T Minus 31
Today was my last day at work. After 11 years it’s goodbye to Thame and my school. A strange day in so many ways – strange to think I won’t see many of my colleagues again, certainly not in a long while. Tuesday is a day when I teach on both sites – so started at Lower School, depositing the microwave in the team room. Last lessons are always a bit surreal and a bit of a wind down, year 9 lesson 1 then up to upper school for year 10. The last clear out of the office and a bit of work on my leaving speech in lesson 3 then it was all over. End of an era.
The last day of term is a shorter one followed by a staff picnic and leaving speeches. In truth mine was a bit
Long but I wanted to thank the key people including my own team among many others.
I had some lovely gifts from myteam and colleagues, including an electric bug swat, a life straw, a Swahili phrase book, a device charger, wine and an iTunes gift card.
So it’s goodbye to Thame, next stop Mwanza! We fly out a month today!
T Minus 130
As part of an aim to blog earlier travels before leaving for Tanzania, the Gambia Page is now live with content.
Follow the link to see much more detail and more pictures. 😀 Continue reading
Posted in travel
Tagged Banjul, Bijilo, Brikama, Brikama Upper Basic, Graham, Kachikally, Kairaba Beach, Lamin Lodge, Lord Williams's, Makasutu, School, Senegal, Serekunda, Sukuta, travel, Tumani Tenda
T minus 159
It’s a comment I’ve heard a few times.
I’ve never thought of myself a particularly brave, but it is probably true. Others might feel I’m reckless or foolhardy – with these sentiments I can’t agree, though I appreciate the concern.
In truth I could have ‘pootled’ (is that a word?) along for years as I was – day in day out for years to come and reached retirement never having travelled beyond the two-week summer break and maybe the odd World Challenge expedition. I probably would have become increasingly frustrated with the education policy in England but endured it all with Facebook moans to keep me sane.
In an alternate universe then maybe that is what will happen.
In this universe I’m taking a different path and bringing my family along for the ride.
From an early age I wanted to travel the world. I have been lucky enough to see most of Western Europe and a bit of Eastern Europe.
Lord Williams’s School has given me great opportunities to travel to The Gambia and Vietnam/Cambodia, but I want to see more, to travel further.
Since joining WordPress I have read many interesting and amazing blogs written by people travelling throughout the world from Greenland, Norway and Iceland in the North to Laos, Taiwan and East Timor in the East, as well as many from Africa including Tanzania and especially Mwanza itself.
Mwanza is located in the north-west of Tanzania close to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and it should be possible to travel there and further afield (e.g. Malawi, Zambia) during holidays a relatively little cost. It is something I definitely want to do whilst out there. Being just 2.5 hours by road from The Serengeti is a major plus. Obviously I am not just going for the holiday but it is all part of the experience and will be affordable in a way it can’t be in the UK.
In the UK most of our income goes to pay the Mortgage and Utilities, Car (inc Fuel) and Food. Whilst in Mwanza, though my wage will be low (by UK standards) we get a house provided and utilities paid. I can’t imagine food will be expensive and although we hope to get a car, fuel won’t be either. Outgoings should be a lot less and so holidays will be more affordable.
Thirteen years ago I made a much braver decision to resign from my Science teaching job and become a supply teacher giving up a secure job and holiday pay. I had had enough of teaching and a bad experience with the school head (being shouted at in a corridor in front of parents – for something I hadn’t done wrong!!!) left me disillusioned and determined to get out of education. Applying for a Web Design course I took supply work to pay the bills. Luckily for me in less than two months I had a supply contract at another local school which evolved to a permanent position after completing my web design course. Reinvigorated in my teaching I applied elsewhere and this led me to my current job and a change to teaching ICT. Ultimately this lead to being appointed Head of ICT and now (5 and a half years later) to the taking job at Isamilo.
I believe God is at the centre of this chain of events – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Who knows where the chain will lead next?
So bravely we leave the UK in August but we do so confidently.
Posted in Getting Prepared
Tagged Africa, blog, brave, Cambodia, car, Gambia, Kenya, Lord Williams's, Malawi, MK, move, Mwanza, Rwanda, Tanzania, travel, Uganda, UK, Vietnam, Zambia
T minus 166
For almost 11 years I have travelled daily from Milton Keynes to Thame.
In essence the route takes me from Milton Keynes to Whitchurch (via Stewkley or Drayton Parslow / Swanbourne), then on to Oving, Waddeston before ascending Winchendon Hill and going over the top via Upper Winchendon and Chearsley, arriving in Long Crendon before descending to Thame. The journey takes about 50 minutes and takes in some great countryside. The main thing is to avoid Aylesbury and it’s traffic jams.
Posted in Getting Here, Getting Prepared, MK
Tagged Africa, Aylesbury, car, Chearsley, Drayton Parslow, Graham, journey, Long Crendon, Lord Williams's, Milton Keynes, MK, Mwanza, Oving, road, Stewkley, Swanbourne, Thame, travel, Waddeston, Whitchurch, Winchendon
T minus 181
Back home after a busy working day today.
In a sense today was more about life in the present rather than life in the future. Getting up at ridiculous o’clock for morning commute, travelling in the light (for a change), then assessing, planning, carrying out break duties and bus duties, sorting out emails, meeting with colleagues, drinking filter coffee! The usual daily mundanity of the routine of a teacher/ Head of Faculty. It is strange to think that some this well practiced routine will soon be changing – not the tasks themselves but the location and the routine, and definitely the commute where a 50 minute car journey will be replaced by a 10 minute walk!
I am still very excited about this change and what it will mean,
it is difficult to concentrate on the present when the future looms large ahead, but I need to. Tomorrow night is Year 9 options evening, a new experience for me as ICT has hitherto been a core subject. My team and I will be aiming to recruit as many as we can to both ICT and Computing. It is strange that I will not be teaching them, whilst thousands of miles away, in Mwanza, other students have been or will be making a similar choice, students I have yet to meet – such the nature of change!
More changes.You may have noticed the countdown (T minus ??? ) has gone up. It’s not a time warp as the date for flying has moved back. This still to be confirmed and complicates things a little as my sister in law’s (Fiona’s) sister (Janet) gets married on the same day – meaning it probably will not be possible to be seen off by family sadly 😦
So the new date for flying will be the 23rd August – which will be after Matthew’s GCSE results which will be good 🙂 Hopefully good for him too!
I keep promising not to post and wasn’t going to today but who knows what will grab me next?
Posted in Normality
Tagged assessing, change, commuting, date, Isamilo, Lord Williams's, meeting, MK, Mwanza, planning, School, Tanzania, teaching, Thame, work