Family and Friends,
I honestly have to comment one more time on how QUICKLY time is passing! Maybe that’s part of growing old, I’m not sure. But time here in Thailand is going by faster than ever. I’m nearing my 4 month mark (in one week!) and I know the next weeks as we wrap up our first semester will also go quickly.
Today was a great Sunday, but unlike most of you back home, my afternoon was spent tanning (and burning) by the poolside. It was a nice, relaxing way to begin the week, that’s for sure.
This weekend, on Friday and Saturday, we had meetings for our “Professional Development” days, which were full of plenty of teacher stuff, and meetings. GES has been trying to become accredited by the “MOE” or “Ministry of Education” which is the national education head of Thailand, for the past several years, and hopefully this year we will complete and pass all their requirements. Anyway, for each grade, we have to put binders together proving in some way or another that we are meeting all the requirements for education here in Thailand. Unfortunately, the task of putting the FIRST “Music” bider together goes to… muah. This weekend, even though the only thing currently in my binder are all the printed standards, I felt I got some better ideas of how to prove I’m meeting the standards. (You have to admit, it’s hard to prove I’m teaching the students how to “appreciate music” and learn how to read music, but I’ve got some great ideas from my dear friend Heidi, who has been teaching for almost 10 years, and is a PRO!).
Anyway, I do feel I haven’t had much of a weekend, since this morning we left early for church, and just returned about an hour ago. Speaking of church, I’ve been leading worship more often, and from the people I’ve talked to, the seem VERY thankful to have me. I was also approached today by our pastor and asked to lead worship at our church retreat in November. It’s been such a blessing for ME to use my gift and serve others. It’s something I can’t even begin to explain, especially with my LACK of getting to do so last year.
I’m not sure what else to report on at the moment. We have about 20 days until we leave for our October Break trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. There are 5 of us going, and we’re all looking forward to relaxing along the beaches of both countries. (Here’s a visual aid to help those of you who aren’t familiar with SE Asia).Well, I’m about to call a good friend for a phone appointment, but I hope everything is well back on the home front. Maybe I’ll discuss this in another blog, but it’s been quite interesting and left many of us somewhat in shock hearing about the economic crisis back in the States. It’s definitely a good time to remember that our hope and trust should be in the LORD, not in money and investments.
Please continue to pray for me, and my fellow teachers as things get very busy over the next three weeks. I’m doing well spiritually, and in many other aspects, but the culture shock does continue to get to me as I am in fact a foreigner here in Thailand, and the ways of their culture will never fully make sense to me. Pray in general for strength, to do my job well, and to be able to relax from time to time.
Meridith Rae Johnson