About six months ago, I decided that I was going to take a year long leave of absence from my job in Boston. I’m a math teacher at a high school here in the city. I started teaching a couple days after I graduated from college and I haven’t stopped for the last 17 years. I love being a teacher but I don’t want to burn out. To avoid this, I decided it was time to live abroad since it is something I’ve never done. Somehow this translated into moving to Ecuador for a year to teach English. Apparently for me, avoiding burnout = moving to Ecuador. Go figure!
The other night, I was up all night thinking about my move. I think it was the first time I realized that I was changing my life in a drastic way. Every year of my life since I was 4 years old, I started school in September. This year, I’ll be flying to Quito, Ecuador and participating in orientation with a really diverse group of WorldTeach (which I’ll call WT for short) volunteers. The question I kept asking myself was “Am I crazy for doing this?” and after a sleepless night the answer was “Maybe?” but I decided I was thrilled I was doing something different.
I’ve been preparing for the move little by little. I’ve sold my bike, my iPad, and my yarn stash. I’ve sublet my apartment with the help of Phil Gutowski. (If you need a real estate agent, he should be your go-to guy.) I’ve researched storage facilities and phone plans. I bought a Kindle and I haven’t stopped reading since I bought it. I’ve gone through my closets and shelves and donated a great deal of stuff. I’ve been taking Spanish classes at BASE and having a ball. I’ll be observing ESL classes at Casa de la Cultura to prepare for my TEFL certification. There is a lot more to do before August 31st!!
I created this blog for a few reasons. First, I want to keep everyone up to date which will be easier to do all at once by blog. Second, I want to keep track of everything that goes on during this year. And third, I want to help out the future WT volunteers by providing day to day observations that will give them a peek at their future. When I received the news that I was accepted into the WT program, I combed the internet for WT blogs about Ecuador. When I found a few, I read each post carefully trying to find clues that would provide a glimpse of the coming year. I hope that my blog will do the same for someone else!