Tuesday, September 28, 2004

A day in the Rainforest



Stephen and Rachel, our tour guides!
On Sunday the 19th we went to a national reserve with Stephen and Rachel, Steven teaches with Danny. It is a protected area with about 8 miles worth of hiking trails through the rain forest and around a reservoir. We hiked about 6 miles of the way through, it was BEAUTIFUL!!

This picture is on the top of a ranger tower about 80 feet up. We were a little nervous about going up as it was beginning to rain and we could see lightening in the distance, but Stephen is the adventurous type and dragged us up. We were glad, it was a great view in all directions.

It was nice to be able to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and be surrounded by green. We even got far enough in that we couldn't hear the city noises!

Then at the end, trees. . . road! We walked along the road a little ways to the bus stop, looking forward to getting home and resting a little bit. . . Stephen and Rachel went to a different stop to take them home. I looked in the book and directed us to the bus we needed. We got on and I took a little nap, only to wake up in Yishun (the north part of the island) instead of HarborFront (the south, near our house). We had gotten on the correct bus, but the wrong side of the road! So, we got off, walked to the MRT (train) station, and took the 45 minute ride back home!

All in all, a great day!

Turtle



Lots of turtles were swimming around in the reservoir, not as big as the sea turtles in Hawaii, but still fun to watch.

Monkeys



There were a whole bunch of monkeys around the trail, curious about us as we were about them! (Actually, I think they see a lot of people and were more interested in the flash from my camera!)

The jungle canopy

See You at the Pole



As many of you know, "See You at the Pole" is a gathering of Christian students around the world at the flagpole of their school on a Wednesday morning in September. This is our school's version. We don't really have a flagpole, so it was just on the basketball court. In all, we probably had around 80 students K-12 at the pole. It was a great time of worship and prayer.

As you can see, the students are not in their traditional uniform. This day also happened to be picture day for the high school, so students were able to wear free dress for the day.

Algebra 2



Here is a shot of my first period Algebra 2 class hard at work. Thought I would give you a look at what the class looks like with kids in it!

A weekend in Malaysia



On Friday, August 24 Danny went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with two other teachers for an AP (Advanced Placement) conference. There were about 30 teachers from schools throughout southeast asia learning how to prepare students for the AP test. Danny went because of his Calculus class. The students hope to be able to take the test and then to skip the first semester of Calculus in college.

It was a great weekend, but the 5 hour bus trip each way made for a long weekend. He left school at 3:15 on Friday and returned home at about 9:00 pm on Sunday, time to go to bed and get up for the new week! Pray for strength and endurance in this long week!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Volunteer Experience

My first week volunteering at the RDA was a very precious week. The students were so excited to start their riding sessions. We have two groups of children during my volunteer hours. Both groups will be coming each week for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. I will be leading the same horse with the same students and the same side walkers the entire time. This adds a sense of stability that helps the children focus on their therapy instead of getting used to more new people. The horse, side walkers, and myself will be a 4 member team all dedicated to assisting each rider to improve and excel each week. I've met some wonderful volunteers; please pray with me that God will bring them to His great salvation.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Time flies

WOW, I can't believe it has already been almost a week since my last post! Things are going well here. My ankle is almost back to normal. Yesterday we had our first real basketball game. The boys played pretty well and we were able to get a 53-49 win. Should be a good year!

Betsy started volunteering at the Riding for the Disabled today. She had a great time.

Tomorrow night we have our small group meeting here in our apartment, we are excited to have a bunch of guests over, but there is also a lot to do around the house!

Thanks for your prayers and support!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Injury

Well, I'm updating a little sooner this time. . . Yesterday while walking home from school I misjudged a step and twisted/sprained/rolled (I'm not sure what the right term is) my ankle. It isn't real bad, but there is pain, and it made for an interesting day today as we had chapel. . . This means that I go up the 50 stairs for attendance, down 75 to chapel, back up 75 to my room, down 75 for lunch, back up 75 for 4th period, down 50 for 5th and 6th, back up 50 for 7th period, down 75 for basketball practice, and back up 25 to do some work in the teacher's lounge. That is a lot of stairs! Thankfully I didn't also have to walk up and down the 70 stairs in front of our apartment as Joe Beeson (the principal) was able to give me a ride to and from school. Now I have the weekend to recover and should be fine by Monday.

Other news, we have a guest for the week! A missionary with YWAM is on his way home from Papua New Guinea and needed a place to stay for a week, so Joe asked us if we could house him. We are glad to. His fiance is staying with another teacher from the school, so we don't see much of him, just in the morning and the evening. It has been fun talking to him some about PNG and the experiences there.

A pray request for this weekend is the work I need to do. Midterm progress reports are due Monday afternoon, and there are a lot of papers to deal with. Pray that I will be diligent with my time. Also, pray that my ankle does heal correctly and quickly!

Thanks!!!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Cotton Candy Sunset


Sunset

Riding for the Disabled Association

This is Betsy typing to all of you. I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all who have been praying for God's guidance in my life here in Singapore. He has answered in a very unexpected way. One of the parents at the International Community School found out that I enjoy working with horses. She gave me contact information for the Riding for the Disabled Association of Sinapore (RDA). This organization uses horses to assist in physical therapy sessions for people with various disabilities. They are always in need of volunteers to lead the horses and walk with the students, assisting them as they balance and perform activities on the horses. I have never worked with the disabled community before, but I see this as a great opportunity to learn and to be a testimony. I went through a 2 hour training session on Monday, September 6th. There I learned the intricate techniques needed to safely guide horses and students around the arena. My volunteer sessions will begin next week. I will be volunteering on Thursdays and Fridays. Horses have always had a special place in my heart and I am so humbled that God is allowing me to be a part of this great organization.

Orchids


Betsy with her beautiful orchids!

BUSY BUSY BUSY

It is amazing how quickly we can get busy again! I planned to update this each weekend, but now two weekends have passed without an update. I need to learn to do simple posts every couple of days instead of putting forth the effort of a lot of posting each week. Will try to do that in the future. Until then. . . Here is the update!

I've broken the post into little pieces, and at the bottom I've posted some pictures, enjoy!

Classes

My new computers class has been going well. I am enjoying the somewhat freeform teaching where I don't have a book to follow, but can choose the topics that I feel are important. But at the same time this means a lot more work as I attempt to create assignments that will help their learning and not just keep them busy! Pray for wisdom in my assignment selection.

Calculus is continuing to move on! I finally got my own copy of the text so I don't have to do a bunch of photocopying, thank God for ebay and being able to get out of print books for a reasonable price ($44 apiece instead of $120 for a new one!) I am struggling some with the class as I haven't taught it before and have a lot of things to relearn well enough to teach them! Pray that I will be able to explain difficult concepts in understandable words.

My other classes are relatively normal, I've taught most of them before and am not having much trouble with the actual math. But, I am having to work on my communication techniques. While all of the students can speak English, many of them are very slow in comprehension, especially when trying to explain technical terms from Geometry and proofs. Pray that I will be able to speak slowly and clearly enough that they will understand me, and the same for them so I can understand them!!

When it rains it pours!


Danny after his first true rain storm. It started raining just as I began my 10 minute walk home. By the time I got home I was SOAKED!! (I also found out that my briefcase is NOT waterproof! Don't worry, nothing damaged.)

Basketball

Early on in the year I was approached about helping with the coaching of basketball. I love basketball and played all through jr. high and high school, but I was a lot nervous about being a coach as I don't feel my knowledge of the game is quite that good, especially when it comes to analyzing a situation and helping my players to understand what they need to do. But, because of the need, I agreed.

I am coaching the U16 (Under 16) team which is similar to the JV teams in the states, while Jason Goode is coaching the Open (varsity) team. Jason pretty much runs the practices, and will be with me on the bench for the U16 games, telling me what to tell the kids, and basically teaching me to be a coach! I am looking forward to the learning process!

So far things have been good. We started practice the second week of school, but only practice twice a week. Our first games were this past Saturday. We played in a tournament to see where our U16 matches with other U16 to decide what division we will play in. We won both of our shortened games, so we will be playing in the upper division.

Pray for wisdom for me as I coach, and as I have this opportunity to interact with the students outside of the classroom. Some of my players are not Christians and I want this time on the team to be a time that they can see God's glory! One of those non-Christian players is BJ. Pray for him as he broke his wrist in our first scrimmage and will likely miss the first half of the season. Pray that he will keep a good attitude and see God working in him through this time!

Coach Whittaker


My first game as basketball coach! I am coaching the U16 (under 16) team. Jason Goode (sitting beside me) is my assistant (which means he tells me what to say as I have never done anything like this before!)

Chess Club

Today I started the chess club at the school. I'm looking forward to it as most of the kids in the club are middle schoolers, and I don't have any of them during the normal school day. Today was just a time to get to know them a little and play some games. As we meet throughout the week we will do more learning times. One of the great opportunities that we have here is that one of the high school students is a champion player (I think he actually won the Singapore national championship!) He is hoping to actually run the club and teach the kids some of the important aspects of the game. I think this could be a really good thing, and I'll be able to learn from him too!

Pray that Ino will be able to teach as he wants and that through this time God will use me to impact these kids' lives!

Soaking


AAAAH!!! That feels good, we spend time most every day cooling off in the pool. It feels good after all of the sticky sweat during the day!

Our path thru the jungle


The path we take to go to the store or to ride the MRT (Mass Rail Transit) It is about a 10 minute walk to either one.

Mount Faber Lodge


Here is our building, 8 floors with 4 levels of housing (some apartments are multi-floor) We are on the fifth floor.