It’s been a very, very long time. I started to write a post sometime earlier in the year, but it has no date on it. I’ll share it anyway, because it’s a good summary of what I’ve been doing since April of last year and of some of the thoughts and feels I’ve had.

Palm trees. Sometimes there’s mud puddles, but this was a dry day.

“We were meant to live forever.

I care about too many things. Everything (well not quite everything) interests me. One lifetime simply isn’t enough for everything I’d like to do. A year only allows for so many activities. A day doesn’t have space for every task and kind of creation my heart desires.

I’ve let this blog die again, my socials too. There’s some good reasons. Last year was full with Dancing, costume making, work, of course, and some exploration of online dating that led to a handful of pleasant dates and some useful self reflection. I still tried writing through it. 

A fair bit of my writing in the later part of last year was study notes and assignments. I semi-impulsively responded to seeing missionary friends needed an English as a Second Language teacher by adding part time study to my schedule and getting the bare minimum qualification. (That was my relationship rebound.)

It honestly feels crazy now that I thought a 100 hours of training would prepare me to teach Academic English at a tertiary level, especially as my classroom experience as a student was a four week course. But crazy or not, I’m actually doing it. 

It’s fun, hard and I kinda love it. I know so much more about English grammar than I did at the beginning of the year. My students are great. (I mean I like them, not that they’re all good at English.) I probably spend too much time thinking about work, but it’s hard to switch off when I live on campus and don’t know anyone outside in the same country. (well, there’s the ice-cream lady and I meet the same strangers when travelling sometimes)

I took a break from regular writing (giving up on my 4thewords streak that had started to matter more than what I actually wrote). It felt weird to try writing fantasy in the first few weeks of living in a new culture. I’m back to planning out stuff again though. I can’t help myself.

I may still get stuck on writing the actual story rather than more about it, but that’s a problem for future me and I’m not bothered by being stuck. I think my writing matters less to me now. I’m still a writer, I can’t help that, but a published career doesn’t seem anywhere in my immediate plans.”

These guys in the back are 21 and they’re fun. (Don’t tell them.) (Yes, I wear pretty local dresses to teach.)

Now it is October. I’ll have returned home in two months time. I was asked if I’d stay another, but decided against it. I think that was the right decision, but I’ve fallen in love with my second home and I will miss my students. This has been an awesome year, though it’s been hard at times and it wasn’t without sorrow.

Good and bad mixed together is a fair description of last year too. I finally got a social life. There were lots of cool things and I made new church friends. There was the slow trauma of a family member forcing everyone to deal with uncomfortable decisions. I didn’t mention that before, but I now think that had an effect on my writing output.

My writing progress has still been slow and on and off. I have actually found some publishing ambition, though I don’t know if it will be enough for me to push and actually get something written. I’ve felt a little lost in my writing and last night I read something about defining yourself as a writer that really made me realise that I don’t have a clear idea of what kinds of stories I want to write. I have lots of fuzzy ideas, but clarity would help guide me.

The writing is likely to continue to get pushed out by other things. I’m planning on doing more study. I find to my surprise that I like the academic environment (Not that where I am feels very academic with the island life) and one of my colleagues recommended that I go to Bible college before doing more of this work. I’m planning to study Cross-cultural Communication and Teaching in Intercultural Settings along with other subjects. Those of course are what I’ve been doing to the past 8 months, but there’s more to learn.

One of my friends/students. We were waiting for the volleyball teams to be ready. She’s ref, I’m score keeper.

Next update from me should be the Know the Novel link up. That’s what prompted me to do this post. I should have time between marking homework and assembling exams to get that done fairly soon.

Until we talk again, “Peace blong Masta i stap wetem yu.” (Yes, I’ve been learning a new language.)