Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Quick Update!

                Well, it is now about half over for me. It seems that the time has stood still at times, but at other times it has gone by super fast. This 3rd quarter has had its ups and downs. There has been times when I just didn’t want to teach and then also times that I was glad I was here witnessing. 
These past couple of weeks have been quite a struggle with my 6th grade science class. I have been experimenting with different discipline methods, but none seem to be working. The school has just started a new quarter, so I am hoping that this will give the kids a new start and a willingness to want to learn. They are a really smart class, when they apply themselves, but trying to get all of their attention at once is next to impossible.
The rest of my classes seem to be going really good. I have somehow connected with them and they know that I am their teacher. They are willing to learn and study. I mean not every single one of them is a perfect student. There are some that are still wanting to slack off and not doing anything. But because the majority of the class is behaving, I can now focus on the ones not doing so good and really push them to do good.
Even though I have had some struggles with the classes, there is always time for adventures here in Ebeye. I have really gotten to know the culture (for the most part) and have learned to adapt to it. I have visited some of the outer island and saw what life is like on that island; it’s simple! We went to an island called nene yesterday. It was very relaxing. We got to climb the coconut trees, spear fish, and relax in the hammocks. It was a very well needed day!
Until next time!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

                                                                       after the race!

                                                   This is a picture of the bomb they found!

                                                        This is the 11th grade science fair project

                                            Part of the 11th grade and their awesome sponsor!

                                                  My bike i pieced together... she's a beauty eh?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Over Time Things Get Better!

It has been awhile and I apologize. It has been pretty busy around here the past couple of weeks. Last post I left you with that I needed patience in the classroom. Well, I am proud to announce that I have finally found it! Or maybe I just have learned how to work with the kids. Whichever one it is, it is working. I am now starting to enjoy working with the kids. Yes, sometimes it is still hard and I really just don’t want to be there at that moment, but I am really starting to connect with them.
                I have found the problem; when I first came over here I was expecting it to be like the U.S culture and learning styles. Well, that is where I went wrong. They have their own learning style over here and I just needed to adapt to it. I expected different things out of the kids. So when I got here I just let myself down and it started to get to me. I was starting to think that I have failed in starting out the semester right. I have learned that I have to just take one day at a time. I was trying to teach the kids too much in one day. I don’t know, maybe I was still in college mode or something, by trying to give them too much to learn. I have finally accepted that if I teach them one thing a day then I have accomplished something!
                So, now onto some activities that has been happening outside of the classroom. Last Friday     (2-10-2012), I participated in the annual Kwajelan liberation day here in Ebeye. The day is filled with a parade and games. It started out with the parade. Ok, side note first. One of the things that you have to get used to over here is the time schedule. They said that the parade was supposed to start at 10 am. It didn’t actually start until around 1pm. There was no reason that it should have started that late. All of the trucks were lined up for hours. So everyone was there, there was just no communication. Anyways, the parade was pretty awesome to experience. Now, onto the games; they consisted of the 100m dash, musical chairs, and a 5.3 mile run from gucegu. The long run was the one that I participated in. They load the 40 participants into a school bus and transport you out to the last island. You then proceed to run back towards the great island Ebeye. It is a very exhausting run. It is just really hot and the wind is blowing on you from the ocean. I finished 7th out of the 40 people.
                Now, back in the states you get days called “snow days!” Well, not here. Here we get bomb days. Last week there was a bomb that was found just a couple buildings away from us. This was a bomb from WWII era. There was some construction going on and they were digging into the ground to put some stairs in when they hit this with one of the shovels. The immediately stopped and called the bomb squad from Kwajelan. As a I had mentioned before that Kwajelan is a US army base, so that was usefull! I guess this has happened a few times in the past. So while they were there getting the bomb school was cancelled! That was very refreshing to get.
                This week is Education Week here on Ebeye. It consists of school activities throughout the week. Our first one, on Monday, was a big assembly with all of the schools. This was program for all of the schools to get together and here some speeches. Monday night was the science fair for the Ebeye SDA school. It was fun to see all of the projects that the kids and sponsors had worked on. I am sponsoring the 11th grade and we did a lemon battery. We powered a calculator from just one lemon. We got second place. Tuesday and Wednesday are normal school days.  Tonight (Wednesday) is the valentines banquet. I know it’s late, but the kids really enjoy this activity.  Tomorrow will be a holiday for Ebeye, so no school. Friday will be the spelling B for our school. It should be interesting to watch the kids.  So all in all this week is nice and relaxing!
                Until next time!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Maybe if I say patience enough it will fill my mind! These past two weeks have been pretty rough in the class room. The kids are starting to get more comfortable as me being their teacher, so they try and push my limits. I have kids running, jumping on tables, doing handstands, chasing each other with brooms, and lying down in the room. I will go tell one of them to stop and finally get them calmed down and then turn to someone else. As soon as I get to the other one, the first one is right back at jumping from table to table. It’s a mess!! Then when I finally get them all calmed down and ready to learn I start to talk and then it starts all over again. So out of a 45 minute class period I will end up teaching about 15 of that. I’ve tried many disciplinary actions and none of them seem to be working.
                 Not every day is chaotic. Some days I can actually get a lot taught to the kids and they are actually listening to me, at least I think so. Yesterday we had a review for our 3rd quarter mid-terms and they all were being really attentive and a lot of them knew that answers. I was really confused in my head, because when I was teaching them that information they were not listening at all, at least I thought so. It was actually really refreshing to hear all of them participating in the review and knowing the answers.
                So right now I am going though this phase of recognizing the easiness of the U.S. Everything come to us very easily back in the states. We get used to this style of life and it spoils us! I mean if I wanted to use the internet back home then I could just get on my computer and its right there. Here, I have to wait 2 minutes just for Google home page to load. Back home I was getting used to this thing called an Iphone. If I wanted to search something I could just pull it out of my pocket and search; I don’t get those luxuries over here. You just learn to not need as much stuff. I am now starting to realize that every single one of those easy things was interfering with my relationship with God; hindering what I need to learn about Him and what He has given us to study daily, the Word. It is starting to hit me that this is one of my reasons for coming here to Ebeye.  It may be hard and not enjoyable at times, but God is right here directing my steps.
                All bad things eventually stop! I got to take a field trip the great Island of kwaj, which is about a 25 minute boat ride. This is not just an island, this is America! This island is a United States Army island and it shows that it is run by the U.S. Nice paved road, nice clean bathrooms with hot water and not salty, green stuff they call grass, and Subway and Burger king. Yes, I said Subway and Burger king. Of course I was not going to miss out on this opportunity to spoil myself. This is how it went down. Kwaj has softball fields and sporting equipment. So every so often we bring a team from Ebeye to go play on the fields. Well, I was one of their sponsors last night so I got to go. After we were done playing softball, we all went to the food court; MMM, delicious! I even bought enough so I could bring some back and have some for lunch today.
                Well even though these past couple weeks have been rough, I have been making memories that I will never forget. I know times will be rough and I won’t want to be here, But I can do anything with God on my side. I know I have to just keep pressing on and that is what I am going to do!
Until next time!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stressed to Relaxation

This week there was some up’s and downs. A lot of the kids were not listening and not wanting to learn at all. The learning style of the kids is very different than in America. You tell them to do something and they will just look at you with a blank look. Until you actually go over there and tell them right to their face, they will not do anything. It is a very big adjustment, but I am getting the hang of it! I know that I am here for a purpose and God wants me here for a reason. I really hope that I am reaching these kids somehow.
Now onto something positive! This weekend the SM’s here took a trip over to Carlos, an island about 30 minutes away. This island is pretty desolate. No running water, no electricity, and not to many houses on the island. We started our adventure on Friday around 5:00pm. We got to the island via boat and set up our camp, which we had to hike about three quarters of a mile with all of our stuff. I found two good trees and set up my hammock and then helped set up the rest of the camp. By the time we set up and had supper I was pretty tired and just went to bed. I had a pretty good sleep, until the rain came. I unclipped my hammock and went under the tarp till it was done. It only rained for about 5 minutes.  The next day we woke up had some breakfast and then had an adventure getting coconuts from the trees. I learned how to climb the tree and then knock the coconut off. I then proceeded to learn how to take the husk off and drink the coconut.
After my adventure it was church time. We all gathered on the ground to worship. It was a great sermon given by one of the island pastors. After church a group of us decided to go snorkeling on the lagoon side. This side of the island was very nice. There was not much coral until you went out past the reef, which we were told not to because of the sharks that like to live there. We got don’t snorkeling and then went and ate lunch. After lunch the group kind of just hung around and chilled. It rained a few times off and on all day long.
Now, for a real adventure I tried spear fishing in the dark. We went on the ocean side because we heard that there were more fish on that side. To get out there you have to walk on a bunch of coral and then you wait till you see a channel in the coral reef. I had the principal, from here, with me so he knew what he was doing. We saw the opening and went for it. Now, what you have to do is time your entrance with the waves. After the waves crash you have to swim hard before the next one or else you will get smashed against the coral reef. So, here I am swimming hard. I don’t have a flash light. That is with the principal and he is ahead of me about three feet. So I really can’t see much. I see him make it through and here I am still trying; I didn’t make it so here comes the wave smashing back on me. I can’t see anything, because the waves crashing produces tons of bubbles and sediment to fly everywhere. I just hold my head and hope for the best as the wave takes me back in towards the sharp coral. The wave passes and I am still alive! I got smashed back but luckily it was just a rock and not coral. I swim hard again and finally finagle my way through the 2 foot channel that is lined with coral on each side. We were out there for about 15 minutes and did not see much at all so we decided to go back in. same process all over again except the waves are making you fly towards the coral at a fast rate. I mean I have done this during the day, but doing it at night adds another element. The final wounds were just a smashed right shoulder and a pretty good cut on my heal from coral from the way back in. Today we packed up and headed to the dock to be picked up. There was a big Japanese ship there that was some sort of decoy. We got to jump off and have a blast.
God has been good to me so far. Yes, there has some down moments, but He has helped me through them and that I am glad for. I’m sure that there will be more down moments, but I can always count on Him being there. I am glad that God has put me in this position to not only teach the students, but to get closer to Him.
Until next time!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

                                                        Speaking at a Saturday night vespers.