In a sense, it feels like I just got here. Wasn't I just saying goodbye to my friends and family at the airport? Didn't I just arrive here and begin to adjust to a new family, culture, and lifestyle? Wasn't I just organizing the school room, trying to wade through piles of books and teacher's manuals, and feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead?
Now, I am packing, not just for a short trip, but everything. I'll be home in less than 6 weeks, and we'll be away from the village for most of that time. I'm getting our schoolbooks organized for the time we'll be away, planning the remainder of my time as teacher, and preparing to pass the baton to Shannon for the last bit of the school year. How did time go by so fast?
On the other hand though, it feels like I've been here much longer than almost 7 months. I love it here. When we return to the village after a trip, I call it home. The Talbots feel like family, and I love spending time with all of them. Though there are still plenty of challenges, even the challenges have become familiar. Believe me, I am so eager to go home, but the idea of leaving is honestly a painful one.
Things are a lot like they were 7 months ago, when I was getting ready to come here. There are so many unknowns ahead, and saying goodbye is going to hurt like crazy. But God was absolutely faithful then, and He is faithful now.
Here are some pictures from the last several months- sorry I've been so negligent in posting them!
Out for a walk with some of the Talbot and Easton kids, with some of the village children tagging along (the Eastons are the Talbot's co-workers).
I finally got to ride a water buffalo!
I had two big boxes coming for Christmas; the result of the combined effort of wonderful family and friends. Long story short, they didn't arrive at the guest house until January. I was expecting this one to come in on the helicopter, but Chuck and Shannon arranged to have it brought in a week early without telling me. Here it is arriving via water buffalo!
I was so surprised! (I find Chuck's expression quite amusing!)
The kids and I will periodically have a "tea party." Those at home will laugh at me for saying this, but it gets quite "cold" early in the year. One gets used to the hot temperatures, and in the 68 degree weather I was freezing!
That house was built beside ours early in the year.
Jenna likes to brush my hair. Kyle suggested the addition of clothespins, so Jenna and Sophia collaborated to accomplish... this. According to Jenna, I look beautiful... haha. Of course, they needed some too!
Making sugar cookies for Valentine's day
We had a village party for Bea's 1st birthday. About a hundred people came, and many helped with preparations! Shannon and I tried pounding rice, just for fun. I failed miserably, but at least I can say I did it!
So much coconut!
Rolling balls for nansilot- a dessert made with sticky rice flour.
Hala and the birthday girl
Fun with the balloon animal kit from my box. These swords were later used for an epic... and loud... battle.