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Sunday, August 06, 2006

PI-Bill

July 29, 2006It's been an exciting and interesting week for us:We feverishly packed and repacked to try to get everything into 12 large bags @ 70# each plus carryons that were maxed out. Michelle and kids were still in CO so offered to take some of our luggage. They were heavy!! But we all made it with no broken limbs, just sore muscles. We were met @ Manila airport by an administrator of Brent and the Brent bus at about 11PM and taken to our new home. Here we found beds freshly made, food in the refrigerator and some in the cupboards to help us get by until we could go shopping. There was also an envelope on the table with $200 spending money to get needed supplies for our home and a schedule for the coming events. The next morning we were taken by Brent bus to some of the large malls nearby where we could get needed supplies. I suppose we could have spent the money however we liked as there was no stipulation on it as to how it should be spent. The first mall was a bit overwhelming but by the second mall (and they are big!) we had a better idea of what we needed and were able to get some of the needed items. It's hard to start over with furnishing a home with the supplies needed. We keep discovering and adding to our list. Saturday was a fun day of being taken to the mountains where they had arranged a lovely Philippino meal at a nice open restaurant overlooking Taal Lake, which has 3 volcanos in the middle. It's the monsoon season so it poured rain while we ate. Fortunately it was a covered patio. The rain kept it cool and a nice cup of hot tea tasted good. We stopped on the way home for some potted plants where I bought 4 large ones @ $1-2 each. My favorite was a beautiful blue hydrangia which caught my eye and caused me to run through the pouring rain to make it mine! We arrived home about midafternoon and collapsed for a much needed nap. That evening they had a get together around the pool with finger foods and drinks. We were talking to the headmaster there and he told Bill that he had read his resume and had plans for him! Today we will be taken to the church of our choice and/or more shopping. We plan to leave the group at that point and join Michelle/Barry and kids for the rest of the day. All of this has been a means of getting to know the 20-30 new people and some of the administrators of the school and getting to feel a part of the Brent family atmosphere they try to establish. It seems like a great group with very diverse backgrounds, many having traveled widely and taught all over the world. Living and working with the same people will be a new experience for me. The librarians are our next door neighbors, the kindergarten teacher lives right behind us-over the wall of our patio, and the assistant principal lives kitty-corner in back of us, and much of the rest of the faculty are just down street or around the corner. It's about a 5 minute walk to school. We all live in 2-3 bedroom condos put together in groups of 3, ours being the 2 bedroom wedged in between two 3 bedroom condos. All the streets are named after American presidents of which we live on Eisenhauer Court!

Our condo is a kick! The story goes that a few years back a guy teacher decided to paint every room a different wild color just for fun, then invited the faculty over to see it! The living room is a shiney enamel bright yellow, the bathroom chartruse, the walls going upstairs and the hall are a bright orange/red, and the guest bedroom is a bright blue! This is all set off with dark brown woodwork throughout the house. Boy did that wake us up!!! They did have our bedroom repainted a neutral color. I'm already planning a repaint job for the whole house, which we can request.

We're still waking up at 2-4 AM but will readjust to the new time zone in time. We think it's going to be a good experience.

July 31, 2006

Yesterday we went to the church that Michelle and Barry go to via a Brent mini bus. The Brent teachers about filled up a whole row. Afterward we left the Brent people and went out with M/B and kids then went to their house to hang out for awhile. We picked up all our luggage that they had brought along and headed back to our new home. It took 2 vehicles to get everybody and luggage there but it was fun having everbody over. Now we're using their car for this week while looking around for one of our own.

Today started the first day of orientation for the new teachers. It started out with prayer in the campus chapel, then a tour of the whole place, filling us in on all the things we need to know and meeting the people who will be important for our school welfare. A nice snack and lunch were provided, then we were able to go to our rooms to unpack all the furnished supplies and those that I brought with me. Tomorrow the rest of the staff will join us for the rest of the week. One of the other 3rd grade teachers just arrived from New Zealand and lives right across the street from us. Everyone is incredibly helpful.

August 6:

Well, I made it through the first week of orientation with lunch and snacks being served everyday. Jaron came down on Thursday and stayed until Saturday, helping me in the classroom and just hanging out with Grandma. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, but that's normal for being at a new school and having to learn all their routines, etc. tomorrow is open house where the parents and students are invited from 8-10 to meet their teacher and see their new classroom. The rest of the day is for setting up my classroom. I'll take things a day at a time until I get used to the new curriculum, etc.

Bill and I thought we'd check out the Espicopal chapel service tonight. We went to a CB church this morning and our ears are still ringing from the noise!!

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