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What will the future bring?

I have a lot of stuff swimming around in my head right now.
Our lives are definitely changing in the next 8 months. There is no way for things to stay the same. The change is scary, because I don't know what it will be.
So far, Nick hasn't been able to find a job for next year. We are both certified teachers for secondary school, and we both have MA's in teaching. But we DON'T have experience teaching in the US school system, and while we are certified TEACHERS (you have to take a test to be certified, kind of like a "bar exam" for teachers), we aren't certified in our SUBJECT AREAS (another level of testing we have yet to complete-- thanks a lot, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND!)
I am going to the states in March because my brother is getting married. I have been planning all of this time to leave March first and then come back to Laos about April 16th, after the Lao New Year holiday. I would be back in Laos for about 6 weeks before probably moving back to the states for ONE YEAR.
But now, some new elements have been thrown into our plans. We had assumed that we would keep the house that we are renting here. All of our stuff would stay here and a single female friend of ours would live in our house while we are gone. Last week we found out that our landlord wants to sell the house. So when our rental agreement is finished in April, we have to leave. I don't know what to do with our stuff. I guess I will sell some things and try to disperse everything around to different friend's houses. There isn't "rental storage" here like there is in the states.
And Nick is saying that maybe when I leave in March, I shouldn't come back. That would put me in the states for 2 1/2 months before Nick could join us. I just feel so rushed and unsure. There is so much to do to prepare our things.
"Things" can be such a burden, but so can not having them!!!
We both need jobs. And I'm having a baby in August, so there are certain jobs I can't/won't do for a while. Of course I'm going to stay at home (in my parents house!) with my baby.
The fairy tale ending would be if Nick got a teaching job back home, and then got hired by the International school in Laos the following year. You get a better benefits package if you are hired by an international school via a recruitment fair in the states. If you are hired and you already live in the country (like right now, we already live in Laos) you don't get NEAR same amount of benefits. "Foreign hire" (people who live in the US) get plane tickets, rent, and medical ON TOP OF their salary. "Local hire" just get a salary. It is a difference of thousands of dollars a year.

And there's other stuff going on...our Nanny is trying to get a visa to come with us to the states for a few months, until the baby is born. Ideally she could come about 2 months before the birth and stay until the baby is 2 months old. Especially it would be nice for her to be there when I go into labor, so my parents could come to the hospital and Jonas could stay with her at home. She is so excited about the prospect of "coming to America". I will hate it if it doesn't work out.

But this week, I shouldn't be worrying about all of this. On Thursday we are leaving on a family vacation to Singapore! We got a GREAT deal on plane tickets, but finding a hotel under $50 a night that wasn't in the red light district was kind of a challenge. We read this one review site for hotels and one of the hotels in the "Little India" district had reviews all by Indian people. And one of the reviews said simply, "GREAT SMELL!" We weren't really convinced to stay there from that review.

This is kind of a lame thing to be excited about, but I hear that you can drink the tap water in Singapore.
Woo hoo!!!
The trip is going to be "all about Jonas". We are going to "Snow World", which is an indoor snow park (he has never seen snow!!!). I think it will be a big hit. He loves Snowmen. He talks about them all the time.
We are also doing some kind of amusement park, which I forgot the name of, a Bird Sanctuary, which we went to one in Malaysia that Jonas LOVED. The Singapore Bird Sanctuary is supposedly the largest in Asia. We are also doing "the world's only night safari". That sounds cool, doesn't it?
There is supposed to be great food and fun shopping. I think it will be fun. I hope we don't get too worn out.
Only 2 more weeks and I will be in the 2nd trimester! I can't wait to stop feeling so tired.

After Singapore we are going to Chiang Mai, Thailand for our annual conference. This will be our last year with the company, and therefor our last "annual conference". This is our 5th! Yikes!

After conference some of our friends who work in Tibet our visiting us. They tried to visit last year but were thwarted when the husband contracted Hepatitis E, which I never had even heard of until he got it. But now he is better. Nick is dead set about never going to India now, because that is where our friend got the strange disease.

I feel a little better typing out all of my woes about the future. I am ready to win the lottery now. That would help a lot. I actually got into playing Powerball when we were in Tennessee last summer. The jackpot was like 80 million. I wonder if anyone ever won it.

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007 at 12:05 PM

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