Wow things here move at a phenomenal speed and pace and the days, in fact weeks, just merge into each other. Apologies to those who have been patiently waiting for an update...... well here it goes!
I have moved in to my new apartment and it is somewhat fully furnished and I love it!
So installation and deliveries started!
IKEA, my new favourite shop, delivered on the Thursday and came with four amazing men who just installed everything in a couple of hours! thank goodness because there is NO ways I would have known where to start! the all come flat packed and with NO instructions.
Chaos reigned while all my furniture was being assembled. As mentioned in previous blogs the service in this country is awesome, dreading going back to SA for a visit because I know I'm going to be frustrated just like my brother was when he returned from America recently!
I have loved putting my new home together and realised that this could be a forever! Am so happy here and can't stop smiling at everything I have and am still to have!
So after 4 weeks of being here and settling into hotels and receiving keys, being at training and finding my school it was the morning of the 23rd of August - keep in mind that I left College on the 26th June so in theory have been on holiday since then - that this whole journey began. First day of school for the staff. I made my way to the school I was placed at and began the process of meeting everyone. Not much happened that first day other than meeting the VP, other EMTs and the new principal. It didn't take me long to get to school as it was close to school, which I loved!
Day 2 didn't start off the way I had hoped!
I was reversing and CRASH it happened! Luckily no one was hurt and the guy who was involved was a teacher at my school. During this whole palaver I received a call from Byron (Awesome SA guy who had helped me so much via FB and email - and was a teacher at Glenwood before coming over) to say that I may be transferred from my current school to theirs as they had a last minute opening and they wanted me to move! With this fender bender taking place and the police reporting it I didn't have much time to make the decision! But for those of you who know my past will know that I believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason! I took it. I transferred!
You will notice that I haven't gone into details of this accident as it was exactly that on both parts! I was secretly glad to now have been transferred as I would have to see this guy and his poor car everyday, little did I know that he too had been transferred to the same school as me! hahahahaha funny right! but hey all is good between us, well at least on my part! :)
So I had been transferred before I had even started. I was a lot less nervous now as at my new school was Byron and Deon, both SA guys! So that meant that the EMT English department at my new school was SAfrican!
So with my transfer came a few things that changed! From a 5 km - 5 minute drive to school it now became 86km and an hours commute. Hey having taught now for two weeks! IT is SOOOOOO worth it!
My school is amazing. The kids are great! There are kids who are so willing to learn and better their English ability. I teach English to Grade 6, 7 and 8 and have tiny classes. The little men are great and will often bring me little stories they have written or notes to say thank you! Makes the tough days SO worth it!
I have my own classroom which I'm slowly making my own awesome space! Resources are a plenty here so it is great! My mom has been right all along! I have been teaching high school so things like gerund, Shakespeare and concord errors - don't get me wrong I loved the high school syllabus and would like to do that agin but am loving the lower levels with sentence construction, word formations, comprehension skills, letter formation and just simple phonics!
As much as my patience is tested with the Grade 6s as they are so BUSY, they really do put a smile on my face when they can write a sentence all on their own!
My classes are small as I mentioned:
Grade 6 - 7 boys
Grade 7 - 12 boys
Grade 8 - 15 boys
The school model here is very new and is all outcomes based. Much like OBE back at home. It is going to be tough to get them to master all the outcomes but together we will do it!
So my commute to school every morning starts at 06h00 and I'm there by around 06h50 for a 07h00 start. We start each day with an assembly where the boys do a bit of exercise in the big gym hall and then the assembly starts with a message, all in Arabic and a reading from the Quran. We all have an chance to run the assembly and my turn is in October so can't wait to prepare that - we get to do it in English which is also an opportunity for our students to show off their new language!
The staff at our school are amazing, we shake hands and laugh all day! The Arab nation are EXCEPTIONALLY friendly - during our free lessons we sit in the tea room and eat! Their food is awesome, cucumbers, feta cheese, humus, Arabian breads, olives, tuna and all sorts of honeys and spreads. Feels like a team fest for the day. It is great!
Everything here is great. Am loving it. Can't stop saying that but this is the best choice I have ever made.
My medical card and bank card have arrived so things are beginning to normalise. I still don't have my passport back though and we haven't been paid yet so my bank card is EMPTY! Loving living on the edge too!
I have been planning all sorts of trips. I have a VISA interview for the UK on the 22nd September as I'm off to the UK for two weeks over the festive break. We have a week holiday coming up for EID so if we have been paid and I have my passport back there are some places I would like to visit: Maldives, Jordan, Sri Lanka or even a few days in Duabi!
I had made a trip into Abu Dhabi once and may even head in tomorrow too! Shopping is difficult here as there is so much choice but I have found and awesome fruit and veg market which is close to home, so that is great! My office space is taking shape at home with printers and laminators making sure that I can be ready for each week!
My amazing friends here make me chuckle everyday and we spend Thursday nights at Starbucks for our weekly "chin-wag".
It is crazy to think that I have been here for a month already!
All is sorted on the internet front and TV, I have a dedicated Rugby World Cup channel and can't wait to see the Bokke thrash the rest of the world especially the IRSIH (hahahaha Lorcan, a maths teacher at our school is Irish and he is optimist!)
Cheers for now!