A thousand apologies for the long silence. Master’s work has devoured all of my spare time for both reading and writing. So where before, it was easier to get up on Saturday morning and have a leisurely several hours to sip my coffee and write, I am now forced to hit the books. So this is why instead of sitting cross-legged at my dining room table with my laptop and my coffee in sunny Torreon, I’m sipping tea and eating my mom’s homemade Christmas candy (shhhh don’t tell her) in positively frigid Minnesota. Tea and Christmas candy: Breakfast of Champs, am I right?

This year has been different and busier than last year was even considering that it was my first year teaching. It is easier in a sense because I am teaching content that I have taught before which allows me to anticipate what’s coming next and have my “ducks in a row” so to speak. This year’s class is also a pretty typical first-grade class particularly compared with my class last year which was to quote my favorite master’s professor, a class that was “hand-picked by Satan himself”, but I digress. It is busier with the addition of two master’s classes which keep me on my toes and also teach me more about tiny humans which just happens to be my favorite subject.

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I have taken two vacations so far this year. One was in September for Mexican Independence Day weekend where we went camping in Cuatro Cienegas and visited the Dunes.The other was for Thanksgiving where we went to San Miguel de Allendes and Guanajuato City. In San Miguel de Allendes, we stayed in a gorgeous Air B&B and wandered the city. In Guanajuato City, we did what I dubbed the Halloween tour because we visited the mummy museum and the site where people were tortured by monks back in the day.  Both vacations were incredible and allowed me to see even more of an already beloved Mexico.

This year, my contract with CAT is ending–a fact of which I have been all too aware since arriving back home in August. The past few months have been filled with waffling back and forth between staying for another year or leaving and mentally attempting to file every moment and experience under the “pro” or “con” side of the argument. Let me tell you, it has been a mentally and emotionally exhausting process, and I feel like I landed on a different side of the line every day only to be filled with indecision yet again by the day’s end. I am relieved, excited, and more than a little bit sad to say that I finally made a decision and signed saying that I will not be rejoining CAT for another year. Instead, I have signed a contract to teach on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands as a preschool teacher and assistant director of their child development center and school age program. I am thrilled to be going back to the age groups that overflow my heart with joy, and I am soaking in as much information as I possibly can from my master’s classes in order to be as fully prepared as I can be for my new roles. Simultaneously, my heart breaks with the knowledge that I cannot be in three places at once which means that I will not only continue to miss my family and friends from home, but I will add new aches to my heart for the people and places I have grown to love so much in my new home.

New adventures and a new year! I’m sure it will be nothing less than eventful, and I plan to keep you up-to-date on all of the new developments. Enjoy your new year everyone!

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