Tuesday, September 7, 2010


 an update from the penh about us....

things are good.  otterball has been picking up here and there, so paul has been busy with projects.  he spends many days at the gloria jean's coffee shop--drinking coffee and working away.  they all know him now and when we walk in they already start his order----regular iced latte.  it makes me smile that he has a "place" to work and hang out.  other days he stays at home and makes the second bedroom his office.  he has a really creative "desk" that he likes and allows his laptop to cool.  it is Styrofoam packing from our microwave.  he cracks the door, turns up the air con, and leans against the pillows on the bed.  quite the set up, i think.  not to mention he has constant coffee coming from downstairs due to ming, our amazing housekeeper.  she brews him iced vietnamese coffee with sweet milk daily---at least one or two per day.  he is spoiled. 

school is going well.  i love my job and the kids are awesome.  i am blessed to be working with two great guys on my "team".  they both teach grade 5, but we plan the same units of inquiry so we can collaborate and share.  so far, it has been awesome.  we all have fabulous ideas to share and easily think aloud with each other while planning.  one is from england and the other from south africa.  i feel valued and respected here.  my ideas are accepted and thought about.  there is much freedom to do what i truly love and for me that is huge.  it has been such a joy to come to work and know that i don't have to worry about the small stuff.  thank God!  the PYP adjustment can be overwhelming, but i am in line with the philosophy, so it works with me deeply.  i am doing lots of thinking and reflecting which i love and challenges me to do my best work.  it is just wrapping my head around it all and making it happen that can be daunting.  

our apartment is in the final stages of becoming "finished" whatever that really means.  we are trying hard to sort out places and "homes" for the last bits of stuff.  we have a few more pieces of cane furniture to pick up, pictures/art to hang, and the touches that make a home.  i have to go hunting for some lamps, but not sure when that will happen. we are also planning to buy bicycles to poke around our neighborhood a bit more without depending on someone else.  we are so excited about this venture.  once i get a bike, i plan to "pimp" it out with some baskets, plastic covers for them, and a bell.  i am hoping that i can find an orange bike too.  me loves all things orange. 

i have made a few good friends that i can be real with which has been huge for me.  this revelation just happened which has been a blessing.  knowing that i have a friend to hang out with is what i needed.  someone local and that is on the same page--especially with faith--was something i was seeking out.  she also happens to be supporting my ESL kids in the classroom which makes it fun too since we work closely together as well.  good stuff there for sure!

we have started church shopping which has been interesting, full of all kinds of emotions, and lead to some great discussions.  things are different here.  not bad or negative, just different.  pray that we can find a church we can call "home" and be able to connect with some folks in this way.   paul has asked me not to panic, so i am trying not to since we have only been here just over two months.  patience, mandy.

on the artsy front, paul is planning and hoping to buy a guitar today.  we went shopping over the long weekend and wow, i learned a lot just from observing.  you can really "hear" how good a guitar is or not.  it was quite interesting to follow him around.  he found a nice "fender" (looks real, feels real, sounds real, but not sure how "real" it really is) acoustic.  it sounded warm and beautiful.  the only catch was there was no pick up or "electronics".  he is hoping to make it back to a different shop that had lots of stuff and seemed pretty in the know about all things music today to ask if they sell the electronics and if so, do they install.  not sure what will happen, but i am so glad that he is "missing" playing and music.  he hopes to find some gigs around town to play regularly.

as for me, i am still figuring it out.  i am feeling a bit plain these days with more normal hair.  i know hair has nothing to do with ability or anything, but it is this weird thing i deal with.  i have been getting involved with a local stitching group (knitters & crocheters).  it works, but not really filling my creative hole in the way i hoped.  i am thinking about working through the book, the artist's way, again on my own.  i need to be intentional and set up art dates with myself.  i really love photography, so maybe i can make that my outlet.  i just have to get out of the house and do it.....then more importantly do something with the photos.

off to do some planning....


  1. The bicycles sound great. Sound like it is coming together.
    zyou are creative so something will come together.

  2. Seams all is going ok. Hope paul finds a guitar.
    Do some more photos. I really like your pics.