Monday, February 28, 2011

day six: short, sweet, and to the point :)

today was my first week-beginning at school :) it went really well. nothin much to say about it. lol today was world math day or something. and i played against some high-schooler from Colfax-Mingo (in Iowa)! small world :) 

after school, Krisanna and i made a much-needed stop at our favorite little bakery between school and home. then we've enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing evening making dinner, working out, painting our nails, and watching the oscars. :) 

i never thought i'd say this, but i'm glad (for right now) that i don't have a cell phone. :)

that's all for today. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

day five: salt, traffic, nail polish, and dominoes...

today began with a trip to church. and i don't speak Portuguese at all. Sunday school was good. i understood a few things. i was able to follow along with the power-point and catch a few things. by the end of church i could almost tell what passage to turn to. :) i got a salt shaker in church this morning as a reminder to be salt to the world. and i had to stand up since it was my first time in church... but i didn't know i was asked to stand... so someone tapped me on the shoulder and told me what to do :) that was fun! and before church, we had snacks and one of the girl in my class helped me pick out baked goods... since i wasn't quite sure what was what. when i picked out a chocolate swirl bread, she commented "oh that's right, all teachers like chocolate!" 

after church, Krisanna and i went out to lunch with the Voelkers at the mall. :) after lunch, we went to Erin and Laura's and embarked on a roadtrip to... the ocean... :) it was a fairly long drive with awesome traffic, so i took a little nap! we saw some other American tourists, but they all just happened to be elderly and in a bus. it was hilarious! and they didn't realize we spoke English. :)

after an entertaining car ride back, Krisanna and I chilled out at the apartment and Skyped friends and family. :) today seemed more exciting in my head than it did in this post, but just know that i love it here and am having the time of my life...

oh... and i got to open a letter from my love today. :) he wrote a bunch and sent them to me before i left. they all had dates on them, and one was for TODAY! :)

tomorrow begins our first full week of school, so early to bed tonight! :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

day four... part of our first weekend! :)

today was the start to our first weekend here. Laura and Erin helped us see the sights and show us the downtown things we needed to see. :) We left this morning and took the metro to downtown Lisbon. there was so much to see and i felt somewhat ridiculous walking around with my jaw dropped and camera out. this city is GORGEOUS!!! we made our way to a sweet swiss cafe for a mid-morning snack. :) i could see the ocean and a castle from my seat in the town square. :) and... i'm getting closer to ordering something on my own for real! :) 

we enjoyed walking around and seeing the sights (and hitting up the stores!) and then stopped for lunch! :) after someone else helped me order, i went to pay for my own and the kind young gentleman asked me a question. i stared blankly, then smiled graciously. he asked AGAIN and i smiled bigger and handed him my money. he laughed as i said "American." i realized he was probably asking if that was all. :) being foreign is almost fun sometimes! ;)

after lunch, we did some more sightseeing and shopping :) i'm liking it more and more here every store i walk into! ;) but seriously, we had a great day just galavanting around. this afternoon, we all almost crashed after a busy morning of walking and then we headed out to the math teacher's house for dinner. we had... PASTA. my favorite ever!!! we took some time to play with their (almost) 3-year-old and hold their new baby. :) it was another great segment of a great day. any successes to add to our fridge today? [our fridge has two lists of post-its. successes and failures. we might be in denial a little, but our failure list only has one note.] i got the first cold shower today... right in time to rinse off... so i hopped out of the shower today with blue lips and a brain freeze. but, krisanna and i added "changing the gas for the water heater" to the list of successes.

we've had a great four days and are excited to continue our adventures. i feel like i should form a book title... but i'm not creative enough...

also... people watching is the BEST pastime EVER here! but... that's another day, and another series of (who knows how many) pictures. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

day three...

this morning was another lazy morning. Krisanna and I woke up and got ready at our leisure and ate lunch before we headed off to school. We're still recovering from jet lag and stuff, but it's getting better! Last night, I skyped with my mom and brother for about 10 minutes, but I was exhausted, so that was short lived :/ but hopefully i'll get to talk to them again soon! At school today, I got to work on a puzzle with the kids :) THAT was fun :) I found out that one of my students is from Ohio :)

Today I got to wear a knee length skirt and flip flops :) I LOVE the weather here! Right now, it's 66 degrees, sunny, and breezy :) PERFECT weather!

Our evening plans consist of grocery shopping, heading to a cafe, people watching at starbucks, and shopping!!!!!!!!!!! :) I have so much to learn and see! :)

i just got back from the mall, finished watching... NCIS :) and i completed part one of my dreaded ePortfolio. the mall was way fun! however, finding a purse wasn't as easy as it sounds. in the states, i find about 20 i wanna buy, but here, i find one really really cute one... that's highly overpriced... :/ but maybe another day. until then, i'll clutch my clutch as i parade around in oblivion. :)
i successfully ordered my own starbucks drink tonight. :) and i learned, and might just remember, "thank you" :) tonight at mcdonalds (so what, i ate american food... it was fantastic!), i wanted no ice, but since laura helped me order (more so ordered for me) and she didn't know how to say "ice." she went on ordering in Portuguese and at the end of the order, the kind gentleman said "no ice, right?" and laura and i laughed. he spoke very clear english, but kindly listened to us try to order in Portuguese. :)

Krisanna and I took our own trip around the grocery store and bought our own groceries. i, like the "tourist" i am, had my camera out almost the whole time taking pictures of...



dried cod... (Krisanna's favorite!)

and... the yogurt aisle... :/

we've had a great day exploring on our own... :) and learning more Portuguese :) well, i have anyway... 

tomorrow brings a trip downtown, a visit to a CASTLE, more bakeries, dinner with friends,  and lots of pictures!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

day two...

Today, we got to start the day with a little extra sleep... :) I woke up, did my devos, ate my American breakfast (Cookie Crisp!)... and worked on my blessed portfolio. :/ Krisanna and I made our own lunch today, then headed off to school. When I got to my room, there was a desk set up in the back with cards all over it. :) There are seven kids in my third and fourth grade classroom. A little smaller and quieter then my nineteen first graders! One thing I already love is that my small class in a small school doesn't need to be escorted everywhere! They can go wherever they please without a babysitter in the hallway. :) One more thing I need to get used to is fixing my own meals! It's a good thing I'm living with Miss Susie Homemaker! :) She'll help me stay fed. ;) Also, the exchange rate is kinda insane. Everything here seems so much more expensive! But, maybe that's just me! I guess it's good that I have a frugal mindset (for now) since we know how to get to the mall on our own and we have our own car now!!! ;) Good news is that I don't have too much room in my luggage for the trip back, so [this is for my mother's sheer joy] I can't really buy too many more shoes... :/

I realized while I was packing to come over that I have no concept of weight. My suitcase was allowed to be 50 lbs. I thought mine was heavy, but how much is 50 lbs anyway!?!?! Well... I weighed myself (and was pleasantly surprised!) then weighed myself holding my suitcase. Either my math was wrong (which it wasn't!) or my suitcase weighed... 66 lbs. Krisanna's mother, with the manipulation of my somewhat fashionable conscience, persuaded me that I didn't need all the clothes I had packed... So (after Krisanna and I decided to bring another suitcase), my suitcase weighed [fingers crossed]... 49.6 lbs!!! :) I laughed when it was weighed at the airport. All I knew was that I left a ton of shoes behind (and shirts and jeans, thanks to Krisanna's mom!!!) but it was worth it. I lost weight!!!!!

this evening, we went to the Voelker's house for pizza and American Idol. :) It was fun to hang out with the teachers from the school. :) 

And... I got to talk on the phone to my boyfriend tonight for 8 minutes and 4 seconds. PHENOMENAL!!! :) :) :) :) :) after some rough news yesterday about every form of communication with the states being outlawed by his college. :/ BUT I got to talk to him!!! :) :) :) Now, Krisanna and I are watching CSI [in English!!!] and working on portfolio stuff and hanging out! I love this country. I learned how to say "good day" today, and "my name is Jessica" yesterday... next goal!?! DRIVING! :) :) :) hopefully by next week!

Krisanna and I have started a board of our success and failures. So far on the successes side: emptying the dehumidifier (by Krisanna's self), (she's obviously never worked at the WILDS!), making lunch by ourselves, driving to and from school without getting lost or hitting a cat or getting pulled over! :) failures: having NO idea what the doorbell was and why it wouldn't shut up. :)

so far, I think we're doing well. :) Hopefully tomorrow will go just as well! I've heard rumors of people watching at Starbucks for our Friday evening plans. ;) sounds like a blasty blast to me!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

day one...

Yesterday, I flew out of DSM (to O'Hare & Newark) and into Lisbon, Portugal. I would just like to say that this might just be the best thing I've decided to do and actually followed through with. I have so much to learn, and I'm excited to see what God wants to teach me. I KNOW further dependence on Him is one of the main lessons!!! 

Krisanna and I had quite the LONG trip yesterday. Our last flight landed in Portugal at midnight (our body's time) but it was 6am here in Lisbon. So... our bodies had to adjust quickly to two days in a row with virtually no sleep (other than brief naps on the planes and a quick nap at our apartment). We got ready then headed to the mall. Of course!!! :) We got lunch with the administrator's wife and then we stopped by the school. I got to meet my second half cooperating teacher and the kids in my class. They were really excited to meet me, as I was them. :) Their names will be quite the mouthful but their little smiles will be SO worth it from the get-go. Krisanna and I came back to our [plush] apartment to unpack and unwind a little. Erin and Laura (two of the teachers at GLCA) came over and brought us dinner. :) During dinner prep, we all heard a harsh ringing that would not stop. We thought maybe it was a fire alarm, but nothing was on fire. Five minutes later (after much attempt at conversation, with the landlady who doesn't know any English), we find out it was the doorbell that had gotten jammed. haha. Dinner was marvelous and the fellowship was even more so!!! The four of us have already made weekly plans, and weekend plans, and spring break travel plans (to Madrid), and shopping plans, and sightseeing plans... but ALL after I catch up on sleep. I hope to have pictures up soon, but Krisanna has some of the beginning of our trip posted. :)

God is good. His timing and situations are impeccable. Even today I was reminded that even if something happens in our lives that wasn't "supposed" to, it's God's plan. :) always!


Monday, February 21, 2011

i might just...

...get better at this blogging stuff when i leave the country... TOMORROW! tomorrow morning, i fly out of DSM to O'Hare, then Newark. final destination:: LISBON, PORTUGAL! i'll be spending 9 weeks there completing student teaching. hopefully i'll continue to update my blog (for those who care) and share a glimpse of my life overseas and the great things happening. :)