Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pre-Field Orientation (PFO)

On Monday, June 25th, I flew from Richmond, VA to Memphis, TN for training.. or as I told my friends in Newport News, my trial run. :)

The organization I'm going to teach for Network of International Christian Schools holds an annual two week orientation/training for all of their new teachers (missionaries). It's held in Southaven, Mississippi, so naturally one of the highlights has been the never-ending supply of good ole-fashioned southern cooking. We've had country fried chicken, chicken pot pie, grits, meatloaf, pork tenderloin, and so much more. A bunch of us have joked that they're fattening us up before sending us to all the ends of the Earth where they know we'll lose it all instantly! (I hope, at least!)

In addition to food, other highlights have been:
- learning all about Third Culture Kids and how to most effectively teach them.
- meeting 130 other people who have the same mission and calling as I do (and many of them have similar backgrounds, too!).
- getting to know the other 3 teachers who are headed to Malaysia with me. (They're AWESOME!)
- sleeping on cots in a camp/dorm style with 50 other young single girls (5 to a room) and showering in a locker room down the hall.
- going to a Memphis Redbirds minor league baseball game (and finding a grassy hill to go 'cardboard sledding' down... pictures to come later!).
- watching Annie Get Your Gun at the local community theater for free.

- learning about personal, home, and classroom safety and doing a simulation with 'terrorists' attacking our bus.
- and more!

It has really been a wonderful week. I have been missing "home" a lot, but it's been a good little practice for what's to come and helpful in letting me know how to make this transition as smoothly as possible. I have the rest of this week (it's jam-packed full of classes and fun activities!) and then fly back to Virginia on Friday!

My bedroom is literally a middle school classroom. They gave us a padlock so that we could store our valuables in the lockers right outside the door! (This is only half the room, there are 2 other beds on the other side!) I was the first to arrive, so I picked the bed closest to the window!

One of my roommates had a lot of trouble sleeping the first two nights because of rolling around and blood rushing to her head. The third night, she decided to put her mattress on the ground and sleep there. I don't understand what the problem was!!


  1. Hahaha! Is that picture REAL?! What???

  2. "I feel like I'm sleeping on Mt. Rushmore!"