Sunday, September 14, 2014

Waterfalls and Elephant Rides

So I've already mentioned how beautiful Laos is and it truly is gorgeous.

I mean, seriously?? I get to see this view on a daily basis?!

Luang Prabang continually amazes me with its mountains, rivers, and the endless amounts of green growing all around; so how could it ever possibly be any more wonderful here? Well with waterfalls and elephant rides of course!

This weekend my teammates and I hitched a ride on a tuk tuk up to Tat Sae where we imagined we would find a nice little waterfall flowing into a small pond at the bottom. What we got instead was a beautiful cascade of aquamarine waters flowing into pools perfect for swimming. And not just swimming with other people but with elephants! Yes that's right elephants!

Elephants just happen to be one of my favorite animals and so being up close to these beautiful creatures made my heart feel like it was going to burst with joy.

The afternoon was the perfect remedy after an exhausting week of learning Lao and sweating profusely.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Welcome to The LP

Just when you thought the world could not be any more beautiful, you land in Luang Prabang and the world proves you wrong.

It is such a great feeling to finally be in Laos. After a month of living out of a suitcase I am so grateful for a chance to settle down even if I still don't have a house yet. Luang Prabang has already exceeded my expectations in terms of its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. The city is so calm in comparison to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap which is just the way I like it. And though I did have a great time in Cambodia getting to know my practicum students and swinging from trees at ancient ruins, I am thankful to call Laos my new home.

Royal Palace - Phnom Penh Cambodia
Angkor Wat - Siem Reap Cambodia

Sunset over Luang Prabang Laos
"Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?... Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?"

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Rock That is Higher Than I

Have you ever been in love with country you've never been to? Because I am. Have you ever cried over people you haven't even met yet? Because I have. I am already so in love with Laos and the students and people that I will meet that I have grown impatient at the thought that I still have two weeks before I will be there. My time in Colorado has been great but exhausting. Sitting in class from 8-5 has taken a toll on me, but the work has been well worth it. I have also met so many amazing people who are passionate about the same thing I am. I have built friendships with people who will be teaching all over Asia and the Middle East. I've only known them for a couple weeks but they already feel like family. I'm going to miss them all dearly but i'm ready for Laos.

With less than twenty-four hours left in the states my heart has become overwhelmed with emotion. I am both excited yet filled with self-doubt What was I thinking moving to a country I've never been been to, a place that wasn't even on my radar just a few months ago. But as the doubt consumes my thoughts I hold on to the knowledge that I am not going this alone. I have been adequately equipped to do good work and I have my teammates on my side. I also have the care and support of seventy plus other teachers who are preparing to move to Asia as well as friends and family back home.

So tomorrow, self doubt and all, I will take the risk and fly to Asia. I'll spend the next two weeks doing practicum in Cambodia before finally making my way to Laos. I've been warned that this is going to be the most difficult year of my life. And i'm sure it will be and i'm sure my year in Laos will be filled with transitions, hardships, and challenges. But the thought of not going to Laos breaks my heart and scares me more than any trial I may face. I can no longer imagine my life without Laos or my students and i'm not even there yet.


From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

About Tomorrow

So... tomorrow... I can't believe I finally leave tomorrow. I have been waiting since October for this day and time has both flown by and dragged on. But now the day has finally come! 

Tomorrow afternoon I will fly out to Colorado where I will spend a few days in Boulder visiting my cousin and then i'll drive up to Fort Collins where I will be working on my TEFL certification. After a couple weeks of hanging out in the Rockies, me and the rest of the teachers moving to Southeast Asia will fly out to Cambodia and finally to Laos. Needless to say I am way excited! People keep asking me if i'm nervous or sad, but if i'm being honest I don't feel nervous or sad. I am just happy, happy to finally get this adventure started. 

So let's hope i'm ready for this. I have everything packed (except for that inevitable one important thing I will forget but won't remember until i'm boarding the plane), eaten all my favorite American foods, finished my TEFL homework assignments, and spent countless hours with the family and friends I am going to miss so much over the next year. So ready or not, Laos here I come.

all packed! Or so I think..