Home Again

Today is the day we had to send Lincoln School our official letter of intent for next year. As most of you know, I think about things a long time, but do not speak until I am absolutely sure or am required to speak so that new circumstances can be accounted for. I finally sent in my letter earlier today.

I have been so thankful for the opportunity to live in Guadalajara the last year and a half. I had lots of goals when I came and I see nearly all of them met. I have grown as a teacher. I have written curriculum, learned how to write effective lesson plans, figured out a classroom management system that works for me (Class Dojo is amazing by the way!), found a method that works for me (The Daily 5) and seen my students do really well on their fall standardized testing.

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I have learned about cross cultural ministry. I am a part of two different Mexican house church networks. One is led by Mexican nationals and one is in the process of transitioning to Mexican leadership. I have been able to observe how they make decisions, what kinds of problems they run into, and what kind of blessings come from their efforts. I have also seen my landlady’s life completely change, which is an incredible source of encouragement to me.

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I have lived on my own off of the money I have earned. I have figured out grocery shopping and am much better at cooking now. I can now make a good dinner without following a recipe each time! I am really looking forward to the next several months as my new housemate and I have decided to share cooking responsibilities and I will be learning more new recipes and how she likes to cook.

I have enjoyed an incredible cultural experience! I have become much more fluent in Spanish and enjoy communicating in another language. I have learned how to salsa dance (and some other Latin dances) and get to enjoy that usually at least once a week. I have traveled to some beautiful places, participated in Mexican holidays and traditions, and enjoyed all forms of traditional art, including folkloric dance and the beauty of the architecture.

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I have really enjoyed all of this, and I will be sad to leave it. However, I can also look back on it and be contented that my goals have been met and it is time for me to move back home and begin preparing for whatever comes long term. I am very thankful that I will have another nine months here to continue to add to my experience. Thank you to each one of you who has been a part of it. We have another nine months to enjoy! I’ll conclude with a stanza from one of my favorite poems, Home Again by Henry Van Dyke, which has been running through my head recently.

So it’s home again, and home again, America for me!

My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,

In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,

Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars!

Photo of the baptism belongs to Carola Venegas. Photo of dancing belongs to Glenn Skala. Other photos are my own.

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