May 26, 2013

Skype Party! sister's graduation

I was so bummed that I was not able to be home for my sister’s senior year of high school. I missed being a part of her special events…swimming meets, choir concerts, preparing for dances, and just hanging out with her.
She has been very understanding of my decision to join Peace Corps and I was able to keep up to date on all her adventures through letters, phone calls, and Skype dates.
I wanted so badly to go home for her graduation, but I just was not able to make it work out.
I ‘attended’ my sister’s high school graduation party! I went into town for the sole purpose of Skyping my sister for her special day, and it was the best day ever!
I was able to be a part of the celebration, I (aka the computer…) was placed in the living room and who ever wanted to stop by to say hi and chat with me could. It was so amazing to see all of my family and friends supporting my sister and being there for her for her big day.
I was also lucky, I was able to see and chat with family and friends that I have not seen since before I left and that was the most amazing thing ever! (I love that technology allows for things like this to be possible!)
Mag Pie I am so proud of you!
(oh and I am super excited because in a month I will get to see my family in person, they are coming to visit me!)

Random thoughts…
I got to do my own laundry the other day! I am making progress in the area of my family allowing me to help out…it only took a year

On my boat ride home, my uncle saw a ton of birds feeding on fish, so we stopped to fish…but we were not able to catch anything…

May 19, 2013

I decided to get my hair cut the other day…it has been one year since I cut my hair (the longest I have ever gone without one).
I went to the local ‘beauty salon’ (a room in the back of a store run by Filipinos).
My hair was sprayed with a water bottle to get it wet.
My hair was cut, with layers.
Then out came the hairdryer! (I have not seen/used one in a year…) Not only was my hair being dried it was being styled! I was thinking why bother…first of all I was sweating like crazy while this was happening and I knew the minute I left I would be putting my hair up in a bun (it is way too hot to ever have my hair down!)
It was quiet the experience, but well worth the $5 I spent!

Random thoughts…

Work on the basketball court has been coming along! Yay!

some of the girls who help cook lunch for the workers

May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

tour...Mother's Day

I was wished a Happy Mother’s Day today…that caught me by surprise! (I do not have the most important part of being a mom, a child.)
You know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” well here in Chuuk that is exactly what happens. Everyone is called maama or paapa. I am often referred to as maama Elana (especially in school). At first I was not comfortable with this label. I told the kids I am not a mom, I do not have any kids.
I asked my mom why is everyone in a family referred to as maama or paapa when they may not be the child’s parent. She told me the students call me that out of a sign of respect, I am their mother figure while they are at school.
That is when I realized the advantage of a village raising a child. A parent may not always be with their child, but they know that their child is being taken care of by someone (who most often is a family member by some relation; aunt, uncle, cousin…).
It does not bother me as much anymore when I am called maama Elana (even though it is still a little awkward…). My view of being a teacher has change slightly in the fact that I am not just teaching someone else’s child, I teach them as if they were my own child.
I have 80+ kids that I interact with at school and I would do anything for anyone of them!

I have been blessed to have many mothers (all over the world!), but I only call one mommy. She raised me and is my best friend and I love her with all my heart! (lady you know who you are!)

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women in the world! (even if you have not given birth, you are still a mom to someone)

May 5, 2013

God's Love

Tour…His love
One of my dear friends back home, gave me a devotional as a gift (thanks Bethers!) before I left. “Jesus Lives” by Sarah Young. (I am embarrassed to say I just cracked it open…)
I have been preoccupied with other books and devotionals…but that is not a good excuse.
I decided to check it out this past week and it is amazing! (just like Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling!)
You know when books have a bookmark built in…well I decided to see what it was marking from its original placement by who put it there during shipment to the store.
Well it was on HIS LOVE (I do not think this was an accident, it was all from God!)
Reminding me of His Love for me.
“Find comfort in knowing I am perfectly good and infinitely strong. If I were good but lacking in strength, you would have no stronghold in times of trouble. If I were strong but not totally good, My massive strength could be terrifying. In fact, My Power is threatening to those who oppose Me. However, I am the God Shepherd; I know My sheep, and My sheep know Me. Sheep have nothing to fear from a shepherd who is good. On the contrary, they feel safe in his protective presence. So it is with Me: You can feel safe and secure in My sheltering Presence.
The best way to avail yourself of My protection is to trust Me wholeheartedly. My unfailing Love surrounds all those who trust in Me. So your most important task as a sheep in My pasture is to keep on trusting Me – the perfect Shepherd of your soul. Find rest in Me alone, for I am a surrounding stronghold of unfailing Love."
Psalm 62:1-2

My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him. He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.