In other news…

This is another wordy, no picture post. I couldn’t get it to load a copy of my TESOL certificate.

Just to reassure everyone…posting about my homesickness pretty much took care of it. I am doing well and here’s a little of what’s happening.

I finally finished (and passed) my TESOL certification course. It was through LinguaEdge and it felt like a thorough 150-hour course (in other words, it wasn’t an easy-breezy, nambie-pambie one). However, in order to get credit for it in the US I will likely have to take a praxis test to add it to my teaching certificate.

Now I’m working on becoming certified as a Google Educator. It’s a series of 5 courses and accompanying tests. So, we’ll see how that goes. I’m doing this with a cohort of other teachers, and it is facilitated by one of the IT teachers at our school.

Meanwhile, at school I am really feeling like I have a handle on my job and can make a contribution to the literacy of these kids. The challenge is meeting them all (700 of them) where they are, but I’m pleased with where things are headed. I have to say the online course to become a Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages has helped a lot since that describes about 90-95% of the students here.

It is Thanksgiving and I’ve organized a potluck for those who were interested here where I live (there will be about 20 of us!!). It should be fun. We’ve decided to make it on Friday since we work all day on Thursday. There’s a restaurant in this general area called The Southern and they are making a stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, biscuits, green bean casserole and a whole pumpkin pecan pie for us. Our ovens aren’t really big enough to accommodate a turkey. Haha Everyone is bringing a little something extra. After the fact: We had so much food! It was a really pleasant weather day too!

I’ve booked a ticket to Morocco for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, so that should be exciting. I’m going with my friend, Gabe and we have rented a car. We’ve booked hotels and now we just need to figure out exactly which cities we’re going to and arrange for tours.

a little homesick

This is a rather surprising new twist for me. I really didn’t experience too much homesickness last year, so I didn’t expect it this year. I suspect the special time with family for Adrianne and Scott’s wedding is likely behind a lot of it. Right after getting back I felt it and attributed it to the wedding, but it has resurged.

Here are a few things that may also contribute to it.

  • While I love the silly rightness of living in Mahboula, which means “crazy lady” I don’t love that we are so far from where most ‘events’ happen. It always involves at least a ½ hour taxi ride (or ride with a friend) and traffic is usually horrific making it closer to 45 minutes or an hour. I really can’t quite capture the true insanity of drivers here, and it has become common. I only gasp about once a day now, instead of every time I’m in a car. The trip back, unless it’s the very early morning is equally thick with traffic.
  • Printer paper is doled out in small handfuls, like maybe 30-50 sheets at a time, and I can’t ask more than about once a month.
  • They have these paper towels that are like toilet paper, and it shreds and sticks to your hands.
  • I miss clear days. It is so very rare to have a truly crisp, clear day without a haze. I think it is mostly from a combination of dust and smoke from the oil wells.
  • No local wineries, breweries or pubs to sit with friends and just chat and chill.
  • The newness and novelty has worn off.

Enough with the negative.  I am generally a very positive person, and I’m going to redirect myself now, so here are some things l like:

  • It is almost always sunny!
  • My job.
  • The sprayer things by the toilets.
  • Maids that keep things (especially the bathrooms) clean at school.
  • Taxis and especially Abdul and Anvar
  • Children to tutor
  • Convenience of travel. The world just feels more accessible here.

Okay, I’m better now. Thanks for ‘listening’ and helping me through this. 🙂