Monday, September 1, 2014

hiking

On Saturday, our school activity was hiking in the mountains.  Quetzaltenango is surrounded by mountains.  We walked out of the city, then into the country.  We saw lots of small fields with vegetables like corn, brocoli, and leeks.  It felt good to get out of the city.  We walked  to a nearby town, Almolonga, saw the market there, then returned to Xela via chicken bus.  The music on the chicken bus made me laugh, as it was the song Red, Red Wine by UB40.    

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School

Yesterday was my first day of school.  This year is going to be so different than previous years because learning more Spanish is much different than teaching children English.  I spent much of my morning talking with my teacher in Spanish.  It is challenging, because I know what I want to say, but my vocabulary is so limited in my second language.  I also know how to speak in the present tense, not in the future or past. When my teacher was talking to me, sometimes I didn´t understand what she was saying because of my limited vocabulary.  Besides learning a lot of Spanish, I think I am going to gain much empathy for my students as well.  While a student here, there will be multiple opportunites to take field trips, too.  My first excursion was a walking tour of the things nearby with one of the directors of the school.  She showed me good places to get pizza and hot chocolate, as well as a big market I might frequent if I need something.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Healing Quilt

The Healing Quilt is Wanda Brunstetter's latest book in her Amish quilting series.  In this book, Emma is now married to Lamar and the two have moved to Florida.  Emma decides to teach another quilting class.  Once again, she has a diverse group of students who learn much about quilting and life.  Characters from The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club and The Tattered Quilt are part of this new book, but the story also makes sense without having read them.

Friday, August 8, 2014

vacation

I went on a two week vacation with my dad.  We drove a lot of miles (over 5500) and saw more than I expected.  Some places we saw include Mount Rushmore, eight different national parks, a couple of quilt/sewing shops, the ocean, Bakersfield, and lots of cattle and farms.  We visited some family and a couple of my friends, too.
Here are pictures of a few highlights...
Rocky Mountain National Park
Mesa Verde National Park


Grand Canyon


beach at Morro Bay
mission in San Luis Obispo

Zion National Park

Rainbow Bridge at Bryce Canyon National Park
Morro Bay, California is where we stayed for two days.  My aunt and uncle were there so we spent our time with them.  It was good to see them, and I got to give them quilts (see pictures here and here.  It was also nice to stay in the same place for a bit to catch up/slow down.  I also loved being near the ocean and walking on the beach.  When we left on vacation, I had no idea we would see so many national parks.  Some day I hope to return to both Grand Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.  Both were impressive and worth visiting again.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

green and blue quilt

I finished this green and blue quilt in July.  It is a lap sized quilt inspired by a quilt from Amy Smart's book Fabulously Fast Quilts.  I was flipping through my sister's copy of the book.  It is a simple and traditional looking pattern, which made it easy to put together.  I made it for a gift, but wouldn't mind keeping it.  It was one of two quilts that I delivered on my vacation, this one was for my uncle. (You can see the other quilt here, which I made for my aunt.)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hope Runs

Hope Runs by Claire Diaz-Ortiz and Samuel Ikua Gachagua is a book I finished reading this week.  The book is about two very different lives intersecting-one of a twenty something American woman, the other of a teenage Kenyan boy who lives at an orphanage.  Their lives intersect and are soon woven together in a story that changes both of their lives.  It is humbling to read the story of Sammy and it made me think about how being born in a certain place and time truly affects a person's life.  Chapters are written alternately by Claire and Sammy, and tell things from their perspective.  This is worth reading if you want a better understanding of the challenges orphans face.  It is an inspiring book because it shows how an individual can choose to make a difference in other people's lives.