Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update goulash

Hi! (cough)

But really, I am so much better. Practically completely healed. Just a tiny little leftover cough and some shortness of breath--the worst part is really that I seem to have pulled a muscle on the right side of my torso, which hurts all the time but especially when I move. I feel like maybe I should start keeping that kind of thing to myself ... like I'm starting to get a reputation, here ... but, you guys, bronchitis is a really bad deal, and this muscle thing really hurts. OK, self-pity moment over. Sucking it up, moving it on!

This is my second week back at school post-illness and we've been doing some great things. I pulled "Be the Teacher" out of my old bag of tricks from teaching days in Texas: students broke up into groups and prepared lessons to present to the class. They all did an amazing job with this: we had skits, word games, graphic organizers, a rap (complete with beatboxing students) and lots of good questions sparking group discussions and insights into the text that I hadn't considered before. The question we were debating was: Given all the evil and suffering in the world, is human freedom worth it? What do you think?

Other recent highlights:

  • Voting. Yay! With the help of the diplomatic pouch at the US embassy, civic responsibility has never been so easy. If I meet Craig Ferguson on the street, I will be able to look him in the eye (actually, I will probably giggle like a fangirl. But metaphorically.)
  • Bus pass: checked! During orientation we bought bus passes and the purchase filled me with a great sense of accomplishment. This sense came to full fruition when our passes were checked for the first time last week on the bus on the way to school. I was ready! Here's what happens: during a time when the bus is full but not totally packed, two guys in plainclothes get on the bus. In a longish space between two stops, one guy at the front of the bus and one at the back get out handheld machines to scan the bus passes. Anyone who doesn't have a pass gets off with the guys at the next stop and gets a ticket ( Slovak crowns.) So when you're visiting, be sure you buy your ticket before you get on and validate your ticket on the bus!
  • Travels: this weekend Sean and I are going to KoŇ°ice where I'll be a guest preacher at an international congregation there. The weekend after that we head to Prague for some R&R! We are excited to have the opportunity to get out and see some more of Europe (we've been pretty homebound so far.) We did get a chance to go to Vienna last Friday with the Schicks which was such a treat! We ate wonderful Thai food and Viennese sweets/coffee and got a great overview of the city from our knowledgeable guides. I slept so well that night--it was a great day, fresh air, good food, good company ... (happy sigh.)

Both of my parents are now home from their travels in South Africa (and for my mom, South Africa and Malawi.) They are posting and captioning pictures ... I will give the link as soon as I get the word from them!

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