A Mixed Bag


Life is good.

Life is loud.

Life is hot.

Life is inspiring.

Life is exhausting.

Life is encouraging.

Life is tedious.

Life is beautiful.

Life is odd.


Life here is a mixture of many, many things.  Sometimes it is easy, wonderful, enjoyable, beautiful and energising.  Sometimes it is tiring, loud, frustrating, hot and baffling.  Let me give you a few examples.

Nature here is stunning.  The mountain behind the school is so beautiful.  The beaches are incredible.  Sunsets are gorgeous.  Need I go on…

The noise pollution drives me nuts.  The local mosque has excitingly got a new speaker system so they can blast the call to prayer even louder at 4:30am daily.  I now have to sleep with earplugs every night.  This doesn’t even take into account the military training at the crack of dawn…

I adore my job; my students add significantly to my quality of life as I get to teach them and see them grow and learn, and in turn I get to grow and learn from them.  My colleagues are incredible and I’m so blessed to get to serve alongside them.  I’m forming lasting friendships as well as learning how to be a better teacher and a better person.

As I’ve been trying to record things for my high school a cappella choir I haven’t been able to stop the noise of gunfire and motorbikes from getting into my recordings.  A rather odd problem to have.

I’ve made some great new friends as we have a lot of new staff this semester.  The constancy of having people leave is hard, and it absolutely sucks to have to say goodbye to people every 6 – 12 months.  The flip side of that is getting to meet lots of new people regularly and forming lots of new friendships.

For some reason I keep getting bitten on my left eyelid by something that makes my eyelid swell up and itch.  Such fun…  Ok, so it’s happened twice in the last two weeks, but that seems like two times too many to me…  It’s such a good look too.


Having said all this, I do feel overwhelming positive about my life here.  Sure there are heaps of frustrating things, but the good definitely outweighs the bad these days.  My relationships & my job means that I want to be here.  I enjoy my life here.  I could not say that a year ago.  I truly enjoy my life here.  God is indeed good, and I am truly grateful to Him for the opportunity to serve in this context with these people.  Truly grateful.


One highlight since I last wrote was beach trip.  At the start of each school year we take the whole high school (years 9 – 12) to a remote beach with no electricity, no toilets, no phone reception, no nothing for 3 days.  I always love beach trip.  It’s an amazing time of getting to know the students better outside of a classroom environment, and watching them bond with each other.  I love the relaxed environment, the freedom to just talk, the time we get to spend with God, the time we get to spend with each other.  There is a positively, palpable difference in our school after beach trip.  It makes my heart happy.  However, I am SO ready to get back to a shower and my own bed by the end of it…


So far this year is going really well.  I love teaching, but teaching English is a lot more work.  So much reading… The problem with assigning kids writing tasks is that you have to actually read them all…  I’m enjoying it, but yeah… it’s a lot of work.  Maths is still excellent and I’m even infecting people with my language!  Now a bunch of my kids call it Maths instead of Math.  Again, it makes me very happy 🙂  However I still get picked on for my Aussie vocab constantly!


I’m excited about coming back to Australia next month for Alison & Bernie’s wedding!  Although it’s expensive and problematic to leave teaching in the middle of the semester, I’m looking forward to the trip.  Naturally I miss my family and friends and I can’t wait to get back to them!

I’m fast going broke.  I’ve pretty much run out of my savings, what with the 3 visa runs and the conference in Korea last year.  My financial support has not matched my expenses and this is becoming more and more of an issue.  I hate complaining about money, but it’s a reality and I don’t want to hide my reality.


All in all, life is good.  I am actually happy and satisfied with being here.  I want to be here, but I also miss my life at home.  I don’t know how I’m ever going to leave actually…  But I also don’t know how I’m going to stay away from Australia.  Sigh.

That’ll do for now.  Now enjoy some more photos of my life over the last month.







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