It’s that time of year when teachers are counting the days down until summer break. In my office we have an actual tear off countdown. With the end of this year I am also counting the days until I start my new adventure. Next school year I am moving to Bahrain (it’s a small Middle Eastern island in the Persian Gulf, Google it) to teach K-12 P.E./Health. I will also be assisting the athletic director with certain duties. I’m excited to start a new adventure in a new country as well as new school. I will have the opportunity to teach a wider range of students which comes with pro’s and con’s but I’m excited none the less. The biggest advantage that I have next year is that three close friends that I teach with this year are also moving to Bahrain and teaching at the same school. It will be really nice to already know three other people, especially close friends.
With my two years ending in Egypt I figured this is a good time to reflect on my experiences here. This has absolutely been one of the better decisions that I have made. Now don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine the entire time I’ve been here but I have definitely grown as a person as well as changed in many different ways.
– I have made lifelong friends. I know it sounds corny but the more I learn about the international teaching world, the more I realize how small it is. I have friends all over the world which means more and more places to visit. I have made lasting friendships that I know will last even if we are not in contact all the time.
– I have learned so much more about Egypt and the people that live here than I ever could have if I just came to visit. I have many Egyptian friends that are amazing. They are thoughtful, caring, kind, funny, and crazy all at the same time.
– I have traveled to so many places that I thought I would never be able to. Vienna, Prague, Sweden, Germany, and The Oktoberfest just to name a few.
– Diving – The sea is a whole different world that I never really thought much about. Being a diver has given me a new outlook on creatures of the sea, for the better of course. Diving in the Red Sea is some of the best diving in the world and I was lucky enough to learn here and get to dive it regularly.
– Teaching – I interviewed for middle/high school then I got to Egypt and they said I was teaching elementary, okay no big deal. Then my first year I met my co-teacher and she said we were teaching Early Childhood, excuse me? To say I was terrified would be an understatement but these last two years have given me some great experiences with this age level. Not only my own experience but I work with some amazing Early Childhood teachers and I have learned so much from all of them. I was also given the opportunity to have a lot of freedom with my lesson plans and curriculum for my classes.
– Internet – it’s so slow, unreliable and slow.
– Harassment – I haven’t had a huge problem with this but there has been a fair share of cat calling from men driving by as we are walking. The views of woman in general in this country are enough to make me crazy.
– Banks – I’ve lost track of how many different problems I’ve had with my bank here.
– School – Just as every other school I’ve worked in there are problems, this school is no different.
Things I’ve learned:
– People are different, come from different backgrounds, everyone has a story and it’s amazing.
– Minimalist – I don’t need a ton of stuff, I need experiences.
– Life is too short, do what makes you happy.
– I miss my friends and family and it’s okay – it makes it that much better when I go home.
It’s been a great ride Egypt, thanks!