August roundup.


August has passed in a whirlwind!

Someone was telling me that the days pass so slowly here in Portugal and yet another said that the days were going by extremely fast. I tend to identify with the latter. When you’re busy and incredibly preoccupied with life, time tends to zoom right by. And it was so this month.

Here’s a roundup of some of the things that happened this month. I’ll start with the negative and end with the positive, I reckon.

1. Meltdowns. Twice.

This month, I experienced two occasions where I almost bit someone’s head off. One, was due to the other party’s tone and another was a disagreement over some working methods. Now granted, when I say “meltdown”, I don’t quite mean a screaming match over something trivial or going just batpoop crazy. I’d like to say that that never happens with me. On the other hand though, I did get annoyed enough to walk out and shut the door rather forcibly (short of a slam) on one of those occasions. Not my best moment.

Both incidents made me conscious of how much self-control it takes to walk away calmly. I thought I had it covered, but some people just get under your skin in unimaginable ways. Everything has righted itself of course and honestly, I think I’ve also learnt to be more direct in voicing out my irritation in the nicest way possible.

2. Language improvement.

It’s true the more you use a language, the better you get at it. I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a language person. I speak a few languages; 3 fluently (English, Mandarin and Japanese – the latter two reasonably fluently) and the one I am somewhat struggling with now, Portuguese, in a rather basic fashion.

However, I’ve noticed that since I began teaching lessons in our connect groups, I’ve had such an exponential increase in vocabulary and am starting to be able to voice my thoughts more freely. No doubt I depend a lot on God for this (He isa miracle-working God after all). While I am far from understanding everything the locals say, I am thrilled that I can understand the gist of their conversations, teach and pray with confidence. Those things are achievements and I am very proud of them. Pat on the back! I’m totally looking forward to having Portuguese under my belt.

3. Excursions. Coimbra especially.

I loved exploring new places this month. Some for work and others for just leisure. And I had great company at times, for which I am immensely grateful for. There’s something about having a likeminded travel companion to take in the sights with you, make snarky comments and being just generally silly. I’ve come to appreciate that a lot.

And photography on these journeys has been simply amazing with the Fujifilm X70. I love that little thing. It’s one of the best cameras I’ve ever purchased, along with the Ricoh GR (version 1, which I sold previously and still have seller’s remorse over). The X70 handles well out of the box and although I’ve yet to explore it fully, it packs a punch when it comes to photographing street scenes (which I tend to do a lot of). Just take a look at some of the photos I’ve taken on the blog. Gorgeous rendering. Gosh, I’m such a geek.

4. iPad Air 2

I’ve gotten so much mileage out of this bad boy since I got it. Whether it’s playing archaic games from back in the day (Fruit Ninja, Tiny Tower), to bingeing on YouTube tech videos and vlogs, this thing is awesome. It keeps me occupied on train rides, allows me to work on the go and helps me unwind. I keep thinking though that I should’ve gotten the iPad Pro, but the cost was stratospheric and I didn’t feel comfortable with that. All in all though, it’s really one of those items I’m glad to have.

And so that’s a pretty quick summary of my August. How did yours go?

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