Nearly Missed That Frog Fish as I swam on by

Often in life, we are so busy worrying about the details we miss the majesty of God’s beautiful creation. I realized this fact once again as I was worried about adjusting my respirator and didn’t notice the frogfish sitting right in front of me. Thankfully Klaus my dive instructor made sure I noticed all of the wonders of the deep that were swimming all around me. It is the same way in life when we are hyper-focused on the details we think are important we need someone to point out when we are missing the wonders around us.

After the stress of getting mid-quarter grades submitted before the deadline, a quick trip south for the weekend was just what I needed. I was able to teach one of the Chinese teachers how to float well enough for her to be pulled over the reef for her first peek at what lies beneath. I also made my second dive and saw some pretty amazing things like sea turtles, lionfish, and a sea cucumber. The Chinese teachers and I made our reservations for a week-long trip in December. We are excited about our future adventure but we have our work cut out for us because they don’t know how to swim yet…

The past three weeks have been short weeks due to holidays which has been great from the student’s point of view and from mine as well, I really enjoyed our Friday away, but from a progress in class point of view. Well, all that missed class time is not so great. We returned to a full week of school this week but it is also the fun run week and foundation day for Bethel. More missed classes for the Elementary Run yesterday and for the program honoring the founding fathers today. Tomorrow is another day of missed classes because of the high school run. In essence what I have learned is God is still helping me learn how to be more flexible. 😛

Little Rainbow Joy made it to school this week and helped out with the run yesterday. She insisted on having her picture taken with some of the students. I have also included a couple of pictures from the weekend and the kids racing their hearts out! I hope you enjoy!

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Exam Week

We have entered into our first exams of SY 2017-2018. One day of exams are done and the students are beginning their second day as I am typing this. Exams have allowed me a quiet morning of contemplation and headache recovery. I decided to take a few minutes of that time and say hello to you.

A few weeks ago I learned a new word, solane, Bebing had asked me for money so she could order more of it for the house I live in. I asked, ” what is solane?” After all, I do want to become fluent in the language! She struggles for a moment and ends up saying, “you know gas, solane.”  “OH!” I said, “for the stove?” she tells me, yes and I learned that the word gasoline has been morphed into the Waray language as solane. 🙂 I love finding these words where I can clearly see how they came to be!

I feel like a broken record because every time someone asks how I am doing my answer is the same, ” I am tired and overwhelmed”. I am often tempted to say fine but I know that my friends and family back home love me and are not looking to hear, “fine” they are looking to hear how I really am. I am loving being here but I am basically trying to work 2 full-time jobs and it is exhausting.

I have talked things over with Margie and she is helping me get my keel righted in the water. If I can get it right, or should I say once it is righted, I will be fine. There are just some beginning of the year things that overwhelmed me. Added into that a huge pile of late work from my kids and you have a capsized Ms. Camarro.

I started off this school year learning that a friend back home lost her battle with Cancer. It isn’t that I wasn’t expecting the news, I was, it is I just wasn’t expecting it so soon. I am thankful she is with her husband again and my prayers are for her family to find comfort in the arms of the Lord. I will miss our little chats and can’t wait until our next one.

I am blessed by the support system I have here and the friends that have lovingly encouraged me through this season. I so often see how God uses others in my lift and through seasons like this, it is so clearly visible to me.

On a completely different note

Due to the changes in admin fees and the differences in the way things work less money than expected ends up coming to me. I do suspect that some of that will come to me in the form of a tax refund. I also suspect that I needed to line item items out that are not strictly for “salary”. Right now everything is listed as salary and I have nearly the same amount of money per month as I did last year.

My friend Melissa has asked me if I want her to have a Trades of Hope facebook party to help raise money. I said yes because I would like to have funds to draw on to help people and right now the amount over and above what I need is small and leaves little for things I might want. Like, taking someone out to eat, buying a book, or providing lunch for a student that would go without.   Melissa will be raising funds for other worthy organizations besides helping me. Please consider visiting her page for your Christmas shopping needs 🙂

Melissa Brown’s Trades Of Hope

Chris Camarro’s Converge Profile