Thursday, September 30, 2010

My mom sent this link to me today... it's so true. God has the answer. Sometimes it's not the answer we want, but we need to follow his plan. He knows what's before us and has a much greater perspective. Trust, trust, trust. We constantly try to take back control of our own lives, follow our own plans, live for ourselves. Trust in God's 'yes', and trust in God's 'no.' I rediscover each day how difficult it is... the call to go, the call to wait for what I want... but God is faithful, and he blesses us so much each day. When we open our lives and give up control, he knows exactly where to take us.

God Bless.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Birthday in Honduras!

This weekend was great! Yes, I'm now one year older, wiser, more experienced in life, etc. But besides that I had the opportunity to meet so many new people this weekend and be blessed by some of the amazing people here! Homemade cinnamon rolls and cinnamon bread were on the menu for breakfast! Then a Skype date with those I love back home as I opened a package that had been sent. The afternoon was filled with Yoga and basketball. Saturday evening was a fiesta here at the apartments for the 5 people who have birthdays within a week and a half of each other. It was great: tacos, friends, friends of friends, games and dessert (and lots of it)! Our apartment was packed with around 50-60 people! We started at 4:30 and people stayed until 11:30ish. (For us teachers that's pretty late!) Needless to say, I was a bit tired on Sunday, but had a great start to the week today. Despite the fact that it was raining and half my classes had to be in the classrooms... it went fairly well. I just pray it doesn't rain tomorrow... I'll have to start getting creative with indoor lessons! It's a lot more difficult to be active with desks and chairs in the way.

Good night and God bless!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Basketball Cancelled due to... RAIN!

Unfortunately, our first 2 basketball games have been cancelled due to rain! I don't think I've ever experienced that in the states before! Thursday we loaded the bus with the Infantil (7th-8th grade) boys team and headed to Del Campo. They have two courts so we could play at the same time, but... they're outside and were covered with water. As we waited and someone started to sweep water off an incredibly slippery court, the rain started to fall again. We decided to postpone the game to a later date. Meanwhile, the bus driver had dropped us off and left! It's normal that one drops us off and another picks us up. However, we couldn't get another bus driver right away so we hung out at Del Campo for an hour and a half! The players totally made the most of it. I taught them the tip drill, we did some ball handling, and then they started a boys vs. girls game on the wet court. Today, there was forecasted a tropical storm to hit this morning in the city. The school we were going to play cancelled yesterday and our athletic director decided to cancel practices as well so that the students in the city didn't have to travel. I'm not sure what the weather is like down there... but here on the mountain we've had rain almost all morning. It's just starting to stop. It doesn't seem too bad- just overcast. We'll see! The weather here changes so quickly sometimes!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blessed are the flexible...

"Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape." ~Brother Teddy Turrentine

I first heard this play on the Beatitudes when I traveled to Guatemala for a week the summer after high school. It's true. How many times do we get all bent out of shape because we wanted things to go the way we had them planned? The reason this came to mind was because yesterday.... let me tell you the story:

5:45am- BEEEEEEEP..... BEEEEEEEEP. Smack as I shut off my alarm clock and roll out of bed. I get myself ready, have some fabulous leftover baked oatmeal for breakfast as I do my devotions, and then off to school.

6:55am- Teacher devotions this morning were in 3B. Every Tuesday we rotate classrooms among the elementary school to pray for each class specifically. Mr. Osberg greats us with a smile, and then the news that a tree fell over the road that goes up the mountain. The one the bus drivers take up and the buses take down... and neither had gotten thru. It was going to be a long morning.

7:20am- The teachers go to their own classrooms and I head out to the playground to help supervise the students who arrived at the normal time because they live in the neighborhood.

8:30am- Still playing soccer, basketball, jumprope, etc. So we give them a drink and snack break.

9:00am- Still playing.

9:30am- Still playing. Buses finally start to arrive.

10:00am- School begins... 2.5 hours late. :)

Needless to say, it was a long day for everyone. We have 2 hour delays in the states, but that usually means we get to sleep in. Teachers were able to get some grading done before school, but most of the kids were waiting around for a couple hours and several didn't come to school once the buses were able to pick them up.

So, moral of the story: be flexible, and make the most of whatever circumstance you're in. I was able to cherish over 2 hours of free time with students, getting to know them better and having fun. You never know what will be thrown in your path today. Enjoy it and glorify God through it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Day

Another day,
another week,
more to say,
more to speak,
as I teach,
may I learn,
as I reach,
may I yearn,
not what's brief,
or on earth,
but for relief,
and new birth,
only God
can provide,
as I trod
by his side.
to you Lord
I give this day,
with your word,
enrich my way.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Thank you Phrene for taking our engagement pictures! Here's a few of them!

Valle de Angeles

This is an update from last weekend! We went to a place called Valle de Angeles, it's a tourist trap sort of town with tons of shops, restaurants, etc. I got my hammock there a few weeks ago. Last weekend we went with a bus full of teachers for the day. It was so much fun to spend time with people outside of school in such a relaxing atmosphere. We shopped around, had some coffee (never get iced... it's over half ice), looked through the shops, ate some lunch (I had amazing chicken shish kabobs). I don't have a ton of pictures, but thought you all might like to see what it's like. :)

The beautiful green countryside.All the teachers on the ALP bus! Love them!Testing out the hammock. Trying on some dresses! (No, I didn't get it)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dia de Independencia

Today was independence day in Honduras! I spent the day having a wonderful brunch with a group of teachers at my apartment, laying in the sun reading a book, playing volleyball and soccer, and making tacos with homemade shells! It was a great day to relax and catch up.

Yesterday was our big celebration at school. It started with an assembly and Pre-K and Kinder parade. Then a short recess and the younger kids went to the older kids rooms for a presentation and authentic Honduran food (which I ate more than enough of). It was a lot of fun! The kids loved the day. They were allowed to dress in jeans and blue shirts instead of their uniforms or in traditional Honduran clothes. Most of the younger kids did, while the older kids wore jeans. They were absolutely adorable!

I didn't have any classes yesterday because of the crazy schedule. It was great to go in and out of all the classrooms, talk to the kids and take pictures. Overall, the day was a huge success. A little crazy, because so much was going on, but it was great to get away from the routine for a day and mix it up. I took a TON of pictures and hope to have them on FB soon.

As for now, school tomorrow... if only every week could have a day off in the middle... :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One month...

I started this blog one month UNTIL the move... now it's been one month SINCE the move. Some days go fast, some go slow... but in all honesty, it's hard to believe that it's already been a month! And, here I am, sitting in my room, in my hammock, itunes on shuffle (currently listening to Christmas music)... reflecting on the day, the week, the month.

The day in review: a typical day, got up around 5:45-6, cereal for breakfast, teacher devotions at 6:55, morning duty, where I watch the kids outside until they go in at 7:20, then a day of teaching, 6 classes today. My first hour Pre-K was the best! They put a smile on my face. If you're feeling sad, teach a 5 year old how to jump rope. :) Adorable! After school, basketball practice from 3-5, a skype date with my best friend, then a little dinner and social time with my housemates, and now relaxation.

The week in review: from bad, to worse, to better, to great. I was tired on Monday and had 7 classes, all of which did not behave. I ended the day more tired than I had started. Tuesday I was already behind, not motivated, emotionally strained and physically exhausted. Recipe for disaster as a teacher. Wednesday I overslept my alarm, cut my finger preparing my lunch, and broke down in my office before classes even started. I asked God to bless me somehow... to see the beauty in the gray. And he did. He sent me a little boy in my Pre-K class to light up my morning and turn my week around. This little boy was doing push ups along with the rest of the class and started counting out loud. His counting surpassed the amount of pushups he did by at least double, but he counted all the way to 46 with few mistakes and only asking me what came after 39. Quite the feat for Pre-K. :) The rest of the class finished after counting to 10 or 12, I was handing out jump ropes, and he was still trucking along, laying on the ground and pushing himself back up again with his butt in the air, "treintidos, treintitres..." (32, 33). It's amazing how God answers prayers when you are open to listening for his voice. Sometimes he speaks loud and clear, other times it's in the innocence of a child counting. From there the day got better and better. As a teacher, you come to find out that most of the time, it's your attitude and energy that sets the mood for the class. If you're having a bad day, the only way to make it better is to change your attitude, muster up some more energy, and pray. After school yesterday I taught aerobics for teachers. (Every Mon/Fri:5:15am, Wed:5:15pm) Then, to my surprise, an invitation to play volleyball! The athletic director had found a club team playing in Tegucigalpa. I wasn't sure if I was going to play or just watch... when we got there, they were warming up for a scrimmage and told me to start warming up with them! It was sweet! Most of them knew English and wanted to practice. I spoke Spanish and they spoke English! It was great to get back on the court again! Of course it was different hearing "fuera" instead of "out" and calling "voy" or "mio" instead of mine, but the girls were so much fun. I hope to play more with them. The league is free, I just have to get transportation to the city.

So, I was going to add a month in review... but this post is getting long, and we all know that if something is too long we start to skim. :) Plus, it's getting late, and no one wants a tired aerobics instructor!

Buenos noches! Dios se beniga!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Los Ninos

The best part of my job is teaching the Pre-Kinder and Kinder! They are adorable! I've discovered that I have more patience with the younger children... they're so innocent, who can blame them when they do the opposite of what you say! :) ha! (You're probably thinking, "just wait 'til you're a mom.") Anyway, they are a blessing to me. I am also able to teach them in Spanish! It took them a couple of classes to understand my accent, and it took me a couple of classes to remember how to teach in Spanish! But, now, it's amazing! I love teaching them to skip and jump rope. And it's so great when their faces light up because they learned something new, like how to "salta como estrella!" (jump like a star) Then, after they've been doing the activity as hard as they can (because little kids don't pace themselves, they go all out all the time), you can see the tired look on their faces and sweat beaded on their forehead, "Miss, estoy cansada!" or "Estoy sudando!" (I'm tired! or I'm sweating!) I can't help but smile! Then at the end of class, they all wave and say "Thank you Miss DeYoung! Adios!" as they go back to class. I usually get a bunch of hugs from every class- they are so loving and excited about life. They are my first class of the day and they put me in a good mood.They are so precious!

The Hammock

"The hammock is a fabric sling suspended between two points, used for swinging, sleeping, or resting. It normally consists of one or more cloth panels, or a woven network of twine or thin rope stretched with ropes between two firm anchor points such as trees or posts. Hammocks were developed by native inhabitants of tropical regions for sleeping. Later, they were used aboard ships by sailors to enable comfort and maximize available space, and by explorers or soldiers traveling in wooded regions. Today they are popular around the world for relaxation; they are also used as a lightweight bed on camping trips. The hammock is often seen as symbol of summer, leisure, relaxation and simple, easy living." (Wikipedia)

All I know, that whoever invented the hammock was a genius! I got a hammock last weekend, and I sit in it every day!!! It's so relaxing and so comfortable! Mine is in my room, next to the open window, breeze coming in, rocking back and forth... I haven't tried to sleep in it yet, but I'm feeling pretty tired right now...............................

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Basketball Season!

Season has started! I'm coaching 7th-8th graders and I have 6 girls on my team so far... praying that more come and none leave. The first day was a lot of review, getting back into the game, and getting to know the girls. So far, practice is a lot of ball handling, passing, and shooting. We're going over a lot of basics. Today we started to talk more about offense and defense. I have 2 girls who have never played before and they are getting better every day! We practice Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Friday is our fitness day. Because there's only 2 courts and 5 teams, each team has a fitness day once a week.

I'm realizing that it's the little things in life that make the difference. The reason I say this is because I had one of my girls say to me after practice, "I am really liking basketball so far." When we were all done, she gave me a hug at the end of practice! It took me off guard because I had been frustrated with this girl's lack of effort earlier in the practice and the whole team had to run because of it! Lesson learned: you never know when you may be touching someone's life in a positive (or negative) way. It was a great encouragement that I am blessing these girls- even when they don't do what I expect!