Let’s just say moving to the DR was an interesting and difficult transition for me.😏😣😐 it was not all smooth sailing as I imagined. First I was older, all but one of the teachers at CCHS were in their 20’s, I was older than the Principal 😜 and I had some expectations y’all – it did not always go well 😣😣😣
Initially I struggled with the differences in the way things were done, the lack of systems, my apartment issues, the
ugly non-fancy uniforms, the attitudes of the students, not being able to get around on my own because of the location of the school and the difficulty communicating with some of the local staff and the surrounding community (ie. I couldn’t ask a question at the bank, or supermarket, it was frustrating y’all)😐😐😐 and the not so great internet made it challenging to stay connected to my peeps.
But somewhere along October, November I hit my stride and I started to enjoy my life at CCHS and in the DR😜😜😜. I adjusted to the air con blasts and mold flare ups, I became more social and I made friends – it was easier than I expected and some of them are still some of my favorite people even though we couldn’t be more different.
I became so close with the principal Adam, he started calling me his work wife and I called him my work husband and he called himself my GSD 🤔🤔 lol because he bought me the best gifts. Some of the staff thought we were dating because we connected so fast. I couldn’t explain it how it happened and he’s still one of the best people I know.
Lucie the french teacher and I became buddies, first it was brunch on Saturdays after the grocery store and the beach on Sundays and then we became really good friends even though we’re as different as night and day.
And Yazzy, the Director became the person I went to when I was frustrated with my apartment issues, we went out to dinner and she even let me stay with her when my apartment had to be sprayed for mold. I even went on a cruise with Lucie and Adam right before I left the DR…y’all know that was different for me but it was more fun that I ever expected. I met so many good people there that I can’t name them all!!!!🤗🤗
Long story made short, this move to the DR turned out to be the best thing I could have done even with the challenges and I signed up for a second year sans the uniforms. I negotiated that I could wear my own clothes because my shit is nice and professional #RealTalk. I could decline invitations to events and people understood and continued to invite me anyway. The school did a great job of giving parties and offering excursions for staff and that was really nice.
The second year was much better, the neighborhood grew and it was so great…two major supermarkets, closer movie theaters, new restaurants, even more beach staycation weekends and 3 of my friends visited. I so loved the seafood and Capitan Cook was one of my favorite places to eat 🤗🤗. I drank lots of coconut water and ate so much ice cream -two of my favorite things 😋😋
I am grateful that I was a part of that first and second senior class, that I helped students apply for college, that I helped start an anti-bullying program and a recycling program. I got to work with some wonderful people who I enjoyed spending most friday nights with (after my nap of course lol) drinking and eating mediocre tacos lol
I had lots of beach resort weekends and a whole lot of fun with my colleagues and homemade ice cream from Adam 🤗🤗. I even got to attend a fancy wedding reception that lasted until breakfast.
So what did I learn from working those two years in the DR…🤔 🤔 🤔
that taking a break from what you’re accustomed to is not a bad thing…working with grades 3-6 was a stretch initially but I enjoyed classroom guidance sessions with the younger students, sharpened my counseling skills with the 6-8 girls (whew) and I really enjoyed the job because the work load and pace was so much more manageable and balanced than what I did in the US
that it’s important to eat lunch with other adults and not at my desk while I work
that I could live in a not so ideal situation for 2 years but I have some non-negotiable expectations, so living in Punta Cana was not the best fit for me
that I’m a bougie black woman😍😍, I desire certain comforts in my living quarters and I need to be in a city where I can get around on my own
that I wasn’t ready to return to MD despite how much I loved it and the people I left there
that I really really loved living close to the beach 😍😍😍#myhappyplace (we went almost every Sunday)
that I loved singing out loud in the office with Adam🤗🤗 – we had so much fun and we would be friends forever
that Adam was a great principal and educational leader, he is kind, thoughtful and worked hard to make his teachers feel appreciated🤗🤗 🤗🤗 with personal notes, inspirational quotes, candies and decorating the staff room. I’m not sure I experienced that before working with him (yes we disagreed sometimes but he respected my knowledge as a counselor and a person and we laughed a lot 😂😂)
that I wanted to keep working in international schools despite the challenges for an Bajan American woman like me (bold, opinionated, different, weird, introverted, blunt – I won’t even rehash some of the ridiculous and mean comments by teachers on my 360 eval )😐 🤔 😣
that I have a low tolerance towards mean people and I will speak up when I have to (see above) because I am willing to protect my energy at all costs even if it means being petty ( so don’t take my kindness for weakness #micdrop 😐😐)
that I would continue to be myself, I am happy to be different/weird/goofy despite how some people perceive it (chocolat unycorn style.😏.😏.😏) because the people that mattered accepted me and didn’t mind (I learned to find my people)
that I am not a fan of all staff living in the same housing complex because I need more quiet, privacy, personal space and distance😜😜😜 from staff children especially on the weekends
that I wanted my life to continue to set an example for young girls everywhere especially my favorite girls – my nieces: so that they know that they too can see the world.
****This immigrant girl from a single parent household who moved to the US at age 11 and grew up in the hood is finally living her dream of living outside of the US. I am currently in Egypt, it is year 8, school and country number 5 😍😍😍 and I plan to keep going
Next post…Jamaica here I come: it started out so nice and then tomfoolery ensued 😣😣😣