I moved to China in August to teach English and build relationships with my students and those in my community there. In late January, I left China to attend my sending organization’s annual conference for professional development and rest in Thailand. Once there, I learned that my return flight to China for the semester had been cancelled, and I was instructed not to rebook.
You always set out to pack light, but then life happens. What if you need that extra dress or that fourth pair of pants this weekend? Suddenly, that bottle of your favorite shampoo seems essential. It adds up and you find yourself sitting on your suitcase, trying desperately to close it without breaking the zipper. This is not going to work!
The trick is to focus on what you need — and you need less than you think.
Have you ever wondered what life was like in Mongolia? An ELIC teacher, Wes, shares his favorite memories and highlights from his time there. Hopefully this gives you a glimpse of what it would be like to live in the country of Blue Skies.
“Life is unbelievably insane right now. I don’t think I knew what it meant to be busy until classes started two weeks ago.” — Ellie J., an ELIC teacher in Laos
It’s not uncommon to feel this way at the beginning of a school term. We always seem to anticipate that it’s going to be crazy, but as school starts, the busyness seems to come like an unexpected tidal wave.
One of the beautiful things about the EQUIP program is that it prepares recent grads for what’s next in life; whether that is long-term overseas, or working as a professional in your home culture.
The ability to engage in the busyness while enjoying the present is truly a life skill. As Ellie teaches in this busy season, she's also reflecting and finding things to be thankful for. She has sent us her top five favorite things about Laos in no particular order.
"I could write a much longer list about Laos,” she told us, but we’ll have to wait for another time and place for that.
“Hello, Jon-a-sin!” Cia Nan greets me with a large smile and a friendly wave.
“What do you want?” she asks. Her husband looks up from his wok and also smiles and nods.
Today I’m traveling back to Asia. After a sleepless night, I woke up this morning with a paralyzing thought… “Who does this?” Who in their right mind flies halfway around the world for a job? Who crams their life’s possessions into two suitcases like some kind of high-stakes puzzle game? The answer: me. I do this. And I think I might be a little crazy.