Sunday, August 31, 2014

Catching Up

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted.  The first weeks of school have been good, but busy.  Lots of changes.  A lot of new teachers in the apartment, a new class of kids who don't know the routine yet and just going about every day stuff has kept me busy and distracted.

I continue to enjoy living in Mandalay.  It is changing so rapidly here.  A new Ocean Superstore opened.  It's a mall with the grocery store (and more) as the largest tenant.  It is modeled after a western style store and is large, clean and wonderful.  The products are pretty much the same but the shopping experience is so much nicer than the old, crowded store.

The new store is in an area that is undergoing a transformation.  Across the street from the new stadium which was built for last year's SEA games, there are new luxury homes and condos going up, along with more stores.  It is totally different in "feel" than the rest of Mandalay.

A week ago a friend and I sat and watched people pour into the store.  It was a nonstop stream of mostly very well dressed, very wealthy people of a variety of ages.  Unlike an American mall, where sweats, flip flops and gym shoes prevail, the new Ocean customers are dressed to impress.  More like they're going to a nightclub than a grocery store.

I reconnected with a local friend I hadn't seen for quite awhile.  That was excellent - he's terrific and lived in the US for ten years and speaks fluent English.  He has the perspectives of both cultures and is able to communicate what's going on so it makes hanging out really interesting.

I promise to try to do a better job of posting.  In the meantime, here are some recent photos:
I taught the kids "Slap It" - a card game to help them learn odd and even numbers.  They love it.

We studied maps all week and on Friday they read a map to find a treasure.  All four teams were successful!

Happy times playing "Slap it"

Sunday morning view from my apartment.  The rainy season has finally begun.

I love the green and the view of all the pagodas.

The water buffalo strolling home after grazing behind my apartment.  There were also goats and cows today.  Water buffalos rule, though.

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