Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flip Flops in February: An Okinawa Reunion!

I think I've written before about the awesome group of friends I had while in Okinawa and the impact our Bible study has had on my life.  Saying goodbye to all of them was one of the hardest things I've done, but I knew that someday all of our paths would cross again.  That day was last weekend!  God blessed us with an incredible reunion out in California, and not only was it a much-needed break from day-to-day life but it was also a sweet time of fellowship with women I not only consider friends but family.
Christine was gracious enough to let all 7 of us crash at her place for the weekend, and we spent hours just catching up on each others lives and sharing how God has been at work in and through each of us. It was so cool to get to reconnect with them (though sadly not everyone could make it that weekend...we were still a few short from having our entire group present.)

Though we spent most of the time hanging out around the house, we did get to venture out a bit to experience a little of what southern California has to offer in February.  We spent one afternoon at the Oceanside Pier and beach.  And yes, I was super pumped to finally get to wear flip flops again!  We also went on a food tour in North Park (apparently one of the trendier neighborhoods of San Diego.)  Though the tour itself wasn't the greatest (one of the stops was, no kidding, a lesbian bar) it was a fun experience just being with the girls.  And we all thought it was appropriate that we one of the stops was a sushi bar!

If you look closely you can actually see the drool...
Our time together passed way to fast, but we've decided to make it a yearly get-together, so I know it won't be the last time I see everyone.  Here's hoping that next year we can actually get the whole group together for a reunion!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Teaching to the Extremes

I've got to say, I love my new teaching job, but I must admit where I'm working now is a total switch from where I've taught in the past.  Chance School is an independent school where parents spend more money to send their child to preschool than I spend on groceries in a year.  It's a great school where all the teachers are proud to be part of the faculty, and we work hard to offer a great education for every child that attends our school.  It's a wonderful place to teach, but I'm always staggered at just how wealthy everyone is.  Coming from the Good News School in Zambia, this is a total 180.

Sometimes I wonder if I could be more effective teaching in a low-income school.  Those are the kids who really need someone to fight for them; someone to love them and care about them.  I loved teaching in South Carolina, because I really felt like I was making a difference (though maybe small) in those kids' lives, since many of them didn't have anyone else telling them they mattered.  Living and working in Zambia was similar -- the orphans in our school had it about as rough as anyone could imagine, and coming to the Good News School was a little slice of hope for them.  It was such a blessing to teach in that kind of environment.

But now?  All my students get picked up in Lexuses or BMWs.   They go home to well-stocked refrigerators and big screen TVs.  They are guaranteed a great education and all the opportunities that come with it.  Don't get me wrong, I know kids from wealthy families have their fair share of problems, but it certainly is a different experience teaching them compared to dirt poor orphans in Africa.

I know that God has blessed me beyond reason with this teaching job, and I'm sure that He has put me at Chance School for a purpose.  Maybe that purpose is to open the eyes of the families that attend there to the incredible needs of children around the world.  Maybe it's to encourage the teachers there to consider sharing their skills and talents with children in areas of our city or around the world who can't afford such a top notch education.  Either way, my prayer is that God would use me for His glory in this job and everything else I do!
My preschool classroom
My classroom in Zambia