Another submission to this week’s photo challenge.
Each New Year we towards the Future with hope and anticipation. No New Year was more anticipated than that of the new millennium which as far as we were concerned was Dec 31st 1999/Jan 1st 2000 (I know there is debate about whether it really should have been a year later!).
We travelled with the family to Penzance in Cornwall for a family celebration. This was early in the days of the Internet, before Social Media and Smartphones (we had one mobile phone between us and it was a Nokia 8210, on which the most advanced technology was texting!). We still used film in our cameras and played music on the newly invented CD or old fashioned tape/vinyl.
Looking to the future in 1999 we thought hopefully on the future – the Cold War was over and we had not imagined the horrors of 9/11 or 7/7 etc.
We were a family of three and lived in the UK – little did we anticipate that we would be living and working in Africa with two teenage children less than 15 years on.
New Year’s Eve 1999 – Family Celebration in Penzance, Cornwall
New Year’s Day Walk 2000 – Cornwall
Who know what the future holds – it is an unknown factor over which we have only a little control.
These photos taken on Lake Kivu in Rwanda last week are a second submission to this week’s photo challenge: Future.
When we look at anything we are looking into the past as the light from the event, even an event like a lightning strike, takes time to reach our eyes. Yet we could also be observing our future – in this case the oncoming storm which hit just after we landed our boat.
More than any other country I have yet seen in Eastern or Central Africa, Rwanda and in particular Kigali is a city looking to its Future. This is as much as to be drawing a line under its past but the futuristic architecture of the centre of Kigali is a testament to the distance this country has come in 22 years and its vision of a different Rwanda. Here are a selection of photos from our visits last week. Here is my submission to this week’s photo challenge.
It’s amazing to think it’s about a year since the job advert at Isamilo, appeared in the TES.
Recently staff have been making decisions in both Primary and Secondary Schools, teachers had to decide whether to renew their contracts or to choose to leave. As such these days were the beginning of the end for Isamilo and the start of a process which will lead to a new staff team in September.
Soon jobs will be advertised, as vacancies will need to be filled. By indicating preferences now the school has time to advertise and make preparations for September 2015. There are always unknowns in this and much as others must have wondered what the new bunch of teachers would be like in 2014, we will wonder the same as the year wears on and familiar faces phase out.
For me the point is mute as I, like others, have a two year contract, but a year from now the decision will be mine which is scary as I am just 5 months in to my contract. Those choosing to move on this year will have many reasons for leaving. Some back to the UK others on to others to International Schools across the planet o many factors will dictate that final decision. We have always hinted that we would want to stay three years, maybe five, but on these decision days it is a time of reflection.
It is a scary decision as those indicating a move will not have secured their next post yet! In a sense it will be a jump into the unknown. much as mine was in Feb 2014 when I applied.
T Minus 16
This blog is inspired by a recent conversation.
Some people have wondered whether we will come back? Some people have questioned whether we will be able to? Some have said that coming back will be harder than leaving.
Have we burnt our bridges?
Are we embarking on a one way trip?
One Way Trip
In response to the last question first – it is not a one way trip in that there are flights at the end of contract. Whether that is two years (the term of the initial contract) or more (should we extend) is to be determined but we will return at some point to visit if nothing else.
Will we return for visits in between?
This is a little uncertain in the first two years; as much as due to the fact that we want to explore our new home a little (see East Africa Bucket List), also because we want to make a go of this venture. There are tentative plans for my mum to come out in and around my 50th in Jan 2016. However, we probably won’t come back before Summer 2016.
Beyond that we would hope to return periodically, should we stay on longer. My new colleagues seem to be able to do so every one to two years so it seems feasible. Although to begin with we will be 4 then 3 , so cost will be steeper, it will be possible to save, as our outgoings will be relatively low.
Of course all these thoughts lie in the future. We will know more when we are out there.
In an ideal world and with agreement we would want to be out at least 5 years to allow my youngest to complete her education. Beyond that, who knows? In a sense the “world will be our oyster” and other International Schools might be an option, or staying put in Mwanza or returning to the UK.
Returning to the UK
We have sold, and consequently exited the housing market, as such we are burning bridges. However, if I returned to the UK, it would be with a job, I am certain. We are not afraid of renting in the first instance and we would be looking to downsize. Again this is all for the future.
Plans and Purposes
As Christians we believe God is in this. We believe that He has opened doors, smoothed paths and solved the seemingly impossible. So in this vein we also believe that the future will work out in the right way. A year ago I was wandering around Phnom Penh in the rain. I could never have imagined the year that would lie ahead. We are taking this first step in faith – who knows where it will lead?
T Minus 18
My current view as I lay in my temporary abode. Not the most comfortable of nights. Unfortunately the air bed has a slow puncture – we thought we had found it, but sadly no; and so the floor was our bed for the night.
Nonetheless it’s a beautiful morning and the sound of birds from the nearby copse is soothing.
After arriving here yesterday it was very much a time to chill and so the afternoon chatting led into an after dinner game of Yahtzee played with a bottle or three of wine (between 5!) and an early night.
I did manage to catch up by phone with the outgoing Head of Isamilo Secondary (currently in the UK and who is still carrying on as a teacher there) and it was good to get information about the school and life of an expat. I’m definitely looking forward to working there. It’s difficult to believe it’s less than three weeks now! It’s time to start looking forward!
For now – I am looking forward to breakfast!