the door! Children have always been a huge part of my life. I love teaching and spending time with them. They teach me so much about child-like faith! Finding joy and happiness in the simplest of things. (like when my 4 year old cousin wants to play 'gimme a hi five' for 15 minutes!)
"If we maintain the open-mindedness of children, we challenge fixed ideas and established structures, including our own."
My outlook on life has changed drastically since my time in FSM. I am immensely more happy with having less stuff, and having more time with community and Jesus.
"The open mind realizes that reality, truth, and Jesus Christ are incredibly open-ended."
The more my mind is open the more I learn from Jesus!

"Trust defines the meaning of living by grace rather than works."
My entire experience with my journey through Peace Corps has been based on my trust in Jesus. I know that He goes everywhere before me to prepare the way for me. I know that He is holding my hand and guiding me daily. I have given my life fully to Him and He has blessed me beyond what any words can describe.

"Our response to the gratuitous intervention if Jesus in our lives is heartfelt gratitude."
I am forever grateful for Jesus' love. (I have learned the most about being grateful from my host family/community)
"Each encounter with a brother or sister is a mysterious encounter with Jesus Himself."
I feel so welcome and a part of my family, they have truly accepted me as one of their own, and they would do anything for me (and I for them!) They have offered me their friendship...
"Our deep gratitude to Jesus Christ is manifested neither in being chaste, honest, sober and respectable, nor in church-going, Bible-toting, and Psalm-singing, but in our deep and delicate respect fro one another."
I am going to miss my first host family! I know I will always have a family to lean on in times of need in Pohnpei.

Jesus has showed me so much in my short one month in FSM. I can only hope that I am always being myself, and be more of who I am in Christ to those around me.
"Authentic faith leads us to treating others with unconditional seriousness and to a loving reverence for the mystery of the human personality."

Kinissow chappur (Thank you very much) Jesus, I am so thankful that you are always holding my hand!

July 8, 2012

life on an island...

There has been a lot going on around here...
to catch you all up, here are a few of the highlights.
June 26 - my nohno took me out to lunch, to meet her co-workers. She works at the municipality building. It was so awesome! I was able to see the courthouse and meet one of the judges.
June 27 - my first long call home and my first package! (God's timing is amazing!) I was able to talk to my family for my birthday and I received a birthday package! (the best part was that my parents sent me a birthday in a box! complete with 'cake.' I also love my card-it was one of those ones where you can record something, and my whole family was singing happy birthday to me!)
June 29 - computer freak out! The keyboard on my computer is out of order...none of the keys work. So I have to use an on-screen keyboard which is like texting only worse. I was upset when it first happened, but I know that it happened for a reason. I only use it to upload my pictures. I go to the library or an internet cafe to write emails or blog. I don't miss it, I actually love not having a computer! (God has blessed me through this by giving me a ton of time to spend with Him, and my host family)
June 30 - my first hike! I was so excited to be able to go on a hike!! A group of PCT's went to Sokehs Ridge. (It is way different than a 14er for sure!) It poured rain on us, but it was refreshing from the heat/humidity. We also were able to see some amazing views! (check out my slide show link on the right)
July 2 - our first ET (early termination). The married couple that was in our group went back to the states, they decided this was not for them. It was very sad to see them leave.
July 4 - Happy 4th! We went to the U.S. Embassy for a celebration and some yummy (American) food!
July 6 - site announcements! I am so excited! I am going to Chuuk! When I went home, I listened to some music and the first song that came on was 'I am Second' by the Newsboys - coincidence I think not! (I know God is preparing the way for me!)
July 7 - local cooking. PC had all of us trainees get together to learn some ways to cook more healthily with local foods. (it was so delicious, and I ate way too much...wait there is no such thing as being full here! I am always eating...)

*some interesting things that I have noticed since being out of the states:
-licking stamps is gross!
-the bananas in the states are lame...there are about 10 varieties here and they taste amazing!
-I wake up to roosters every morning

God is so amazing, I can not even put into words how blessed I am and how much He shows His love for me in all the little details of everyday!