I Hear The Drums Echoing Tonight

“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.” – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

Earlier this month, Chandler and I made the trek up to Waterloo, Iowa. Everyone we had spoken to about UNI’s Overseas Placement Service for Educators had told us to keep our options open and be prepared for a roller coaster of changes and emotions. They were right.

In my last blog, I listed our locations of interest as Monterrey, Mexico; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Athens, Greece; Kathmandu, Nepal; Muscat, Oman; and Asuncion, Paraguay. Well, after interviewing with Mexico, we decided that while they’re a great school, it just wasn’t a great fit for both sides. Slovenia ended up filling their positions ahead of time and didn’t make it to the fair. Bangladesh, Greece, Nepal, and Paraguay required more years of teaching experience from me. Oman was crossed off the list due more to lifestyle reasons than the school itself.

Which makes it sound like we sat around scratching our heads thinking what on earth do we do now? But in reality, we had been contacted by schools in three other countries just days prior to the fair. Countries that weren’t even on our radar: The Bahamas, Ghana, and Venezuela.

Continue reading

Plan The Escape

I haven’t posted in nearly a year, because I figured that without significant travel in my life, I wouldn’t have anything interesting to say. Especially since this blog almost solely documents my life overseas and my travels.

But now that I’m once again planning a life abroad, I’ve found I have more to say. It might not be as interesting to those who used to read this blog; I haven’t gone snorkeling in Thailand recently, there’s been no spelunking in Vietnam, or haggling in Qatar. Instead, I’ve become an elementary school special education teacher and that takes up nearly all of my time.

Yesterday, however, Chandler and I did get fingerprinted, as requested by UNI’s Overseas Placement Service for Educators. The results came back quick – neither of us have a criminal record : ) Which I guess is doubly good news since I’ll be tying my life to his this July. Maybe every engaged couple should run joint background checks through the FBI together, just so each party knows what they’re getting into!

These background checks were the last in a long list of things we needed to get done before our trip to Waterloo, Iowa next month. Once there, we’ll meet with schools from around the world and hope that we strike up a mutual interest with one of them and choose a place to call home for the next two years.

Some of the potential contenders include Monterrey, Mexico; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Athens, Greece; Kathmandu, Nepal; Muscat, Oman; Asuncion, Paraguay; and so many more. So, as you can see, we’d like to narrow it down!

Continue reading

World Read Aloud Day

Wednesday was World Read Aloud Day and it couldn’t have had more perfect timing. The first week of each month I host a reading program in my school’s library that every student – all 1,368 of them! – participates in. This month’s theme was nonfiction and it shouldn’t surprise me that the students enjoyed it more than the previous fairytale lesson.

The preferred read alouds of the students: Flight by Robert Burleigh and Snow Is Falling by Franklyn M. Branley. Who knew they’d love snow and planes so much, seeing as most of these students will never experience either. But that’s what makes books so important in the first place – opening up worlds you’d never be able to experience otherwise.

And I can’t lie, I loved reading Flight to them…thank you Charles Lindbergh for being born in Minnesota : ) It was like reading a little piece of home. If I’m being honest, reading about snow made me feel right at home as well.

Some other much loved books were…

Non-fiction

Continue reading