As always, I enjoy the actual traveling part of the adventure. I like to ‘people watch’ and airports are excellent places for it. It really makes you understand the scope of humanity to see so many people with so many different purposes, passing through this one place at this one moment. Especially when you consider this is only one of thousands of moments that occur all days of the year, AND this is only one of thousands of airports. I like people better in airports too. It seems like a place where everyone lets go a little and feels a little more free to make a new friend, if only for a while. Like, for example, my new friend Dr. Ali, a professor from Qatar. We ate sandwiches and juice for dinner while chatting about life. Or Katia, the Georgian/Italian woman, who sat next to me on the airplane and joked with my seatmate and I about first class. Truly I love traveling, if only for these random interactions.
The other teachers are really great to meet. It’s sort of like being a freshman in college again. Everyone has the same desire to meet someone new. They all have interesting stories to tell. I find that I’m really not as interesting as I sometimes like to think. Almost everyone has lived abroad before and studied some foreign language. Most have a crazy story or two to tell about that experience. A few are undergraduates still, some have masters. Some are in the late stages of life, many are new to teaching. Some, like me have taught before. We have a variety of nationalities here, English, Polish, Irish, South African, Canadian, Australian, Scottish, Italian, and one girl holding Ghanaian citizenship. It’s really an impressive mix of people.
Training is, as always, tiring. It’s the part of being somewhere new, that I don’t like all that much. Fortunately the staff seems extra kind and understanding of our weary brains. I love learning the language, and culture, but I really want to be in it. I wish there were some time machine where I could just whisk myself to a place where I understand things better, and feel comfortable. Alas, life never works that way. The language in particular is a challenge. I’ve studied French, Swahili and Korean before this as well, so I find while on the one hand, I have a good idea of how to go about learning something new, on the other hand, all my other languages are becoming kind of a jumble in my head. In addition, I find myself impatient to learn more. I’m sure some of my classmates groan inside at how much I raise my hand, but I can’t help trying to absorb as much as possible. We really only have a week, and I rarely get such thorough training, so I know it’ll be important.
So onwards and outwards! The week is half over already and all will come in due time. “Be patient” is the mantra I keep chanting. I don’t know who I’ll be placed near as a volunteer, which family will be mine, or which school, but I look forward to the future with a mix of trepidation and excitement. I’ve both feet in now either way, so the only way out is through. I live for these thrills, and the people I meet along the way. I’ve no doubt that it’ll be a thoroughly entertaining journey.