International Travel — Bridges of Friendship

Posted by weareelic on Nov 19, 2020 1:00:00 AM

Much of my international travel is in support of humanitarian work, so, as a result, I see difficult places and hear gut-wrenching stories. I meet with people who are exhausted, yet full of joy. I dine with people who have given up everything, but have gained more than they could ever ask or imagine.

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Topics: People, travel, life, leader

20 Lessons in Leadership

Posted by weareelic on Sep 14, 2020 6:01:32 PM

In my early morning hours, with a cup of coffee in hand, I stopped to think about what I have learned about leadership. What I have learned is not necessarily what I do. Rather, it is what I have seen to be true, and what I aspire to do. So, here then, is what I have learned:

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Topics: development, life, leadership, professional, lessons, tips, leader

Our Top 4 Favorite Chinese Dishes

Posted by weareelic on Aug 31, 2020 11:10:21 AM

Gathering together for a meal has a deeper meaning than satisfying your hunger. In China, having a meal builds relationships or establishes new friendships. Curious what our favorite Chinese dishes are? We asked one of our long-term teachers what her favorite Chinese dishes are. Here is her response:

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Topics: People, Culture, travel, life, food, china, Chinese

How Growing up Overseas Has Opened My Eyes

Posted by weareelic on Aug 13, 2020 1:00:00 AM

Anndrea Scroggins

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Topics: Culture, development, travel, life, foreigner, overseas, TCK, childhood, Third Culture Kid

Enjoying the Spectacle

Posted by weareelic on Jul 20, 2020 1:00:00 AM


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Topics: People, Culture, travel, foreigner

Well, I can't be gone that day...

Posted by weareelic on Jul 8, 2020 3:08:34 PM
He pulled open the calendar on his phone, swiping to the days when he would be gone. It would only be four weeks, but… Well, I can’t be gone that day, he dropped his phone on his bed. It was time to cancel the trip. His mother would want him home on the 30th, and it was smack-dab in the middle of his trip overseas.
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Topics: development, travel, plans, life, Teacher

Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

Posted by Jonathan Smyth on Jun 30, 2020 12:00:04 PM

[Note: The following statement from ELIC President, Tim Davis, was originally posted to the ELIC website on June 4, 2020.]

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The Culture Series: People and Culture of Vietnam

Posted by weareelic on Jun 22, 2020 6:00:00 AM


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Topics: People, English, History, Culture, Vietnam

The Culture Series: People and Culture of Mongolia

Posted by weareelic on Jun 15, 2020 12:12:06 PM


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Topics: People, English, History, Mongolia, Culture

5 Lessons From Laos

Posted by weareelic on May 18, 2020 2:00:00 AM
  1. Grilled bananas are yummy!  As is true in many Asian countries, roadside food vendors are plentiful in Laos.  One of our favorite stalls was one that sold roasted sweet potatoes, corn, and bananas.  A small, short variety of banana is peeled and roasted over coals until the outside is brown and chewy and the inside is warm and soft. 
  2. “The Vietnamese plant the rice, the Cambodians tend it, and the Lao listen to it grow.”  This observation, which is attributed to the French who colonized the area known as French Indochina, pretty well sums up the attitude and lifestyle of the Lao people.   One young woman in an English class that we had the opportunity to teach unashamedly revealed that she had been studying English in this language center for six years, but had only advanced to the second level!  This laid back approach to life pervades all of Lao culture.
  3. The world is huge!  After more than 20 years of living and traveling overseas, it’s easy to start feeling fairly smug about one’s understanding of the “outside” world and its various cultures.  Then you go to Laos!  We were once again stunned by the beauty in both nature and culture. 
  4. Ice is civilization.  The Lao people have an intense love affair with ice!  That’s not too surprising in a climate where the yearly average high temperature is 88F/31C and it seldom dips below 60F/16C.  Ice delivery trucks are a common sight, and iced drinks, especially coffee and tea, are the norm.  Chests filled with ice are a fixture in most restaurants, and Lao patrons will even pour their locally produced Beerlao beer over ice! 
  5. A smile goes much farther than a snarl.  Upon our arrival in Laos we were given an orientation to the country and its culture.  One thing we were told is that Lao people don’t like discord and conflict—who does?  So the best way to get a lower price when bargaining is to laugh and smile and keep a light atmosphere.  We may not have gotten the greatest deals, but we sure did learn to laugh and smile while we were getting taken!
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Stories, tips, and inspiration from across the world

Our teachers live in some really cool places! Through our blog, we strive to share with you what their lives are like as they live and teach overseas. Follow along on our journey and learn a few tips about living in a foreign country.

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