Let the Craziness Begin! / by Joshua P Jacks

New Semester!  It brings a fresh wind of motivation in the air...  I am not sure if that is due to the New Year, the cooler weather, or because it is a new semester.  I do hope that this is how it feels every new semester.  As Josh is busy with intake testing, preparing and getting ahead on both his classes, and organizing the classrooms, I have set some goals for myself.  Josh’s class schedule is mainly the 5-7 class.  Goal Number 1: open my door and keep it open while he is at work.  This will allow my neighborhood kids to come and play more often.  This means I better have a lot of noodles on hand! 

I realize this “cool” weather isn’t going to last forever!  When I say cool…. I mean in the 50-70 at night and about 70-80 in the day time.  Goal Number 2: take Noah on more walks.  This means I will be out in the neighborhood more so I will look familiar and more available to my neighbors.

Josh has cut back on his lao language study.  With having two classes now and also wanting free time to spend with students and some of our Lao friends we thought this was the best. Goal Number 3: crack down and really study Lao language. Since Josh isn’t studying with me, I no longer can lean on him when I don’t know the answer.  It is just me sitting across the table from the teacher and I got to give her some kind of answer!

Last night help me get more excited about Goal Number 4.  We had about 6 of our Lao friends over and we watched a movie based on a book written by a guy named John.  In this movie he talks about a very good man and that died for a lot of people.  As we sat and watched it, seeing the looks on our friends faces as they discovered new parts of this man’s life. Also watching them as that man died for many and seeing how it has just really affected their lives made it my favorite night in Laos so far!  It also got me more than ready for Goal Number 4:  Build better relationships with our Lao girls,  to really be there for them.  I already see good friendships forming.  This I am very grateful for since it took so long in Florida for me to build friendships.  Did I mention how easy this comes for Noah!  Just the other day, two of the girls came and asked my permission to take Noah on a DATE!  So while I was studying Lao, Noah got to go out on the town with two of our lovely ladies and eat noodle soup and play with the girls.

There are a few more goals that I have set concerning keeping in contact with my family more often, and taking more pictures.  Reading more to Noah and helping him grow in his creativity by offering different activities for him to use his imagination. I don't want to get too carried away.  I would get more concerned on “accomplishing” these things and forget the reason I made these goals in the first place.  My one friend once said in her blog: “I am learning to measure the success--no, I don't even want to use that word....I am learning to measure the value of a day by the time spent with people.” So here's to my goals and journey of learning that very same thing!

On a side note we are doing great and I will have Josh post some pictures of Noah enjoying the side walk chalk our good friends sent to us!  There is excitement in the Jacks home.  I think this is going to be a great semester!  Meeting new students and keeping in relationships with the old students. Keeping our house open so that children and adults alike can see this as a safe place!  As soon as this semester started it seemed some of my old intimidations, stresses, and fears have just dissolved. 

Not to mention the past week I have not craved any foreign food but have had cravings for Lao food only.  That my friend, is when you can tell a place is starting to become home! 

Until next post my friends… enjoy the snow and cold weather! I am sure there is some pleasure in freezing, shoveling snow, and having to wait for like 20 minutes for your windows to defrost.