Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Passport and Visa Progress

Merry Christmas to all, in an effort to keep everyone updated, my passport arrived today one day early from the embassy. I have my business visa for SE Asia. We are on schedule to head to New Brunswick, Canada tomorrow sometime. The schedule for the next few months should go as follows:

-December 29th, drive to Canada
-January 6th, fly to Chicago
-January 10th, fly to SE Asia
-March 16th, fly to Chiang Rai, Thailand
-March 25th, fly back to Northland
-May 14th - GRADUATION - drive home.

That's the basic skeleton structure of the next semester. I will also be posting pictures on the blog this time. I have found a way to link the blog with my picasa web albums, so keep checking back for more. I'm still posting some pictures from the last trip on the blog for those of us who don't check facebook. :) Some will probably still appear on facebook too. :)

G&P

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Update 2010

Well, it's been a crazy couple of months through the past semester. Exams are over and classwork is finished. Plans for Asia are coming to a conclusion. Departure is planned for the 10th of January from O'Hare in Chicago. I'll be taking 2 classes online for the entire semester, and 2 more block classes when I get back to campus for the last 6 weeks after Spring Break. With these four classes (and a few more i can hopefully sit in on when I return) should complete all the credits I still need. The next couple weeks should be rather busy but enjoyable. :) Jon and I will be in Danville, IL for Christmas and then drive to New Brunswick to spend the New Year with his family, meeting everybody else. I will then fly back home on the 6th, finish packing, and then fly to Asia four days later. :) Good stuff.

A lot of people have started asking some popular questions:
1. Are you going back to the same places?
2. Are you doing the same thing you did before?
3. Are you excited to go back?
4. Are you nervous about it after last time's adventures with your passport?

To answer these questions nearly simultaneously for everyone's benefit, most of them are yes and no at the same time. Yes, I'm going back to the same places, but also adding a few new destinations that I can't specifically name. We'll be in the same countries (excluding India) but going to more places outside the capitals. Yes, I'll be doing a lot more with literacy work that I got to watch and help with before, but I also will do more with the team and less with school work. They need more help on the literacy training, with maybe a little less observing of Greek and Hebrew. Yes, I'm definitely excited to go back, although obviously some of the first-time wonder is gone, but replaced with a settled deeper joy at knowing mostly what to expect and anticipating that work again. Finally, mostly no, I am not particularly nervous about the traveling, even after the excitement in Bangkok. I have learned a lot about manuevering through foreign countries and working in crowds and the public sector. While not an expert in all things Bangkok, I do feel more prepared to get through large international airports and cross-cultural settings without getting robbed and/or stranded.

So, basically it's great to see how our Father works these situations out to the way He's prepared. I am excited to go back and help with the work I saw last time. So, hopefully I'll be able to update again before heading out to Asia...

G&P

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One More Time...

Well, sadly this blog has been wretchedly neglected in the past few months and even before the trip ended. I did not anticipate being blocked from accessing it in SE Asia, so that put a damper on the plans, however, if anyone out there still checks this and is still interested in updates, I am pleased and blessed to report that I will be going back this upcoming January for Round 2! :) We'll be going back to SE Asia and also spending more time in Thailand this time, however India will not be on the itinerary. We can only have so much fun in one trip and something had to give.

I will attempt to find a way to constantly update this from Asia without actually getting on the site, so we'll see how that works.

G&P to you all

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Update

Sorry there's been such a gap in the updating going on here. We just
got back from Chaung Tha where we spent almost a week at the beach
without our computers or internet, just relaxing and enjoying the
team. As far as recent updates, if you haven't already checked, you
can go to Northland's website (www.ni.edu) and there's a section on
the front page you can click to see the update I sent them. :) Sorry
it's second hand, but there are pics on facebook, so enjoy the
treasure hunt. :)

G&P

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Update

Hey everyone,

Sorry it's been a while since I updated on this.  Things have been good here getting settled down into life after India. : )  The apt. is no longer so empty now that Carla has arrived to keep me company. :)  Things have also been quite busy since arriving here.  We've been working with several different language groups, although my work has primarily been with editing the Bualkhaw and trying to get caught up on school. :) I am finding that being literally a week behind the normal class, is about right give or take a day for getting the lectures up.  Anyway, I am hoping to shortly get to work with the literacy side of things soon (yay for tea and games) which is with Carla and Kristy, as well as a writer's training with Dr. Connie.  We got to see a school graduation this afternoon, which was nice to see how they do it over here.  Also, got to visit a pagoda yesterday, which was definitely a new perspective on Buddhism.

For those of you who are talking to the Father about me, you could mention sleep, which is a good thing and is a rare commodity in this arena. :)  Also, please remember daily time in the word.  It's vital for me to stay healthy.  Please remember the team and the work and think about us while we're out here on vacation.

G&P

--
-ktg-
II Corinthians 4:7

Sunday, February 21, 2010

unexpected events

Hey everyone,

Well, I have arrived, and really hope you can see this.  I just found out that my blog is blocked over here, so I can't get on to post or check comments.  I am trying to post through email, but have no idea if this will even work.  In this case, i am not sure how to proceed, but I will try to keep everyone updated the best ways I can.  I have access to gmail, nland's email as well as nland online and facebook.  I haven't checked all my other options, but I may leave the blog, or just try to update by emailing it if that will work.  We'll have to see how this goes, but for now, don't bother commenting because I can't get on the page to publish any. :) Feel free to keep emailing, and posting on facebook.  I'll try to let you all know what's going on when I figure that out. :)

G&P

Monday, February 15, 2010

More...

Well, I almost feel like I should put a disclaimer on the last post and tell people I was tired when I wrote that one. Looking back it sounds a little down to me, and I would like to correct the impression it may have left with those of you who aren't here on a daily basis and can't see how things are going. Things are going very well. Yes, I've been having technical difficulties and this week seems especially bad on that end, but the Father has been teaching me a lot through this, and has really been showing me that dependence on Him is vital to my life and my work. I cannot be productive without His help, and have nothing to boast of except what He has done in my life.

This past week has been a fight, in the sense of me fighting to let go of all these tiny minor side things that I hold onto so tightly, thinking they make me good, or they make me a good student or a good worker, or a good child of my Father. Well, they don't. The only thing that makes me good is His work in me. The only reason i am worth anything is because of the worth that He has put in me. The only value I have, is the value I hold from Him. This is a humbling lesson to learn, but also a worthwhile one. If I sounded down or discouraged in previous posts, know this. There is work going on, and it is very vital work. It is getting done slowly-slowly, but it is not without resistance, and it is not going to finish itself. The sights, sounds, shops, excitement, etc. are fun, but the true value of your Asian vacation lies in the people you meet, and the books they read.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sick and Shopping

Well, sorry these are getting shorter and shorter. Really quick update on this week. It's been an insane week of the simple rule of what can go wrong will go wrong, and what can't go wrong, can go wrong. Monday, my power cord for my computer died and was smashed open by a hammer and screwdriver. This did not fix it however, and I had to share with others which made it interesting to get work done. Tuesday, they bought me a new power cord with an Indian plug on the end, so I plugged it in and it was fine, but after lunch I plugged it in and sparks started flying out in different directions, mostly at me and Carla. Well, needless to say, that was the end of that, after the sparks came smoke. :) So, two power cords down in two days. Well, Wednesday I got yet another power cord, and this one has yet to die on me, however, internet access had been very limited and I still had not finished much schoolwork, also the book of Psalms had to be converted and imported from the Word file for Darlong to a better editing program, so I spent til late hours of the night working on that Tuesday night (with borrowed power cord) only to find that it was not the latest copy and would all have to be redone. Wednesday was a breath of fresh air, obviously :) when work started getting accomplished, until Wed. night when I started feeling sick to my stomach and soon followed that with vomiting in the middle of the night. All Thursday I was in bed sick, and got an injection to make my stomach settle down. Also, Thursday morning was the day that my roommate, Carla, was to leave for another undisclosed location in Southeast Asia with Kristy and others. So, Friday morning I was glad to finally be able to go back to work and try to help with footnotes for the Paite project from Genesis to Job, that took most of the day, until about 4pm or so, when Uncle Sana and Aunt Nancy took us shopping at a local village market. I got some salwars, shawls, and a bright neon green mosquito net for my bed. :) It was very interesting shopping in an Indian shop. It gives new meaning to shop til you drop. you go in, sit down on a step and they pull out everything in the store while you sit there and get buried in fabric. You say a color or style of clothing and the shelves explode at you til you say no more or pick something and bicker over the price. Uncle Sana argued most of my prices down for me, but I was very proud to be able to say I at least lowered the price of one salwar down 50 rupees, which isn't much, but made me feel slightly less American and stupid, or at least slightly less American... Anyway, after we got back from the market, we made pizza in the apt. and ate and kind of cleaned up, by this time it was 8 or 9 so I went back to Uncle Sana's and checked email before going to sleep. :) Ok, that was a brief overview of the past week, and it's all I have time for, so for now, take care!

G&P

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Short Update

Hello all. Well, :) since I last wrote, much has happened, but I find the most eventful times get recorded the least because I'm busy with events. So far the consulting and translation has been intriguing and exciting at times and amazing at other points. Online classes have had a rather slow start, but I am finally catching up on the first couple weeks of class. Routine has set in with schedules throughout the day. Most days I get up around 6:30am, get ready, have breakfast with Carla, Indeara, and Aunt Nancy. Then we leave for the office at about 8:30am. We have a meeting with everyone there for a few minutes, we read together and then talk to the Father together. Then we break up and do our separate work. Some days I work on computer formatting and getting text from Microsoft Word to a different program more suited for it. I've also worked with editing and got to sit in with a few linguistics workshops. At the office the routine is work til about 10am then tea break, then work, then lunch about 12:15pm, then work, then tea break about 3:15pm, then work til maybe 4:30 or 5p then we go back to the clinic. This has been the routine for most weekdays. Saturday we tend to relax more and not go to the office, and we played badminton last time. Sundays our routine varies quite a bit. So, that's about all I have time to write about right now. Time to get back to school. :)

G&P

Monday, February 1, 2010

Arrival

Well, I am finally here. :) After several days in airplanes and airports, I am officially in India, currently sitting in the office with Leah and Rachel trying to figure out my classes online as they work on editing. The trip went fine, for the most part-uneventful. Kolkata airport was probably the most exciting part, but that may have to wait for another day. The car ride back from the airport was literally an experience that would "blow your hair back" and even the girls who've already been here many times were a little nervous with the dodging and honking. Pretty much imagine downtown LA traffic during rush hour, put it in an offroad setting and then put the whole thing on steroids... :) I have a couple video clips of the drive, which i may post at a future date.

For now, I will try to get pics uploaded soon, and write more when I figure out internet connection better. Thanks for the support and prayers. :)

G&P

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Status: In Transit

I'm typing this from the Bangkok airport, and the current local time is 2:31am, Monday morning. The flights have gone well from Green Bay to Chicago, a stopover in Tokyo, and now Bangkok. As far as I can tell the heavy duty flying time is over for now, but the major challenges in the next stage of the trip should be off the airplane, such as customs in India and maneuvering terminals, currency exchange, etc. :) But that's tomorrow's adventure, or should I say today in a few hours. My outlet adaptor is working, my computer is charging in a Thai outlet, and I think Maxwell likes it. :) He's a pretty international computer. Well, with all this free time on my hands, I think I shall attempt to get some school done. Who would guess I'm listening to lectures for Romans class?

G&P and will try to update more when i arrive at Silchar.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not Long Now

Well, with the departure date 8 days away and Northland 2 days away, I'm into the final stages of packing and preparing to leave. The Commissioning service with church last Sunday night went extremely well and even though public speaking will never be my strong point, my Father let the details get across of what this trip will entail. There's not a lot of news to report at this point. I leave for Northland with my parents this Saturday in the morning. I'll spend a week at Northland attending the first day of each of my classes, meeting the teachers, getting the syllabi, discussing what the online classes will include, and having training sessions with the other study abroad students who are leaving for other areas of the world. After a week of training and discussions and going over details, I will fly out on Saturday, January 30th, at about 6am from Green Bay. I will probably try to write a few short updates from each airport, depending on how long it takes to find an outlet and an internet connection :). Anyway, that's basically what's going on now. I look forward to reporting more from the other side of the world. :)

G&P

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Flight Details and such

Well, since the last post I also got the Typhoid shot, and hopefully am done with shots for a while, just malaria medicine yet to take. I also got a list of the flights I'll be taking for the trip except the final flight from Maine to Green Bay in May when I go back to school. I'll be flying out of Green Bay January 30th at 6am and flying to Chicago. After a 5 hour layover there I'll fly out of Chicago stop in Tokyo to refuel then make it to Bangkok where I'll get in about 11:45pm on Sunday, spend about 9 hours there then fly to Calcutta the next morning where I'll spend most of the late morning/early afternoon in that airport, then get a connecting flight to Silchar which is my actual destination.

I also found out that since our trip is over April 18th, I'll be spending about 3 weeks in Maine working on follow-up to the projects with the Champeons. So, for right now, the focus is more on packing and getting visa applications taken care of, my visa app. for India has already been sent in, but the one for Myanmar is about to get sent this upcoming week I believe. The day is quickly approaching, the countdown is currently 27 days, 14 hrs, 30 mins, 30 secs til takeoff. :) And the seconds keep ticking away. That's where things stand, I appreciate all prayer on this because I know that this is something God is going to do through me with His strength, I definitely can't do this on my own. :) Til the next update--grace and peace.