Friday, February 26, 2010

Reviving my blog

To say that I have been busy in the last month, since the job fair, would be quite the understatement. I returned from London to Korea just in time for soccer tryouts. This year I am head coaching the girls' varsity soccer team and was excited to see quite a few new faces on the field. While weather has not worked in our favor for our pre-game practicing, I am optimistic that the girls will do well this season. Our first game is on Wednesday. Wish us luck!

A week and a half after the fair, my mom flew to Korea (for the second time) to see her baby and join my school's lunar holiday short-term mission trip to Borocay. Six adults and 10 students travelled from Korea to the Philippines to join with a ministry based out of Borocay. We spent our mornings building a community center/medical center/Bible School. Then we spent our afternoons at various feeding sites around the island. We cleaned wounds (so they would not get infected), ran mini Bible lessons, sang songs, played with children, distributed vitamins, and eventually helped pass out food to the children. Borocay was an interesting island of contrasts: ritzy touristy bars and hotels lined the beach front just a short walk away from poor local villages. As I have been with other mission trips as well, I was struck by the warmth of the Filipino people and the responsibility that I must take to share my resources with those in need. I was also incredibly proud of the kids from TCIS on our trip-- they worked very hard, supported each other well, and showed respect to everyone they encountered. I couldn't have asked for a more fun-loving, positive, and genuine team! I am so happy I was able to share the experience with my mom!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm moving to Africa!!!

I think I will have to change the name of my blog soon! I just signed a contract to go to the International School of Uganda next year and while June will mark the end of my Korean adventures, August will mark the start of my African ones! I am going to be teaching at a highly diverse school in Kampala, Uganda. I am incredibly excited!

This has been an interesting week indeed. Thursday, I flew to London for a job fair thinking I was likely going to accept a job in Europe. Friday, Sat., and Sun. I had whirlwind interviews with 8 schools on 3 continents. Monday, I signed a contract to teach IB and MYP English at the International School of Uganda. Tuesday, I flew back to Korea (landed on Wednesday). Today, Thursday, I have began talking publicly about my move with people in Korea and abroad! My goodness this has been a bit crazy (or maybe more than a bit)!

I really feel as though ISU is the right fit for me for next year, but I can't help but smile at the wide array of reactions I have encountered as I have shared my news: excitement, tears, bewilderment, etc. One kid today literally open-mouth gaped for about 20 seconds before muttering, "You're going to Africa?!?" My favorite reactions, by far, were those who tried to act suave, but clearly had no idea where in the world Uganda was situated. I loved watching their faces contort and their forced smiles while they asked questions that indicated they did not know whether I was moving to the Middle East or Africa (neither of which were acceptable locations, in their modest opinions). At the same time, I have also been comforted by the surprising volume of connections that surfaced: Ugandan medical trips, teaching jobs, volunteer opportunities, hosted choir children, etc... this is really one small world! I have heard SO much positive feedback about Uganda, each day I feel more confident that I am going to love it!

I know the hardest part in any move is the people and things you leave behind. I already feel a bittersweet sadness for the communities that I will depart from and feel the voids of those whose proximity will no longer be minimal. However, I can't wait for the adventures that will come.

If you are ever in Uganda and want to take an African safari (or want to relax in a temperate winter-free climate), shoot me an email. I am happy to be your host!

The link to my school's page:
A few pics from the school's webpage: