In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Sunday, April 29, 2012
I write on your hand what I write on my hand
Stop sign outside the school, early on a Tuesday morning. It is rain season and you can smell when the sky is about to pour. The light changes too. An ominous foreboding feeling, like you should duck and run for cover. Lucky for us, we're already inside.
My cluttered desk in the English office. I keep photos of past students stuck under the plastic to remind me never to give up. Oh, and yes, that's Boggle!
Some sweet rock lady bugs Rebekah and I made. Found the stones in the park and painted them with brushes. Reminded me of something my Grandfather Forest would have done.
This is the Lorax inspired entry to Kinu's school library and where I stand to drop the girls off and pick them up every day. There's an owl hiding too. Can you see it?
On the way to the gym at lunch, there was this advertisement on a bus showing these horrible designer jeans. Yes, that is what many people consider style here. It's frightening.
In the courtyard of the school I stumbled upon these children playing the traditional Taiwan yoyo. They looked happy.
Would you believe it, the one teacher who didn't allow my 9th graders to give a five minute Kony 2012 presentation was Princess, my old nemesis. Who does that? Actually tells studnets no... what you are passionate about is a waste of time? Why does someone like that even become a teacher? Well, when I found out she refused my students, I was reading this story about a giant octopus eating this ship... it seemed fitting.
This guy was sitting in front of me at my daughter Rebekah's second round Speech Contest. He was Born to Rock!
These are school children scrubbing the floor at lunch. It is their punishment for not completing homework or acting rudely in class. I've asked the school to at least allow them to wear gloves, as the corroding chemicals they use are dangerous on their hands and fingers... but to no avail.
Evenings after school are best, just me and the girls riding bikes or having some juice and watching the sun go down. Sometimes in the morning I write little notes on their tiny hands before they go to school. Inspirational words or pictures... a music note for hope... a happy face for a smile... a litte inkblack heart for love... by the end of the day... only the barest trace remains.
Then we walk the little path in front of the new apartment down toward the art museum. These are the trees I climb for my girls... the ones they stand beneath jumping and screaming for me to lift them up... as I climb higher.
Then we stop at the post office to spy a letter from home...oops! Today it is empty. Maybe tomorrow.
This is a street poster I've been eyeballing for a couple of weeks... soon as I get my chance... I'm stealing it!
After dinner and dishes and dips in the tub we lay on my bed and do puzzles. Here little Kinu practices her U.S. States.
Her two big sisters have the right idea...passing Nintendo games back and forth. Sorry girls, let's brush our teeth and wash our hands good... it's time for stories and bed. We'll wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.