Sunday, October 30, 2011

High & dry

We haven't floated away yet, or even had to build a creative raft... it has actually been pretty dry here, except for a few thunderstorms in the evenings. After October break, school was supposed to resume on Wednesday, Oct. 26, but due to the flooding & potential flooding in our area, we are off until November 7, as mandated by the Ministry of Education (MOE). We've actually heard that the newest mandate by the MOE is that schools are to be off until Nov. 15, but we haven't received that news from our school yet. (It depends on whether our school appeals to the gov't [and the gov't accepts] to continue school or not because we are located in a non-affected/minimally affected area).

Despite, the extended break from school, there is no day lacking of work, as teachers are required to do e-learning with the students (which always ends up being MORE work than just normal teaching), in the hope of not having to extend the school year into our summer. But if school does get cancelled through November 15, then our summer will definitely get cut short. :(

Saturday was potentially supposed to be the worst day of flooding, due to the high tides, amount of water already in rivers & canals, and possible breaking of barriers/dams, but things are looking okay for now. Click here for a recent article on the current situation, and here for some pics by YWAM Thailand from the flooding in other areas that have been greatly affected.

The gov't declared a national holiday from Friday through Monday so that people could get out of town and escape the flooding; thousands of people have left the city. We're staying put for now, and currently sitting high and dry. Thanks for partnering in prayer with us... may our hearts be surrendered & may our gaze continually be directed to our sovereign and holy God in every circumstance.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pray for Thailand

1/3 of Thai provinces flooded, with over 9 million people affected.

Two very good news articles. Click here and here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What you don't want to hear...

"Government sacrifices eastern Bangkok"

...what you don't want to hear when you live in eastern Bangkok.

Click here for news article.

We've been fortunate not to have much rain the past few days, but rain or no rain, all the water from areas that were hit hard has to go SOMEWHERE. Our 4-day October break weekend, just turned into a 5-day weekend. ICS will be closed tomorrow due to the potential flooding & terrible traffic due to flooding as the water makes it way to the Gulf of Thailand, and is routed through Eastern Bangkok. I think it was a wise decision... we ran a few errands at the nearest mall/grocery store, and walked out this evening to pouring rain. As everything is already quite saturated, the canals high, the dams/dikes on the verge of collapsing, after 15 minutes of hard rain, the streets around us were flooded to the ankles.

We're headed up to Chiang Mai with some dear friend for the October break. While we're looking forward to a much needed break from school, it's hard not have a heavy heart for Thailand & to worry about what things will be like in Chiang Mai, as well as what things will look like where we live when we come back.

Please keep Thailand in your prayers. We'll post more updates soon on the situation soon.

Even the elephants aren't safe...

Monday, October 17, 2011


Click here to see some pictures of what is going on in Thailand as of late. Please pray for Thailand.


My mama and auntie are crazy and I can't handle the craziness

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Calling all Spanish teachers #2

We all know what LOL stands for, but do you know what LSHMSFOAIDMT stands for? Well you should... add it to your repertoire for something more than a LOL.

Thanks to my co-worker Aimee, for the awesome find. :)

Calling all Spanish teachers #1

If you're a Spanish teacher, or if you know anything beyond 1st semester Spanish 1 grammar, you'll appreciate what I got a kick out of today...

Student tries to write: Elena studies a lot.
He writes: Elena estudia un mucho.

I laughed aloud.

Apple Invasion 2011

3 Macs & 1 i-phone. They just needed to be listening to their i-pods & contemplating buying an i-pad...

Before & After

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Nice new tabletop. "All the better to play games on, my dear," says Mike.

Lovely changes, wouldn't you say? I feel like our apartment feels a) more homey and b) more cheerful :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Highlights from Alicante

After a few days in Madrid, we made our way to Alicante. Man, was it good to see more friends and introduce Mike to life in Alicante! Alicante was a little crazier than normal in that it was during a time of festival. Mike got a good taste of Spanish night life. He had to get used to staying up late and getting up practically in the afternoon.

Some of the things we saw and did in Alicante:
  • Learned a lot of new Spanish words, as I was forced to speak in Spanish/translate a lot. Plus, my friends really helped push me to learn more.
  • Ate a lot of good food
  • Met up with lots of friends after 11 years
  • Went to Hogueras events: mascleta & parades
  • The beach
  • Paella at Casa Domingo
  • Castillo de Santa Bárbara
  • Bodega: Francisco Gómez
  • Reunion dinner at David & Natalia's flat
  • Port
  • MARQ: museo de arquelogía
  • Looking at the different monuments created & visiting the Hogueras museum
I had remembered the Hogueras festival differently from 11 years ago so we had plans to leave in the middle of the festival, thus missing the last day of the festival when they burn all of the monuments. We had reservations to go to La Alhambra in Granada, so we ended up leaving mid-week, going to Granada, and then returning to Alicante to be present for the Cremada. I'm so glad that our plans were pretty flexible and that we could come back to experience the last night with friends.

** As always, you can click on the collage/pic to see a bigger version of it. :)**

Great friends
Paella at Casa Domingo
Hanging out before heading to the beach
At the beach. We introduced our friends to the art of jumping pictures. They had seen the one of us jumping on the beach in New Zealand and thought that was so cool, so wanted to do their own one in Alicante. :)
Castillo de Santa Bárbara
La Bodega
La Bodega. I love this series of pictures; they make me laugh every single freakin' time because Mike is showing us his booty practically the whole time. In his defense, he didn't know that a series of 9 pics was going to be taken and that we were only planning on doing a booty picture 1-2 times. Pobre Mike.
La bodega

A reunion of HS friends at David & Natalia's place. It had really been about 10 years since all of them had been together. Unfortunately, we were missing Silvia, who was in Madrid. :(
Late night/early morning shananigans.

Mike got to try horchata and hang out with David's little birdy. The other two pics are views from the great terraza that David & Natalia have.

Hogueras. They spend practically all year planning for this festival, all for it to end quite quickly. They create these huge monuments to enter in to a competition and then on the last night there's the cremada, where they burn them all.

The beginning of the cremada. This was the first hoguera to be burned. In the above collage, it was the one in the bottom left corner that looks like a palm tree.
This was Natalia's sector's hoguera.
It almost looks like riots. The people scream to be sprayed by the fire hoses to cool down.
Last night
Trying to get a good view and not get soaked by the fire hoses.

Last night... out dancing after the cremada
My love.
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We had such a great time. Thanks for hosting us, David & Natalia!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Highlights from Madrid

So... we're here. :) I guess year 3 in Thailand has been marked with not as many firsts; therefore, not as many new blog posts. I still have yet to really update the blog with Spain pictures though. So as not to overwhelm myself (or my readers) I thought I'd kind of go city by city and give you the highlights and a few favorite pics or collages to give you a snapshot of things we did.

We started and ended our trip in Madrid, staying with my high school friend Silvia, her bf Alex and their ginormous dog, Munch. Poor Silvia picked us up from the airport (1.5 hours from her flat) bright and early in the morning, only to realize that our flight had been delayed 3 hours in Beijing... she was a champ about it though and was still smiling when we walked off the plane. How nice it is to arrive in a new place and be greeted by a friendly and familiar face. Silvia had requested the day off, so we were able to spend the day catching up with her. Throughout the rest of our time in Madrid, Silvia and Alex had to work at varying times, so we would go off and explore during their work hours, and then meet up with them later.

Some of the things we saw and did in Madrid:
  • Tapas
  • Palacio Real (outside)
  • Plaza Mayor
  • El oso y el árbol
  • Mercardo de Miguel Hernández
  • Met an Asian dude at a small grocery store & talked to him in Spanish to find out where to buy stamps (Mike found this rather hilarious that 2 Asians were speaking speaking Spanish to each other.)
  • Rose Garden
  • Teleférico
  • El Retiro
  • Estadio Bernabéo Tour
  • El Prado Museum
  • Ate asado at an Argentine restaurant (and though of you, Fernando & Kelly)
  • Plaza de toros
  • Rented a car before making our way to Alicante
** As always, you can click on the collage/pic to see a bigger version of it. :)**
    Plaza de toros

    Around Madrid

    Rose Garden

    El Retiro


    Around Madrid

    Precious friends
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    Next stop: Alicante (where I did my study abroad my junior year of high school).