Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I like least and best about my new job...

Today's a Typhoon Day (heavy winds in Hong Kong from Typhoon Nesat, wind forces measured up to 121 KM per hour!) so I thought it's a good time to update my blog after my first two weeks on the new job as International Students' Coordinator at the Lutheran School of Theology in Hong Kong.

Above you can see a few of the beautiful faces I get to see each and every day that I am at the seminary.  (Shout-out to the congregations of the Indiana-Kentucky synod of the ELCA -- do you recognize one of these faces???  You should, because one of these wonderful new students is able to study here in Hong Kong because of a scholarship generously sponsored by YOU!)

This week I"m discovering that this job entails all I love to do best... and least!

I'll tell you about the least, first.

I get to push pencils.  Fill out forms.  Figure out where documents are filed on the computer.  Make sure money has transferred into the correct accounts.  Convert euros and U.S. dollars into Hong Kong dollars (whoa, for those who are interested... the euro really is worth a lot less than it was just a few months ago).  I get to send (what seems like) endless documents to the Immigration Office (for visas) and make sure they bear the correct reference numbers (Ref. 0001732096754 S0155, formerly ref. 0001697043226 S11432) for one made-up-but-not-exaggerated example! And I get to write elaborate letters thanking the immigration office for the opportunity to send in yet more documents for their perusal!  And, when sending to Cambodia for another document to send - immediately - to the Hong Kong office, I get a letter back stating that there is a national festival in Cambodia which means that all governmental offices are closed down... for the week!  AND when I DO get all the documents together for the students from Laos, I zip them off to the Hong Kong Immigration office (Ok, I don't actually zip them anywhere, because the fax machine clogs up on me at least 3 times) but I finally get them -- slowly - chug chug -- sent off so they will be there first thing in the morning... when ta ta!  A typhoon comes cycling close enough to HK that ALL HK governmental offices are closed today.

That's what I like least about my new job.

What I like best is....

International students. From Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia... and more.
That's what I like best about my new job.

"Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”            Revelation 15:4

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Jobs

  I haven't posted lately because I've been a wee bit busy... I have a new job!  Actually TWO of them!  I am now (Job #1) the International Students' Coordinator at the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Hong Kong (same place - at the top of the hill here in Shatin -- where my husband, "Dr. Wayne" teaches) AND (Job #2) I'm the Associate Coordinator of the Mekong Mission Forum Network Implementation Committee.

I've spent the first week on the job just trying to learn my title(s)!  And getting acquainted with the map of the Mekong River (helpfully lifted from the internet).

After less than a week on  Job #1 I've already fielded inquiries from India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Ghana, Canada, and the USA. 

After less than a week on Job #2 I've done a bit of editing on an MMF-NIC publication but mostly am wondering whether I ever actually be able to be of help to anyone.  (I did learn how to use the copier, the scanner, and after much fumbling, successfully unlocked my own office door).

Stay tuned!

Oh, and I've still reserved Thursdays for Job #3, (volunteer church work, continuing for my third year already!) which is working with the primary school kids at the Ma On Shan Lutheran School in Heng On... we're going to be doing the Big Jungle Adventure  later on this fall in our Truth English Bible Club.  One of our sponsoring churches in Wisconsin sent us a bunch of fun crafts, posters, and prizes to use, since they used the same program this summer.

It's amazing what a big world it is, and how interconnected.

And now it's time for me to go to bed (yes, I'm pretty much over jet lag except that I'm going to bed at 9:30 and getting up at 5!) and time for many of you to be getting up for the day's journey.  Reminds me of one of my favorite hymns, stanzas 1 & 4 of "The Day You Gave Us, Lord, Has Ended":

The day you gave us, Lord, has ended, the darkness falls at your behest,
To you our morning hymns ascended; your praise shall hallow now our rest.

The sun, here having set, is waking your children under western skies,
and hour by hour as day is breaking, fresh hymns of thankful praise arise.