Tropical Touches

I’ve been inspired recently by all the decorating options I have afforded to me because of where I live. The other day I cut some flowers from the yard and made bouquet below. Unfortunately I don’t know much about plants, so I’m going to have to call the neighborhood jardinero soon to give me some advice and direction so they don’t shrivel and die. But for now, we’re enjoying their lovely bright colors.

Last week we bought a set of two bamboo chairs for our living room. They are made by a Dominican man at the base of Julia Alvarez’s coffee farm. He doesn’t use any nails or glue--only cuts and fits the pieces together and laces the back with a few copper strands for stability. Then he burns the wood to give it a nice finish. Isn’t his work amazing?!

Finally, I was inspired by all the bamboo in this country, so I’m starting a Lost-esque mural on our blue accent wall. I haven’t gotten too far yet, but hopefully it will give the feel that we have bamboo trees growing in our living room.


turning over a new leaf...we'll see

Ok, so I'm beginning to realize that I'm really bad at this whole blogging thing. I feel like there are two types of bloggers in this world- those who update theirs every few days or weekly at least, and those who (like me) forget their blog for months at a time and have to return to it, dust it off, crack it open, and resurrect it from the shelf. It's ironic that my professional career primarily consists of reading and writing and teaching kids to love both, yet I myself am horrible at updating my own online narrative. As I look at friends' highly engaging and regularly updated blogs, I'm inspired to attempt to turn over a new leaf and actually USE mine- to post pics, share student writing and hilarious classroom moments, and debrief on life on a more regular basis. Of course at this point I'm sure my fan club has seriously dwindled due to my lack of discipline.

I'll start with the basic update...
Tim and I have finally found a beautiful home and are beginning to settle into life here. We're really loving it.

School is a blast, the kids are phenomenal, we have fun new friends, Tim goes on sweet trips for "work", I read quality middle school literature and write alongside my students, and we get around on a motorcycle...well, to be honest it's more like a glorified scooter. But really, can we complain? I haven't learned to drive it yet, but I'm really hoping to soon!

The Lord has been teaching us so much about each other in this new place. I'm seeing how oftentimes when Tim hurts my feelings and asks for forgiveness, I hold a grudge because I feel like he needs to work to earn back my favor. I've seen recently just how contrary that really is to the gospel. I've sensed the Lord just reminding me that He wants to be the one to heal me in any hurt or any pain. Tim's job is not to make me feel better or "fix" it. That's really not what a relationship based on grace and forgiveness should be built on. Gulp.

Tim and I head out this Monday on a 5-day viaje with our 8th grade students. We will be leading them on an intense backpacking trip up Pico Duarte, the Caribbean's highest peak at 10,164 feet (before you mock it, friends back in La Paz, just remember that we are starting at sea level!). Pray that it's a rich time for the kids. Pray that we lead them well. Pray for safety and unity among the 10 students who will be going. Most of all, pray that the Lord really speaks personally to all our hearts and woos students to Himself.