Little did I realise as I turned up for work 12 months ago that it was going to be a life changing day. The thought of teaching overseas had grown in my mind for several months – rekindling a fire which had burned low for the previous two decades.
The previous months had seen me questioning the way British Education was going and despairing at the decisions of my school to downgrade ICT to an option at GCSE. I needed a change and having spoken with Anita in the New Year and having talked through the option with the children I embarked on a lot of research. The first post which came up was in Thailand – I thought long and hard but felt this was not right for now. I then saw two jobs both in Africa, one in Isamilo (Mwanza, Tanzania) the other in Malawi. Funnily enough it was the Tanzanian job which appealed more (given Anita’s previous experiences in Malawi this was a surprise to both of us). We looked at blogs written by ex-pats living there and did a lot of research. After nearly two weeks of investigation I made the application to Isamilo in the early days of February (just four days earlier).
Everything was unreal even after the interview – as ever I second guessed myself, convinced I had ‘muffed up’ and ruined my chances. At the same time it was still unreal as no one had actually employed me and I was still safe in England – though increasingly unhappy with education there. Then it all changed…. Continue reading
So 2015 has started and tomorrow we return to work/school and normality resumes.
The year ahead will be a strange one – we have no plans to return to the UK during 2015 and so this will be the first year ever that I have not lived, even a single day in the country of my birth.
Exactly what the year holds is to be determined and as yet plans are vague, but we would like to visit Uganda at Easter if possible and in the summer we plan to take a trip south to include Zambia and Malawi which will give us a chance to visit the place Anita called home for two years.
A lot depends on Anita’s situation – she arrived here on a dependents visa and is currently unable to work or volunteer without an upgrade to her visa which will depend on any potential employer making a financial outlay. Working without a suitable visa could lead to deportation or a very large fine so it is not something we are going to risk without proper documentation. Should something come up then we will consider biting the bullet and buying a car – something we have held back on thus far. It’s not so much the purchase price but the running costs which is the off-putting factor as cars generally sell for the same price as you purchased them for.
Bex has two school trips abroad to look forward to with a journey to Nairobi (Kenya) for a Model United Nations gathering later in the month, followed by a Year 9 trip to Rwanda later in the Spring. She will definitely be the most travelled by the end of the year.