January 1, 2010

Christmas in Thailand, Ringing in the New Year, Awaiting Students’ Arrival

The Graber Millers spent Christmas weekend in nearby Bangkok, just an hour’s flight away. The kids loved the enormous buffet breakfasts, and they were especially pleased with our hotel’s majestic, rooftop pool, with stunning views overlooking the sprawling city of 12 million. We also had a chance to take in the Jatujak Weekend Market, one of the largest outdoor markets in the world. We also repeatedly rode Bangkok’s famous sky train to get about the city, and Mia and Simon loved that, too, even at rush hour. Some students will travel to Bangkok after the SST experience is over in April.

On New Year’s eve we went for dinner at Lana and Andy Miller’s house, which is two blocks from ours. Lana, a Goshen College graduate, and her husband Andy are Southeast Asia Directors for Mennonite Central Committee. The picture shows us dining on a Cambodian feast on their rooftop terrace.

Homeschooling for Simon and Mia continues to go well, with Simon reading for hours every day and both Simon and Mia doing several hours of structured study each day: social studies, math, science, writing, and reading. They enjoy the flexibility of the homeschool schedule, and the freedom to learn about Cambodian culture as a part of their education.

SSTers all have received their host family placements, so they know something about the families they’ll be living with. We’ve also completed a first draft of the syllabus, schedule, and week-by-week assignments and sent an extensive packing list for students.

By this time next week, the Graber Millers and the 19 GC Cambodia SSTers will be settling into our hotel for the night, going through our orientation sessions, and preparing to go home with host families the following afternoon. We’re anxiously awaiting the students’ arrival.

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