Thursday, July 4, 2013
Road to Mandalay
I've been actively looking for work. Corporate jobs, jobs with non-profits, jobs close to home or around the world. I've done a lot of thinking about what was important to me in moving forward. I need to make some money but that is not at the top of the list. If my financial planner is reading this, he's banging his head against his desk.
Doing something worthwhile is more important. Doing something I really enjoy is more important. Having an adventure is more important.
That made it an easy decision to apply for a job teaching first grade at an international school in Mandalay, Myanmar. During the Skype interview, the school director and I discovered some things in common. We both served in the Peace Corps. We both got degrees from Northern Arizona University. We both got degrees from universities in Michigan. We both have homes in Florida. And the least likely thing? We both lived within a mile or two of each other in the 1960's.
I accepted the job offer for two reasons. First, is that I really, really miss teaching the kids in Samoa. I loved my time and work in Malawi but I didn't get to do the hokey pokey at all. I didn't have several people wanting to hold my hand, all at the same time. No one squealed in absolute glee when they learned something new. I missed all that and more from being in the classroom.
The second reason is the job is in Mandalay, Myanmar. Hot diggity - talk about off the beaten path. Just a few years ago tourists weren't allowed in Myanmar. I know that I won't have all the amenities. I've been told there are frequent power outages. But when the power is working, I'll have air con in my apartment and my classroom. Oh, and did I mention hot water in my shower? Or the school's indoor pool that I'll have access to?
I doubt if cheese will be plentiful or inexpensive. I suspect there will be no Mexican food. But Burmese food is most influenced by the foods of India, Thailand and China - three of my favorites.
A new door has opened. Am I nervous about stepping through? You bet. Scared to death. But so excited.