The background continues… it’s a little long but bare with me 😛
When I moved to the US from Barbados at the age of 11 in December it seemed like punishment because it was the coldest temps I had ever encountered. Oh Boston your weather have only gotten worse 😂😂 To this day I still hate winter, can we say traumatized? 😫😫😫 So I was constantly talking about moving back to Barbados. For the first couple of years I wanted to go back to the warm weather and beach times. You can say I was moody in the winter, y’all I was doing the most some days. 😂😂 I’m bajan to de bone and I love warm weather and the beach 🤗🤗
In college, I forgot about going back to Barbados because life happened. After losing a friend to gun violence😭😭😭 I decided to get a Master’s degree in Counselor Education so I could help young people. In September 1997, I started working as a Counselor determined to save young people from the perils of the inner city and be a soft place for them to land, I was so idealistic back then 🤗🤗.
In August 2001 I moved to Maryland, while it was an impulsive decision at the time but it turned out to be the best gift to myself. To say I loved living in the DMV area would be downplaying it. I had the most wonderful experience 😍😍, I made amazing life long friends, I dropped out of grad school after a semester, my dating life was great and I worked at HU for a year and half. In November 2003, I started at what would become my favorite job working for DC College Access Program at Dunbar High School and I met my favorite supervisor EVER... L D Ross, Jr. who has become a close friend and mentor to me. I loved working at DC CAP as a College Advisor because I was changing lives, families and neighborhoods some of those students were the first in their entire families to go to college. I loved my Dunbar students: to this day they will always be my first babies – nieces and nephews and I have kept in touch with many of them. To see them graduating from college, getting graduate degrees, pursuing their careers, getting married, becoming home owners and having babies right now is so surreal and I feel old but I digress 😛.
I left DC CAP after 3 and a half years to go work at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School as a School Counselor. The biggest change was the amount of money I made, I felt rich🤩. I ended up working with an English teacher Rebeka who I first met at Dunbar. My second or third year there she decided to leave and go work abroad and this renewed my spark to leave the US again BUT this time it stuck.
So in August 2009 I made what some saw as a controversial decision. I decided to pursue a job in an international school as a School Counselor. I was burned out even though I loved my job and the students; I was overwhelmed by the politics, the drama, the lack of resources and a lot of things I felt powerless to stop – including neighborhood violence, parental neglect, and it was taking a toll on me. I was working two jobs so I could live alone and still I couldn’t afford to travel to anywhere but Barbados – South Africa seemed like a dream deferred😫😫
I want to say that it was no surprise to my immediate family when I decided to move to the DR but that may be stretching it 😏😏 but they were very supportive.
I applied for jobs only in the Caribbean because I wanted to be close to the beach – my happy place🤗🤗🤗 and my family. I prayed, wrote down my goals, didn’t renew my lease on my apartment and gave notice at my job – people thought I was crazy including my principal when I gave my notice. Yet I was determined to take a year off and work in an international school. In June at the very last minute 😂😂, I received an offer from a small school in the Dominican Republic with its first senior class of 8 students. Most of friends didn’t know what to think but my mum and sisters bless their hearts, they supported me and of course my mum prayed over me and sent me off on an adventure.
Fast forward to August 2010 and I am on a plane to Punta Cana, DR to start my first international post at the Cap Cana Heritage school. 😏🙄 I thought I knew what to expect but I was so so so wrong 😂😂 and it was quite the surprise in so many ways.
Next post…life in Punta Cana, the good, the bad, the ugly, the messy and the oh so sweet and unexpected