Thursday, March 31, 2011

Loving Lovely Laos

I know it's been a while, we have so much to catch up on! I guess I will start with a quick recap:

We had a wonderful and very emotional farewell to our school. For all the the struggles we endured we did have an incredible time and created friendships and memories that will last-well for as long as we can remember them (I say this since Graham's memory is starting to go :) ) The school had a nice going-away dinner and big party for us. Saying goodbye to Tagan, James, Dick, Sasi, Katie,  Jessica, and all of our students was sooooo hard. I held it together when the entire first grade class started bawling, I figured they are too young to remember us in a few years anyways. But when my favorite class, a 4th grade class, started sobbing uncontrollably, I totally lost it. There are a couple kids in that class in particular that I really felt close to. I hope that they have wonderful lives, and I hope to see them again, who knows? I can only hope. It did mean a lot to know that we have made a positive impact on so many kids though. I always had fun teaching (except for one infamous class, which ironically enough ended up being one of my favorite classes!) but saying goodbye really made me realize what an experience it had been. I miss those kids already. It is difficult to describe the intense emotion that I felt, but it was very unexpected and heavy. When James and Tagan (Jamen) showed up at our place so we could all bus to Bangkok together, I was crying, wandering around looking for our cat like a madwoman. It was hard to say bye to Angel and Mr. T too. I felt so guilty leaving them and hope they survive and are happy :) Thank goodness Jamen was there when we said our final goodbyes, because just being around them makes me happy, and I had to hold myself together!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quick Update - More Coming Soon!

We finished teaching two weeks ago, and waved an emotionally mixed goodbye to our cats, the kids, the school, the little town that has harbored us for the last 5 months. Tears were shed, although I won't say by whom.

We haven't had a lot of time on the internet since leaving, but have had some amazing adventures, and discovered two of our top three favorite places in Asia so far. Our next stop is Vang Vieng, Laos, where we should have a lot of down time to catch up on the blog front, so check back soon!

Miss everyone and tons of love to our family and friends!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Scuba Diving on Koh Tao!!!!!!!!!

Last month we spent 9 days on the islands of Southern Thailand and checked another item off of our bucket list, namely, we are now certified scuba divers! Scuba diving is something I have been interested in since high school, when I volunteered at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory and did some pool training there. I was so excited to get certified (Thailand is one of the best places in the world to do it) and Graham jumped right on board, and ended up loving it! We both dove into (pun intended) a new life-long passion, and cannot wait to live more life under the sea. So, I guess I should start at the beginning...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our weekend with Jaman

We had the most amazing last weekend in Dan Chang with our friends James and Tagan. We hung out with them on Friday at the bar (and witnessed a huge fight-drama OMG! lol) and heard about their trip to Burma, and a bit about the politics of the country. It is always a treat to be able to spend time with them, Graham and I both agree they are two of the coolest people we have ever met! (Click on the picture above to see more pictures!)

What We'll Miss

Our last weekend in Dan Chang! I can't believe our time is almost up! Our experience has been amazing, horrible, life-changing, life-affirming, challenging, rewarding and chaotic. As our time in Dan Chang comes to a close, I keep noticing myself feeling more sentimental than I have the last couple of months. Actually, I feel like I am seeing this place in the eyes I had when we first got here, and not when we were in the thick of teaching and all the confusion and frustrations that came along with that. It is interesting to examine my thought processes throughout our time here, and how they have changed, remained the same, or come full circle. It sure has been a trip! And we are going to take away so much with us. I know as time goes by we will continue to remember our time here in a sweeter and sweeter way, and there are a number of things I am going to miss the moment we leave!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Epic Trip

Year of the Rabbit :)
So... one more week of teaching and we are off!!! Natalie and I are so soooo SOOO you-can't-even-describe-how-much excited to finish up here and get started on our travels!!!! The reason we havn't done more posts lately is because there hasn't been much to say. Actually there is one huge juicy story, but we need to wait till we finish teaching to go into detail about it....apetite whetted??? It should be.... :)

I wanted to give you a link to the maps that we are almost finished putting together though so that you can see and hopefully comment on our trip. Anyone who is traveling this area - let us know when our paths are crossing so we can meet up! Anyone who has been to these areas before - please let us know if we are missing something!! Anyone sitting at work with internet access and too much time on their hands - help us plan!! :) Seriously if you have any interest in the above options email me at, and I would love to send you an invite so that you can edit our maps.

Without further ado, here they are. We miss everyone a ton, and cant wait to meet up with our friend here and especially return to family and friends in the states a few months from now. The countdown begins!

South East Asia in 2 Months Map

India in 2 Weeks Map
Sadly we are never going to be able to do all of this, so help us narrow it down! We are thinking about cutting out all the northern stuff....

The Philippines in 2 Weeks Map
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