After another busy day of accomplishments, I just got home from a gathering with all the fellow new teachers and I could not be happier!! While the first few days in Colombia certainly provided their fair share of stress with housing and shopping, everyone is settling in now and so happy!
One thing I have observed in the last week (I know---I have only been gone a week---weird!!) is that so many of the foreign teachers share similar beliefs about teaching and education. We truly feel that students must come first in the classroom, and therefore instruction should be directed towards students. This seems like it should be an assumed quality in educators, but that is not always the case. Therefore, I appreciate so much all the other wonderful, dedicated, knowledgeable teachers who I will be working with this year. While we all have our own personalities and life experiences, I know we share a common passion for student learning.
Also, when moving to a foreign country essentially alone, I often wondered "Will I find people who understand me?" As in other new situations I have experienced, the answer is a resounding "yes". Regardless of where I travel I always seem to find others who can really understand me on some level, and I really appreciate that more and more as I get older. As I was discussing with another new teacher today, no one will every truly replace the friends you made when you were young, but there are people who will come into your life at any moment who are truly striking individuals. :)
In other, not so heavy news: in a variety of meetings today I got signed up for a bank account, cell phone, and insurance. Yay!! Cell phones will be here Tuesday, and most of us paid an extra 5000 pesos ($2.50) per month to be able to call any other new teacher (14 people) for free all year. Essentially we have a giant family plan, and I cannot wait to use it!
City tour tomorrow so I NEED sleep!! Also, here's hoping Maggie and I can get the process started for us to get curtains tomorrow because floor to ceiling windows minus curtains = an early morning.... :/ Night!