Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

A Warm December

I’ve been quietly inspired by a lot of things lately.

1. Anga flew me to Portland, Maine on his birthday! We had fresh lobster rolls for lunch.  It was so cool to see him in the zone, doing his thing.  One of the great things we have in common is being sure of our respective thing. His thing is flying. My thing is teaching.




2. I’ve been tutoring an 8th grader for the past three weeks.

It’s been a refreshing reminder that teaching is my thing.  My thing that I feel like I’m good at.  My “I’m in the zone” thing.  My thing where I can be creative- but not creative in a messy way, creative in a… wow that’s actually kind of beautiful way.  My thing where I can be structured and have a clear picture of what each part means and how the parts build up to the whole.  My thing that I know I still love because I still get first day, can’t wait to meet the new kids jitters; I get the leap out of bed a 5am with a stressed-excited burst of energy; I feel the disappointments of goals not yet reached…

It’s my thing that brings out the best in me.


The coolest part about this kid in particular is her keen attention to injustice- what a great quality for a historian.  She’s a strong thinker and recognizes pretty quickly whether or not a story is being told from one perspective or many perspectives. She prides herself on being knowledgeable and getting things right. What a fun kid to teach.

It’s just generally very inspiring to work for Bridge.  Here’s my colleague and friend, Lisa Chen, giving out life changing scholarships to kids.


Lisa writes:

Bridge hosted a phenomenal Women Leaders Conference, bringing together over 1,200 incredible women from across Kenya to discuss everything from education to the impact that women have in this world.

There were many personal stories shared, many inspirational tales, and I swear to you:  I’ve never seen an audience so engaged at a conference.  The house was packed.  The roof kept rising.  I needed about 9 boxes of tissues.


3. I read about Angela Merkel’s background and was inspired by the fact that she was a research scientist for many years before becoming Chancellor of Germany.  I’ve always wondered if having a career in education first could ever lead to becoming say… President of the United States.  Reading about Merkel made me feel like it’s all still possible.

I loved this Time Magazine photo series. Merkel just… being a boss!

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 10.47.36 AM.png

4. I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals over the past few days and have found some kind of strange, inspired assurance in the fact that health problems can happen to anyone.  Before visiting a mental health facility I could only picture a lot of rich white families taking their kids there.  Boy was I wrong.  There were families from many races, speaking many languages, with parents of various gender combinations… the diversity was striking.  The diversity of hospital staff was also striking.  My family and I had several “god bless america” moments of appreciation for the doctors and nurses who clearly came from various religious and immigrant backgrounds, who helped our loved ones get through tough times.

5. Aretha Franklin just killing it at the Kennedy Center and Carole King reveling in every note of “A Natural Woman.”

Just watch it. You’ll love it.



2 comments on “A Warm December

  1. Irene Epp
    January 6, 2016

    Love this blog Sara!

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This entry was posted on January 1, 2016 by in Uncategorized.
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