back to school

This was our first week back to work. School starts Tuesday. I am in my fourth week as a student in a certificate program. The classes I teach in public school usually take most of my time but now I have 20 hours of work a week for the class I am taking…until November, then I can add a full Saturday of teaching (for five weeks) to the mix. All the classes are challenging, tremendous work, rewarding and leave me no time to contribute to a blog.

If I’m lucky I’ll find a time to sneak back in.

I will miss reading your posts and creating my own for a few months but I will be back.



stories of resilience from Cambodia and Sri Lanka

This past week I read two books in preparation for my first trip to Cambodia and my sixth visit to Sri Lanka. I highly suggest both.

I try to read first-person stories from a country before I visit. Although both books address profound loss I realize there are many fully positive stories from these countries as well.

First They Killed My Father is an autobiographical story told by a young, well-to-do girl from Phnom Penh who survives the genocide arranged by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979.

Wave recounts the loss of a woman’s family while on vacation in Yala when the 2004 South Asian tsunami struck Sri Lanka.

While both stories are breathtakingly horrific and tragic both women are courageous, determined and resilient despite seemingly insurmountable heartbreak.


weekly photo challenge: contrasts

He looks the same, just less nervous. His smile is more broad. He will now be able to vote in the nation where he has paid taxes and served the country’s citizens for twenty-five years. No more worries about visas before every single trip. Homeland Security will no longer detain him for hours because an agent wrote the wrong code on a travel document. His family will no longer “worry about him getting into some sort of trouble” and if he ever does… his country will help to protect him.

This week my husband became an American citizen. These photos were taken from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where we ended our day of celebration, after a raging summer storm transformed to a calm sunset.