So, now that we've started this blog, it has me constantly thinking of things to add or stories to relate. While there are many we need to share from our first year in the Philippines, I thought I'd share what's on my mind today... and the fact that I feel like I'm 12 years old again...
If you didn't know, our school calendar here in the Philippines is quite different from the states, and we are currently on summer vacation. I will take a couple summer classes in May, but our next semester doesn't start until July. I'm realizing that I haven't really had a free summer vacation since high school, so it's a very different feeling. Before classes finished, I made long lists of all the things I wanted to accomplish this summer, and of course, now that we're in our second week of vacation, I haven't even come close to getting any of them completed. But, the thing I'm finding myself spending a lot of time doing and thinking about are the 2 things I couldn't get enough of when I was growing up: reading and playing the piano.
This wouldn't be a surprise to everyone that knew me before 2003, but my life has been void of these two loves significantly in the last few years. Yes, I played the piano for our church in Guam, but it was definitely more out of necessity than desire. My wonderful friend, Melissa, who is a talented artist, is about to start working with some Filipino street kids in teaching them art. She shared with me the other day that she was feeling convicted about starting to teach art when she feels like she hasn't been using her talent very much in the last year. And I realized that is exactly how I feel about my piano. About 2 months ago, I started teaching piano to one of our professor's 2 children, and I immediately felt convicted about my lack of playing and practicing since college graduation. But recently, I have been very inspired to start exercising my fingers again by practicing my scales and arpeggios and digging out my old pieces. And, for the first time in a long time, I'm playing the piano because I want to, not because I'm expected to or someone else needs me to. And I'm having such a blast teaching piano again... here's a pic of a keyboard I made that we're using to play games and help learn theory... it's just a plastic tablecloth and black duct tape, but it's tons of fun! :)
I've also been on a reading binge this last week. A few weeks ago I organized our bookshelf and placed all the books I have but haven't read on one shelf and was overwhelmed yet excited by the number! So many of my memories when I was growing up include getting lost in book after book during the summertime, and it's SOOO wonderful to have the opportunity to do that again. Of course, I should be finishing a curriculum project for a professor, volunteering in the field office, helping Brian prepare for a youth event next week, studying Tagalog, preparing for my teaching next semester, and numerous other things that are on my 'summer to do list'... but what am I doing instead? I bought an additional 3 books from a bargain sale at a bookstore yesterday to add to my collection of books to read! :) So, after I finish writing this, I'm going to start a new book and play the piano for a while... what a change from the last 5 years! Unfortunately, it won't last for long, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can. So let me know if you have any good book recommendations!