Monday, February 20, 2017

North American Update #3 - sorry it has been a while!

February 20, 2017

Hi there folks....sorry it has taken me so long to get this update out, but i am amazed at how fast time flies....i turn around and months have passed....it has been busy around here.....from working in elementary schools and re-working curriculum for my job, to driving my folks to florida for their time away, to going to st louis to hang with friends to celebrate new years, to the holiday season, which was fun & crazy all rolled into one, to the wild politics here (which i will not discuss, as it just makes people on all sides of the issues mad), to the search for my next teaching position (i really didn't want to write to folks until i knew what i was doing for the next academic year).....so it has just been a fast moving roller coaster here in PA.....i can't believe it is coming to the end of february.....so here i am, with my very late update of what has been happening....

so it is official.....i attended a job fair in boston a few weeks back and have now secured a new position starting mid-july.....i will be headed to another international school...and this time it will be in panama....i will be working in the middle school science department of the international school of panama.....much closer to the states than my last two posts....so of course the invitation to come visit is now extended.....not until after august of this year....but you will find me in panama for the next two academic years, at least.....i am very excited to get back into a middle school classroom and working internationally....i miss the international school community......although, i will miss quite a lot of people and things from the states, i really do feel that i fit in better in an international setting...and i consider this your invitation to come visit me abroad....

but this update is not about an international location.....this is about the states and my visits to a few different ones than PA, as well as my time here in PA....the holidays were wonderful and my job has been going well....so onto the shots that make up my life at the moment :)  feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, comments or concerns as always....here come the pictures....many of them include people, which i hope if these folks are reading this blog, they are ok with having their pictures in it!!!!!


this first shot is from an african fabric exhibit i went to at the philly museum of art (you know the steps from the rocky movies)....i loved going to this exhibit as it reminded me just how colorful ghana & west africa, truly is through its fabric and in turn the folks wearing the fabric....i really liked this indigo fabric of the continent itself and all of the different patterns....it made me smile thinking of ghana!


as we were leaving the museum, it was a full moon and i just had to have this shot....this is a piece of art - a metal tree that has fallen over, located very close to the art museum itself....cool picture in my opinion....
 

another big happening over the past few months was my dad's 75th birthday....he was showered with love and attention and had three parties, two of which were surprises.....my mom is great at stuff like this....this shot above is of the birthday boy at his celebratory brunch with the family....lookin' good :)


i live very close to longwood gardens here outside of philly, and their christmas display is always  a good thing to go see over the holiday season....i went twice this past holiday season and of course was not disappointed....the indoor trees and plants are always so festive...like the one you see above....


they also have a wonderful outside exhibit....i am always amazed with how many lights they can get onto one tree...and i really loved the tree above, as they did not only the branches and trunk above, but did a representation on the ground of the roots....it was amazing!!!!


longwood also is know for it's fountain displays....but they are being refurbished at the moment....but this one was very colorful and festive and was the way we rounded out our visit to these beautiful gardens....they had great holiday music playing as well :)
 

one of the things i love about living in the states near a big city is all of the shows i have the opportunity to see....and this past fall i got to see one of my favorite scientists in person....neil degrasse tyson....he is an amazing astrophysicist, who has the capability to explain science to anyone and everyone, in a way that is understandable....if you have never seen him speak....go on you tube and watch him....i especially love when he talks about death by a black hole....don't worry, you have nothing to fear about this topic, as we are nowhere near a black hole.....
 

also this past fall i got to see one of my favorite musicians....amy ray of the indigo girls....she was playing with a different band and was promoting her new album....she has definitely gotten less "mad" in her solo stuff and i had a great time seeing her in such an intimate venue.....one more thing about the states i love....how many different venues there are for live performances....from coffee houses to vintage theaters to stadiums and concert halls....so glad to have the opportunity to go and see live art!!!! love it!!!!
 

another performance we saw was the philly pops to celebrate the holiday season....the boys choir was there, as was a choir from a local church, in nigerian garb....all members of the performance were great and it put us in the holiday spirit!


i do have to say i am enjoying living in an area that does get cold and have been excited by snow and ice....which i know a lot of people do not like....but for me, i have missed this, and know i will not have snow next year.....rain, lots of rain, but no snow.....this is a wreath we had outside and i loved what it looked like after an ice storm we had.....
 

of course i had to include a shot from work.....this is my co-teacher solar sarah and one of the 4th graders we were working with....i love that the student included her glasses on her matter monster....i really do enjoy what i do....


over the new year holiday i headed to st louis to see my friends owen & katy....of course we had to hit the annheuser-busch brewery.....which was a bunch of fun...it was all dressed up for the holiday season and we did a fun tour, where we saw the clydesdale horses and got to watch a live, outdoor hockey game while enjoying a cold brew.....and i learned that annheuser-busch owns a lot more breweries than i ever imagined, including stella, leffe, shock top and elysian from seattle.....wild what you learn....


while in st louis we went to a museum that was showing an exhibit about route 66 & toys from the 60's, 70's and 80's.....how excited was i to see mousetrap?!?!?! i loved this game soooo much...so of course i had to get a picture of this awesome game!!!!
 

we had a mini reunion of sorts while i was there....go team ghana....so this is katy, eric, myself and owen.....it was a fun evening catching up with what is happening in ghana and in those of our lives who are no longer in ghana....it was a blast :)
 

of course i had to stop by and see the arch of st louis....unfortunately the ride that goes up the arch was not working, but we did get to see a video about how it was built and what an amazing feat this was for the this monument that was finished in 1965....did you know it is the tallest arch in the world and that it is as tall, as it is wide - 630 feet.....some amazing engineering here....plus, it looks like a type of slide here.....


we also went to the city museum in st louis.....it was INCREDIBLE!!!!! it is a museum that is like a giant playhouse....it is perfect for all people, adults & children, and consists of re-purposed architectural & industrial objects...including a school bus, two planes and metal that his been reformed as a ten foot slide.....soooooooooooo cool!!!! the picture above is of one of the art installments in the museum.....can you find me in the picture?????  i LOVED this place and if you are headed to st louis any time soon, you REALLY need to check this place out! 


my last shot from st louis is of my friends katy & owen...it was terrific to see them and catch up and spend new year's together.....i love it when friendships last over miles of space and time, and when you see those friends you pick up just where you left off :)


which is also very true of this picture....as these are my friends andrea and bruno from croatia, who now live in the states....and when i headed up to boston i got to hang with them and meet their lovely daughters.....we had a short, but very sweet reunion in boston when i was up there for the job fair....some fun was had :)
 

the job fair in boston was a bunch of fun this time around because i actually knew a bunch of the recruiters from the schools....quite a few friends were their recruiting for their current schools....which meant i got to see them and didn't know that was going to happen....plus, every time i had an interview, i got to see warren towers of BU, where i lived for two years....it was wonderful to be back in boston and to come away with a new and exciting position for me in panama!!!!
 

i also got to go to a very cool science bar/restaurant on MIT's campus with some great friends from college.....and check out this menu!!!! it is called the miracle of science and the menu is a version of the periodic table.....LOVE!!!!!! 
 

the company i came with to this place was pretty spectacular as well...as i hadn't seen flo & jude together for quite some years....it was terrific to be hanging in boston together and catching up on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.....friends since freshman year.....yay!!!!!


the week after boston i was in NYC....where my current job, science explorers is expanding...i was there for under 24 hours....but in that time i got to see two important people from different times of my life...adriana from china days and samir from BU days....it was a ton of fun to meet up with them for a few hours :)


and of course while in NYC, you have to have some bagels......but, check these out....rainbow bagels, how cool is that!!!! this place had tasty bagels, but then again, the best bagels are always in nyc & nj...it has something to do with the water i think :) loved these bagels....
 

from nyc to florida, where i drove with my folks for their snowbird flight south....the pelicans where they are staying are incredible....this is a shot of a juvenile pelican who was hanging on the jetty, waiting for the fishermen & women to throw the scraps of the fish they caught....crazy birds....
 

and this is a shot of their view for the sunset....pretty perfect if you ask me :)
 

of course i needed to end with a beer in florida....from when i had to buy my dad dinner, as i lost our super bowl bet....wanted to see the patriots lose, but wow what a finish to a game.....first time in 14 years i got to watch the game live, see the commercials as they aired and watch the half-time show....another great thing about being in the states at the moment.....so cheers to american football :)

so there you have it....update from the states #3...thanks for being patient for my post and hopefully i will get another one out before i head south for the school year....hope all of you are well and enjoyed this post as much as i did....happy end of february and here's to the on-coming season of spring/fall, depending on where you are in the world....catch ya on the flip side....

peace out and have a fab day :)
dani
 
 

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