Thursday, January 31, 2013

Christmas with the roommates!

I thought that it was time to post something about Christmas :) I am so behind on my life.....I am not even done telling about my October history trip! Oh well, just trying to review my year in an interesting order! Soon I will move on to 2013 :)

Decorating Christmas cookies the weekend before...
with paint roommate is so smart :)
Christmas Eve morning
I made Dutch Babies and Rommergrot for my roommates. 
My roommates think I eat the weirdest things... but I think they liked them! I don't know how to explain Dutch I found this link for you all
It is not a special tradition for my family to have it near Christmas, but they wanted to try it.

Rommergrot is a tradition for my family- eaten every Christmas Eve (I just ate it a little earlier this year). I only made a very small amount for them to try. Here is a link about Rommergrot....
Makes me hungry just thinking about it!

Christmas Eve morning ready to try the food....

Our Christmas Tree's lights quit working two days before
Christmas! Oh well, roommates by the tree with no lights!

Friday, January 25, 2013

School Trip: Hell Fire Pass

Ok back to my trip I took in October.... soon I will be done with these posts-
 just one more to go after this one! See other Thai Trip 2012 posts...

After the train ride we got back on our buses and headed to Hell Fire Pass Memorial. It got it's name during the "Speedo" time from April -August 1943 when they were working long hours to finish the railroad by the deadline in August. The POWs and Asian laborers, who were skinny from lack of food, etc, cut through rocks by hand late at night by firelight thus giving the name "Hell Fire Pass."

A former Australian POW went back and found the area and asked that the area be made into a 
historical site. So that is how the Hell Fire Pass Memorial come to be.

The whole railroad project (not just Hell Fire) by numbers:

about 12,400 died of the over 60,000 Australian, British, Dutch, and American POWs who worked on the railroad.

between 70,000 to 90,000 died of the 250,000 Asian laborers worked on the railroad.

The reasons for this terrible death total included; lack of good medical treatment, lack of good food, and harsh treatment by guards, etc. The heat must have also been terrible, they had to work the longest hours during one of the hottest time of  the year. The civilian laborers often had it even harder because they didn't have Army doctors to take care of them.

Some of the group

Walking through Hell Fire Pass...most of the railroad track was gone
  as they removed it to be used elsewhere

As you can see I rolled my pants up because it was so hot...can't imagine
what those POWs and civilians went through....

View from the top...that is a lot of rock to remove by hand and explosives

It was so hard to think about what went on during the war, but I am so glad that I was able to learn more about this time in Thailand's history. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Day in Thailand Life- take 1

Ok, so I decided that I should join this "Day in the Life" blog post that  Laura was having this week. 

Thursday ended up being the day that I actually thought about it early enough to get pictures of the morning :) I have lived in Thailand for about a year and a half, but my days are pretty much like any working adult in the USA. A friend told me that I should quickly go out in the evening and ride an elephant, a tuk tuk (which I still haven't done) and buy a pig head at the market...:) Unfortunately that is not my typical day, so here is an average day in the life of Karla.
 *times are not exact

5:40am alarm goes off....which is really my phone on vibrate cause it doesn't ring anymore and I am to cheap and lazy to get a new one. Hit "delay"
5:45am alarm goes off again....roll out of bed complaining to myself about waking up so early!
5:55am walk to the front of the school where I work.
6am meet up with another runner- there is usually 2 to 3 of us that run 3 days a week. Today only one dad came who is training for an Ultra- Marathon! haha 
6:07am-6:36am run 5.2k and then head home
6:45am ate breakfast and got ready for the day
7:20am decided that today would be my "day in the life" day so I got my camera and took a picture of my running shoes :)

Then I took a picture of my cool Cinnamon Sugar grinder (from my wonderful friend, Johanna)that I used on my toast this morning...along with the toaster in the background.

7:23am- walked to school...

View from the Elementary School Library....kind of a foggy morning but it will just get worse as they begin to burn more and more in the coming months.

My desk at needs to get organized and cleaned

I have been greeted every morning for over a week to a library full of mummies and other ancient Egypt artifacts from the 6th grade students. Also we are still celebrating winter here- hey a Minnesota girl can hold out hope for a white January...

8:32am- Time to look over Dewey Decimal worksheets...I have some pretty smart 3rd graders!
 I decided to spare you from pictures of books- shelving books, book displays, more books, checking and responding to emails, etc.

10:05am- 1st graders in the library learning about poems. As you can see it is cool season so I had to wear a "sweater" today. No A/C used and doors open!

10:45am- Next 1st grade class...same lesson different students...
 Again... I will not trouble you with pictures of emails, shelving books, talking to students, books, and more books...

12:30pm- Lunch time... free school lunch everyday....Tuesday and Thursday are "western" food day along with a Thai dish. There is always a salad bar....

And always rice....This is the teachers' food- the students get their food on the other side of the room.

My co-worker who catalogs all our books- eating green curry....I just ate the chicken noodle soup.

 1:25pm- 6th grade comes to library- I don't teach this class, but I often help the students check out books, etc. They loved helping me with pictures :)

 2:15pm- the other group of 6th graders...they were equally excited about being in my photos and we couldn't stop laughing...

3pm-4pm- a couple of families came in to check out books, more books, etc and at the end of the day my desk looked like this......

 4:05pm- Cheering for the U14 soccer team. Don't I look like I am really flexing cheering :) 

4:25pm- back at home sweet home....

4:30pm-5:40pm- time for Thai...trying to make the correct sound

 hmmm what is the difference between b/bp and d/dt....our american ears can't figure it out....

Finished work... now if I could just remember how to say all those sounds!

 6pm- Dinner time with a friend...riding on the motorbike...on the wrong left side of the road.

The food was good....and great conversation. Again not Thai...I do eat Thai food :)

7:40pm while trying to get my helmet out I had managed to send the other helmet sliding down to the back of the storage under the only took about 10mins to get it out from behind all the boxes....

 It is found!!!!

 8pm- read the 1st chapter of The Book Whisperer excited for new ideas to get kids reading and enjoying it!

 Time in the Bible and prayer as I wait for 9pm and my weekly skype date with my mom.
9pm comes around and this is usually how it goes.....

I think we only lost each other 4 or 5 times....such is the internet connection....

After a lovely conversation with only about 100 5 "are you still there" we said our good-byes and I headed for bed. 
Maybe next time my "Thai life" will be more exciting and involve elephants and markets...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

School Trip: World War II Museum and Train Ride

On Sunday after a short singing and sharing time we were back on the bus to go to the World War II Museum.  It was so interesting to learn about the war from this side of the world! If I got my facts straight the Japanese occupied Thailand and then used many POWs and civilians to build a railroad line from Ban Pong, Thailand to Thanbyuzayat, Burma (415K) long to carry supplies into Burma. Their goal was to have it help them attack India. 

A "prison" for POWs

"Flat Stanley" joined us on our trip...the bridge over the River Kwai is in the background

The museum was right next to the Bridge on the River Kwai. You may have seen the 1957 movie about it, but it is not very historically accurate! I learned many things like...
The river wasn't named "Kwai." The river that ran along a lot of the railway was the River Kwae but the bridge never went over it. After the movie made this area famous the Thais decided to rename the river so that people wouldn't be confused. It is now known as River Kwae Yai (big) and the original is River Kwae Noi (small). 
The bridge was bombed by the air not on the ground. I could write more, but this isn't a history book, so I shall stop!

A friend, a roommate, and a student on the bridge with me.
Holding up the bridge :) The round truss spans are original,
but the angular ones are  replacements

After the museum and walking on the bridge we went to the train station to ride some of the rails :) There is only about 130k of working railroad left- so we road on that section- right over the famous bridge!

We thought that this might be the train we were going to ride :)
There were some scary parts and you could just stick your head right out...

A few fans but it was a pretty hot ride on hard seats for about 2 hours

People watching as we went by...

More about my trip soon....

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book List for 2013

One of my goals this year is to read lots of books....not just any books, but books that I could recommend to students as well as books that will help me learn and grow in my relationship with God, others and as a professional. All that being said...I am making a book list for 2013!
 Here is the beginning of the list (in no certain order)...

1. Wonder  by R.J. Palacio (finished this was great and I would recommend it for people from 10 to 100)
2. Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (lots of my students are reading these books)
3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I have been wanting to read this book for awhile)
4. The Book Whisper by Donalyn Miller (this is a book that was recommended to me at a teacher conference- getting kids excited about reading, etc)
5. Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis ( Christian fantasy author...lots of my students are reading books by this author)
6. Joni by Joni Eareckson (started this one in Dec of 2012 but finished this week- an old book but it was good to read)
7. Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst (reading for a Bible Study- but I think that counts :) )
8. Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (started reading this in Dec 2012- Newbery Winner)
9. The Tanglewood's Secret by Patricia St. John (I have read Treasures of the Snow by St. John and heard good things about this one)
10. Hobbit by R.J. Tolkien (My mom started to read this book to us a few times...I have decided it is time for me to try to finish it... I guess I will have to read the 1st chapter again, ha)
11. The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (Newbery Winner- 1974)
12. Teaching with Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk (Many of the teachers at my school use this approach to help with classroom management)
13. The Giver by Lois Lowry (Newbery Winner- 1994)
14. The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi (Students are enjoying this series - Spiderwick Series)
15. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (Students enjoy these books so I thought I should read one...hopefully I will get through it :) )
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (It is time to read the 1st book...maybe more)
17. The Shack by William P. Young (I have wanted to read this for a long time...can't believe I haven't read it yet...this will be the year!)
18. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks (Just want to read it :) )
19. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien (Newbery Winner 1972)
20. Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury (Just was looking at recommended books online and this one sounded interesting...don't know if I will be able to get it here in Thailand)
21. Peacebound Trains by Haemi Balgassi (Just was looking at recommended books online and this one sounded interesting...don't know if I will be able to get it here in Thailand)
22. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Newbery Winner 2011)
23. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (I have heard people talking about this book-so I am interested in reading it)
24. Crazy Love by Francis Chan (Heard lots about this book...)

As you can see I spend most of my time in an ELEMENTARY library...
If you read a great fiction or non-fiction book, please let me know...I will be adding to my list and hopefully give you an update about how I am doing and what I am reading (I will try to make it exciting)!

Next post I will get back to that trip I went on last October :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

School Trip: Floating Market, Rama VI Palace, and Dinner on the River

So back in October of 2012 I went on a "field trip" with Thai students from my school and a bunch of staff from the school...and I am just now writing about it :) 
It was a whirlwind trip- We left on Friday at 6pm via two buses and traveled through the night.... 

On Saturday morning we went to a floating market where we had breakfast and could see all that people were selling from the comfort of our own boat! 

Breakfast- Thai Style 

After the floating market we got back on the bus and went to a Shadow Theater...but I have too many pictures of that so it will be in another post :)

We ate lunch at Big C Shopping of my favorite places in Thailand (like a Wal-Mart with a food court). Then we went to visit King Rama VI's Palace....

Then after another bus ride we managed to get to the restaurant- and had dinner on a raft! We were pulled down the Kwaii River by a little boat.

After dinner we headed to a hotel for the night and arrived after making about 6 U-turns! Let me tell you after a night on a bus and two boat trips I still felt like I was moving when I went to bed!