Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Wide World

It's no secret that I love teaching internationally. I truly, truly love the experiences for myself and now for Sojo. Having been abroad for 19 years now, I've bee-bopped around the world enough to have met lovely people on many continents. And although our lives are more transient than most, there are so many people who have made an impact on our lives. This little girl was a friend of ours in Shanghai, and she and Sojo look so much alike (seriously--this is like a power punch of cuteness!) and they both talk incessantly and are both such spunky little beings. Her family was in town this weekend, so we met up with them to lounge by their hotel pool and catch up on the last two years of life and such.

And, then, just as I am talking to Kimbra, I look up to see a woman staring at me in disbelief. It was another friend from ten years ago when we worked in Cameroon together. Her mom was my director and a good, good woman who nurtured many of us in that challenging place.

Maybe it is the transient lifestyle that brings those of us with the vagabond lifestyle together so tightly. Either way, I am always grateful for the three degrees of separation we say we have overseas.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

This photo sums up Christmas 2011 in our household--Sojo got lots more stuff to hang off or strap to her body. In looking at this photo, I realize that she has now switched from holding random things in her hand to hanging random things off her body. Perhaps she realized she needs to use her hands more as she gets older? Such a funny child.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Family Reunion, 21st Century

We had a lovely chat with the whole family on Skype this morning. I can barely remember life before the joys of Skype, travelling in South America and searching for a public phone to pay gobs of money on Christmas day only to have a bad connection to chat with the family for a few minutes.

I love how much joy shows in this photo. We are so blessed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Beautiful Bali

We headed off to Bali for five days at the start of our holiday break. I had been to Bali about 11 years ago (note: the perfect place to visit as a woman travelling alone) and loved it. Bali has such a wonderful feel to it: the smells of clove cigarettes and sandalwood incense, coupled with amazingly friendly people and tiny offerings littering the streets make it a beautifully peaceful country. Even their way to say hello, Om Swastiastu, means wishing someone peace. We lounged by the pool, caught up with old friends and visited the artsy city of Ubud.

Ubud has a sacred monkey forest that is filled with very hungry and somewhat cheeky monkeys. I had told Sojo stories of when I went there and the monkeys freaked me out enough that I just threw the whole lot of bananas at them and ran the other way. Well, that part didn't change one bit in all this time--the monkeys were still on the slightly ferocious side and freaked us all out.

Back in Bangkok now for Christmas and some down time before Dale's mom arrives on the 27th. Lots of lounging in our future...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunset Serendipity

It was one of those nights where both Dale and I had left something at school AND we needed to get to the grocery store before it closed AND Sojo was close to falling asleep. We jumped in the golf cart to take care of things and came upon this amazing sunset in our neighborhood. Normally, we are inside at that time getting ready for bed and tidying up. Who knew we were missing such gorgeousness?

I heart serendipity.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gather 'Round

Guess who got her own red ukelele? It's the perfect size, the perfect color, and oh, how gorgeous it looks hung on the turquoise wall. She's been plucking away on it, and Dale is teaching her some songs.

The other night, she was downstairs and called up to us, "Come on guys, gather round the Christmas tree!" We turned the corner to find that she had placed three stools around the tree. If that wasn't adorable enough, she then proceeded to serenade us with Jingle Bells on the ukelele. Oh, it was cute. So very cute. This girl has such spunk. No worries, mom. Video is next.

One more Christmas story to never forget...Last night in bed, she called out, "Is Santa friends with God?" I know exactly her thought process--she's been puzzled about these important people who can see her when she doesn't see them. I get that. It is a little bit freaky.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Blast Off!

Today's rocket building extravaganza was a huge hit! Dale had a vision of all sorts of rocket extras (very Dale to think this way), but Sojo opted for only the shell of a rocket. For the time being, he had to shelve his ideas of wings and boosters, but it was worth it watching her spend hours decorating the inside and outside of the rocket with markers and stickers. Friends came over later, and they all sat in it and decorated some more. Rolled-up placemats became maps of outer space, and the brilliant idea arose that she could sleep in the rocket tonight.

She is settling into the rocket bed as I write this, a bit giddier than usual but in her words, "This is going to be a blast. Like camping!"