My mom and I just spent 6 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia. One of the temples we visited was Ta Prohm; we almost skipped it because we had already had a long, hot morning at Angkor Wat, but I’m glad we made it. Ta Prohm is one of the “big 3″ temple visits, along with Bayon and Angkor Wat, for a reason. It’s beautiful and fascinating to see how the jungle has merged with the temples over time.

We visited in the early afternoon, and the sun was quite harsh for taking photos. However, when I put some of the shots in black and white, I found they gave off the same tone and feel of the temples when we visited. Here are some of my favorites.

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This year I’ve introduced some different random grouping tools to my English Language Arts classes. I alternate between assigned grouping and random grouping, depending on what activities students are doing. I found it was getting old to always have them counting off, so here are some successful tools you can try in your classroom.

Partner Sticks

Set of 20 partner sticks

For pair work, I found I was falling into a rut of always letting the students work with the person next to them. A quick and easy way to split them up into new pairs is to use “partner sticks.” Since my biggest class has 20 students, I used 20 tongue depressors and wrote 5 different categories of matching items on them.

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Numerous public transportation options exist for traveling around Pakistan. Budget travelers can take advantage of cheap rates on buses, economy class train tickets and minivans, while those who prefer to travel more comfortably can opt for privately hired vehicles or quick flights between far-flung destinations.

1. Bus

Buses connect most cities in Pakistan and are an economical way to travel. Information on tickets, fares and schedules can be accessed at city bus stands, although larger companies like Daewoo, Skyways and NATCO also have websites and customer service offices where you can get information and reserve seats. Buses are air-conditioned or non air-conditioned, and some travel by motorway while others travel by local roads and stop at multiple villages. If you’re traveling between major cities, make sure to purchase a seat on a motorway route.

If you’re willing to spend more for punctuality and service, Daewoo is the way to go. Daewoo stations are located in more suburban areas of cities as opposed to the general, more hectic bus stations. All buses are accompanied by at least one female hostess, and the rate includes refreshments. Daewoo buses stop at nicer roadside service stations instead of small, dingy hotels.

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Last weekend I went to the ISTEC conference in Bangkok, and since the conference was on a Friday, I decided Bangkok would be my December weekend getaway from Saigon. You may remember my last solo getaway was in Boun Ma Thuot in Vietnam’s Dak Lak province. It was a quiet, semi-rural area with easy access to Yok Don National Park and some of the area’s most picturesque lakes and waterfalls. The urban sprawl of Bangkok was definitely a different direction for my December getaway weekend!

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While I worked with local NGOs and universities in Pakistan, my husband Duarte took a two-year contract as a Physics teacher in an international high school. By connecting with other foreign teachers in the school, we quickly learned that making a career out of international teaching would be an ideal way for us to sustain long-term travel and life abroad. After going back to the US to pick up the relevant teaching licenses and qualifications, we are now in our third consecutive year teaching at an international school in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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