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Graceful movement

Graceful movement

As I laid quietly, I began to feel something under my hands, something with hardness and warmth. I tried to feel my abdomen but it was no longer there. There was movement, an undulating, left, right, left, right. I tried to figure out what I felt. It wasn’t a horse, but it had that type of rhythm and movement to it. But the shoulder blades were different, more pronounced, a different angle. The gait was different, but similar. As I let my mind wander, I realized I was no longer lying down, but rather, sitting up and riding a still-unknown animal.

As I quickly ran through several animals it could be in my mind, I heard, “Just look down”. And there, below me was a magnificent and lustrous giraffe. Her long, strong neck was just ahead of me. I looked down past her shoulders, past her neck, to watch the ground move smoothly under me. Graceful.   She was so elegant and graceful. As she bent down to get a drink she told me to scoot further back that I shouldn’t fall forward onto her neck.

I marveled at the course, yet thick soft hair, at the beautiful angles of each spot on her, and the strength that was so obvious with each movement she made. She raised her head and I hugged her neck as we continued on. I felt her smile.

A piece of my soul that had fled during my time in Mozambique was found.

Before my beautiful spirit animal sent me back into this reality, she nuzzled my face and neck. She let me feel her face and we saw each other.

I came quietly back into consciousness with such a peaceful feeling of strength.

It has been 6 weeks today since I was brutally attacked. Each day brings more healing, more strength, more resolve, and more opportunities. I am grateful for the journey that I am on now. I am grateful for my strength. I am grateful for friends who support and encourage me.

And for those still struggling with what to say, or not to say, ask, or not to ask, it’s all ok. Do or say what you are comfortable with. I am fine. I am strong. I have many more wonderful stories of my travels than the one of a pathetic little man with an abusive mentality.

There are so many more stories of times with friends, trips to beautiful places, teaching beautiful children, and the wonderment of new places. I have had an incredible last 3.5 years and plan to have many more travel stories in the future. I can’t give up the travel bug. I’m already beginning the processes for next spring. I love being out there in the world.

I need to write still about the situation, how I see the situation, etc. I need to write it, to let it not dictate my future. Much of what I will write will be to have a final send off, a sort of farewell. It’s one thing to free yourself of the emotional attachment to these traumatic situations, but you also have to let go of the story, stop retelling the story in your head. And for me, I stop retelling it in my head, if I write it on here.

And I can hold on to the stories I want as I write them on here. Who knows, maybe someday I could forget about the dream with the giraffe, except now that I have written it, it becomes more deeply etched in my memory.

Life is really good. In the words of Kid President, “Go be Awesome!”

 

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Teachin and Day Trippin

A little bit of my life here on Ilha. This is my local super market. You’ll notice the large array of items to choose from does not include any Mari safe chocolate…. I’m taking any forms of said safe chocolate at the address given previously. Preferred forms include dove and lindt, but I’ll take anything dark.

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Last week the top of the branches were barely visible because of the flooding.
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My three auditing students. They sit outside the classroom and repeat everything I say in class. Too cute.
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Some local day to day meanderings.

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I’ve always known I would be published someday haha, but I think I’ve taken self publishing to its extreme.
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And now for some pics from my morning at the little island fort.

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Measuring cups

Measuring cups

Who knew that measuring cups were going to be so difficult to find?   People still cook don’t they?  In Taiwan and now in Turkey there are no measuring cups to be found…..

I have searched high and low.

I would kill someone for some measuring cups. 

I can’t find any here…… no body apparently makes things that require measuring 

ok, I wouldn’t actually kill anyone 

for that

I just want to make a cake without guesstimating

That’s all I want

Ok

I want a little more than that……

Like………  sleep, perfectly behaved students that are eager willing sponges, a massaging chair that reclines and rolls away the stresses of the day, a hot tub, to not have my fingernails get caught on everything, a magic quiet button, endless supplies of stickers,

But seriously….  Measuring cups are SO useful!

Besides their obvious use in measuring flour, sugar, butter, etc,  You can use them as……

Pencil holders, decorations, drinking cups even… planters, fake Chinese cupping cups, gravy containers…

And apparently my wish for measuring cups is about as grantable as the magic quiet button here.

So, I will bake, oh will I bake!  But I make no guarantees on how it will turn out.

Eat at your own risk around here people.

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A Countdown of Me

As we head into the end of the year, here’s a countdown, feel free to use the same topics and add your own list of things.

AND   This is apparently my 200th post!   Wow  🙂  cool

Day 8, done,   I have no idea what happened to the formatting, but I have other things to do today, so there it is.

Ten Things I Wish I Could Say to Ten Different People Right Now:

1~ Listen to yourself, seriously.
2~ Bastard, you f$%&ing bastard, WTF?
3~ I wish we could be friends, I miss your friendship.
4~ It would be nice if you could act like the adult you’re supposed to be.
5~ I didn’t really mean it when I said I don’t believe in it any more.
6~ Family doesn’t mean carpet.
7~ Thank you.
8~ I’m sorry if I haven’t made you feel like I’m there for you.  I really am.
9~ Believe in yourself.  You are a fantastic person.
10~ Wear your smile more often, your soul shines through your eyes when your lips smile.


Nine Things about Myself
:

1~ I’m scared more than I should be, I worry about more than I should
2~ I’m really smart. I didn’t even realize how smart until I began school and started listening to people who are more “educated” than me, then wonder how it was they got so far ahead of me and still be stupid.
3~ I’m not very good at sticking to a schedule for several weeks, then I can get it, but it takes a while…
4~ I am finding it very difficult to do school/ homework at home
5~ I didn’t ask enough questions at the beginning, what was I thinking???
6~ I love to paint,  I just need to learn how now.
7~ I really am addicted to Grey’s Anatomy
8~ I like life clean and uncomplicated, but my life does not work out that way.  It would seem the more I try to un-complicate my life  the bigger the next complication is
9~ I procrastinate by doing internet stuff


Eight Ways to Win My {Friendship} Heart
:

1~ Realize that I will give you anything I can, use that whenever you need it, but never take advantage of it. Whether we just met or we’ve known each other for years, when I call you friend you have found a little pocket in my heart where I will keep you safe.  Don’t abuse my friendship, I won’t abuse yours.

2~ Be understanding, I am pulled in so many directions all the time

3~ Be honest, I will be honest with you
4~ Come cook with me, it’s one of my favorite things to do
5~ I will always do my best to keep my word,  do the same for me, let me know I can count on you
6~ Keep in contact, (I’m really bad at this, I need your help)

7~Let me share in the things you like to do, I love getting to learn new things and spending time with friends whenever I can

8~ Talk to me, I spend a lot of time alone, even when I’m with people, I get caught up in my head, talk to me so that we can share

Seven Things that Cross My Mind a Lot:

1~ What do I have to do next

2~ Crap I forgot to do that too

3~ I have so much f*%$@ing work to do

4~ Have I eaten yet?

5~ I wish I could sleep

6~ Is there time to take a nap?

7~ What do I have to do tomorrow?

Six Things I do Before I Fall Asleep:

1~ Shower, Brush teeth

2~ Take sleeping pills if around

3~ turn on alarm clock even though I know I’ll be awake before it goes off

4~ Climb in bed, realize I forgot to pee, climb out of bed, pee, climb back in bed (why does this happen every night?)

5~ put in earplugs and put eye mask on head, something about hearing my own breathing over the sounds of the street outside is helpful

6~ play solitaire on my phone until my eyes can’t focus, position eye mask

Five People Who Mean a Lot:

1~ My kids, all of them equally

2~ My mamma

3~ My co-workers

4~ All my friends and my housemates from Taiwan

5~ My dad

Four Things I would ask for if I could ask for anything and get it:

1~ my school loans paid off

2~ have a guarantee that I could see all my children twice a year, once where they are, once where I am

3~ to have a year to not have any work/ school obligations and get my self caught up, work on art, writing…….  Time to just heal myself

4~ clean drinking water for everyone everywhere

Three Songs I Listen to Often or 3 bands/artists:

1~ Caravanserai, Loreena McKinnet

2~ Waka Waka, Shakira

3~ Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson

Two Things I Want to Do Before I Die:

1~ Use my passport as often as possible

2~ Find the love of my life

One Confession:

I used to think about giving up more than I ever let on.

 

A little bit of Turkey

A little bit of Turkey

I have been able to get around on 3 different modes of public transportation plus the ever useful taxi. I have my new awesome PT card and a few routes down now. I miss my scooter more than I can articulate here, but I’m looking in to it already. I like getting myself around.

But here are a few photos of the places I have gotten to this last 10 days.


Apparently everyone, children included eat lunch on these nice table cloths, family style, at my new school. Glad I don’t have to do the laundry.


Just happened to get off the metro as the sun was going behind the mosque! Lucky beautiful shot.


My first Pretty Woman shopping spree, got 4 new outfits and 3 pairs of shoes!

A Catholic church we were taken to as part of a small tour of the city.


And then a trip to the mosque!


Wasn’t quite sure if I had it on correctly, but they let me in, so I must have. No shoes, head covered, long skirt, check. TOTALLY worth it. Stunning inside.

Amazing architecture


A staircase up to one of the towers


Friends make everything better


A few stickers from the stationary shop for helping to teach emotions….. I thought they were pretty cute.


One more week before students begin school.

I miss a lot of people, but mostly my family Sven, Mike, Cori, David, Jean, and Sheri. I love my friends, even though I may not call or write nearly as much as I should, you are in my thoughts daily. Sincerely you are.

I found a good German app so I’m studying that in the evenings and trying to pick up a little Turkish as I go throughout my days…..  Off to another day in Turkey!!

 

 

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Adana, so far so good

Adana, so far so good

I’ve been here for 6 days now. Luckily I have not experienced too much jet lag thanks to sleeping most of the flight time to get here and a full 9 hours after arriving. I seriously slept 20 out of 25 hours; not sure how I managed it, but I did. Me, the non-sleeper. I am back to my well too known insomnia now, but no jet lag, so…..

Wendi arrived safe and sound and with taking her shopping for all the apartment basics, I have managed to go shopping 5 times in 6 days. Also a probable record since I generally hate shopping.

I work for a fantastic company! I can’t believe how well-treated we all are by them. It is wonderful to feel appreciated as a teacher and a new comer. Thank you Nacel!!

My apartment is really cute.


I think I’m going to change the color scheme in the bedroom, but since it was all here when I arrived, it’s good enough for now!!

I need a desk and some shelving too, but all in good time.

When I arrived I found a little care package from the school!!


Along with water, tea, coffee, juice, bread, and all kinds of goodies in the fridge. Amazeballs.

I’m on the 6th floor, so here’s some of my view.


The school English Department Head Teacher brought us to her place and fed us homemade wonderful traditional Turkish food, then let us play at her apartment’s pool.


I finally found soy milk here, but before I did, I was SO excited to find a Starbucks and get to have my Grande Soy Hazelnut Latte. I think I might start taking photos of me and Starbucks everywhere I go! Thank you for consistency Starbucks. Sincerely.


A Burger King ice cream only kiosk in the middle of the mall……. Ok Turkey, sure, why not.


This is some kind of “meat” made with bulgur. Apparently this little spicy meat wrapped in lettuce used to be made with raw meat. I’m grateful it is not anymore, but it was tasty as is.


Yes, I did a little happy dance right there in the store. Transformers individual packages of honey, with Bumblebee as the front man. I was smiling like a 2 year old with new light up shoes.


Statue in front of the local hospital.


Last night we went out for traditional Adana Kebap’s. Ummmmm freaking delicious. They made a great effort to decide which things I could and couldn’t eat, awesome. Great night now that all the teachers are here and we all went out together. Thanks again to Nacel and Final for making this first week the best first week of any teaching job so far!!

Food is served family style here as well, so yippeeeee!! Let’s dig in!


I didn’t get to eat the pasta, but it seemed to be quite good.


The traditional Adana Kebap. So, fun fact, Kebap’s or Kebab’s as we know them in the States, were first made here in Adana.


And, Ayran, a thinned out yogurt with added salt to make it a salty, foamy, not even slightly phallic in presentation, popular drink in all of Turkey.


After we’d eaten enough food for a football team, the manager (whose son attends our school) brought this down telling us it was more meat dishes especially chosen by his son for us.


Turned out it was a very (I’ll take their word for it) yummy sweet desert of wheat, ice cream, pistachios, and honey.


They brought me three slices of sweet spiced pickled pumpkin that tasted like eating pumpkin pie! Yum.


I’m off for my first day at school!!! And in just a few hours, all three of my children will be starting their first days of college! It’s a school day all around for Team McKahsum!!

 

Maleficent was magnificent!

Maleficent was magnificent!

Wow. Just wow. I loved it. I won’t spoil it because you should go see it if you haven’t already, but I will repeat, wow.

 

Well done Disney.

 

 
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Posted by on 08/06/2014 in art, movies

 

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Spring Weather in Taiwan

It’s a rainy season FOR SURE


I forgot my rain slicker at school this morning. I had to text my co-teacher and tell her I was on my way in but had to wait for a break in the rain. It was POurInG.

My school is about 8 blocks from my house and the weather gets there about 2 min before it gets to me. The sheets of raining were beginning to subside, slightly and just as I was getting my bags ready to put on my scooter I get a text back from her: GO! Go NOW! With this cute pic

Yeah, the weather is that crazy! For three days now there is beautiful sunshine for 5 min, crazy wind for 10 min, dark skies with no rain for 5 min, sprinkles for 5 min, and then torrential downpour for 5 – 10 min. The cycle repeats with or without the sunshine.

It’s good in that the rain takes some of the heat away and you can plan the quick trips outside for the 5 min of no rain/ light sprinkles. However, driving to work, well anywhere for that matter, in the torrential downpour pretty much sucks.

courtesy of Taipei Times

It’s actually a pretty nice time of the year.

The flowers are beautiful and the fruits on the fruit trees are beginning to taking shape. The streets look clean, when they’re dry. The sewer smell is not permeating. And the days when it’s not raining are gorgeous!

 

Now, if my allergies would just go away. But, they won’t and so I resign myself to be sniffling, sneezing, wheezy, coughing and happy.

 

 

 

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The picture post I’ve been promising

The picture post I’ve been promising

The Best Saturday Fundraiser I’ve ever been to!

Great Job Minke Mari!!!

Check out her page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/MiNkE/101063613308741

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Chubby’s in Jhubei, eat there.

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A little bit of teaching in Hsinchu

Bug Day is a little different than I’m used to

 

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These bugs are fantastic!

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You’re pretty much not going to get me to hold one though.
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The farmer in the dell actually needs explaining before singing……..  Or they sing random syllables that don’t make any sense……

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Food gifts are fairly common.  It’s making my co-teachers love me, because they get to eat it all.

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There are some really funny things that come through the books I grade!!  Like the the little ‘tired’ face that’s flipping us off….

 

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Or the need to do a lot of guessing at what they mean…..

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stopping child cannibalism at home, some things are just important to do as a teacher

 

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Making sure they understand when you’re asking a question and how to answer it.

 

 

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And then there’s the fun moments, when a student uses all his best English to show you what he made over the weekend!

 

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Good times, and looking forward to all that’s ahead of me!

 

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