Hi friends! I hope you are all doing well. I heard that I've been missing some very warm temperature at home. If any of you need to escape the heat, you can come visit me in Bogota, where it's usually 65 degrees year round :)
Thank you all for your prayers. I think my Spanish is improving, and we sprayed the bed to get rid of bugs; just pray that they stay away. As of today (Saturday) I've been here a month. I've been so busy it feels like I've been here much longer, and I know this is exactly where God wants me to be. You are all a huge blessing; El Camino Academy would not have a science teacher without your prayers, love and support.
I've been teaching for two weeks now, and most of the kids are great. My biology and physics students are very eager learners. After we did a lab with microscopes, some of the boys in my biology class asked if they could look at more slides during study hall- I was thrilled! My physics students ask lots of questions and keep me on my toes! I could use prayer for my senior class. There's no curriculum; so I've been a little unorganized and disappointed with the work they've been doing. I'm going to talk to them on Monday about my expectations, and hopefully that will help.
Living with my family has been great. They've been very welcoming and helpful. Since August is kite month in Bogotá, last Sunday we went to a park north of the city to fly kites and have a barbecue with their extended family. I enjoyed the grilled corn on the cob, plantains and potatoes with guacamole. I passed on the grilled cow intestines and blood sausage, though.
The weekend before last some of the teachers and I went to Mont Serrat, a mountain surrounding Bogotá with a Catholic church at the top (see picture). It was a great view of the city. I enjoy hanging out with the other teachers because we're all very similar. I praise God for the great community He has created and given me here. This morning Melody (the first grade teacher) and I took a bus to Bogotá's central park to go running. It was beautiful.
Last weekend I also got to see my friend Nancy, who is in Colombia on an educational tour. It was fun to see a good friend and hear about what she's learning.
One of the things I enjoy most here is going to church. If I feel homesick or lonely, church reminds me that God is everywhere and unchanging. I can close my eyes and worship the same God I worship in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, knowing my friends and family there are doing the same. A scripture that has meant a lot to me here is Psalm 121: "I lift up my eyes to the hills- where does my help come from?" Bogotá is surrounded by mountains, so every day I lift up my eyes and remember, "My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. The LORD will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." (vs. 1-2,7-8)