So for the past 8 and a half years I have been living that international life and although I hate packing and moving I seem to have made it my life…I am now living in my 5th country. In my quest to find the right fit of job, country, and international life I have been searching, searching and moving lol literally every two years. So while it may be a surprise to some, it is no surprise to me that I am moving again this summer to a new country and job. You see when I took this job in Egypt I knew I would only be here for 2 years because I am working with middle school but I wanted to eventually move back to high school. Although Egypt is on the African continent physically, culturally it is not African and my desire is to live in an African country 🤷🏾♀️with a warm climate and a beach that is close enough to visit over the weekends.
So I was settling into this job and country, then November rolled around and the commitment letter for my school in Egypt came out and I was surprised to find out that I had the option to leave my school at the end of the year 🤔Initially I ignored this option because I had left my previous school year mid contract and it made for lots of questions and challenges with getting interviews; international schools can be tough to get into and they want to know that you will stay. I was online in a facebook group for expat educators and I saw that the two schools I wanted to work at were interviewing so I started to think about applying. But first I would need my Head of School’s approval because he would need to write me a reference and because he was new to the school he didn’t know me at all…yikes 😳I won’t lie, I was scared and talking myself out of it but because I had made this commitment to #stepoutsideofmycomfortzone more often I took the chance because I had nothing to lose. Long story short I made an appointment with him and I told him the truth. That I had left my previous job in Bangkok after the first year to be closer to my family and that I wanted to take a chance and apply to 2 schools in Tanzania and Ghana because they had been on my list for the past several years and if they were hiring this year they wouldn’t be hiring next year when I would be looking; talk about #steppingoutonfaith. He agreed that these schools are top rated schools and I would be lucky to get a position at either and told me that he would support my applications and write me a reference for the schools…whew!!!! What was most surprising was his statement that if we support children in going after their dreams, we also have to support the staff as well. I cannot explain how much this statement touched me and endeared me to a man that I barely knew at the time. #Igotyou
Fast forward a couple of weeks; the applications and references are done and I had heard nothing then I get an email from the application site that the position in Tanzania has been filled and I didn’t even get an interview😢 I was super disappointed but I knew it could happen🤷🏾♀️. I can’t remember if I ever heard back from Ghana but one of my counselor friends told me she heard that the position would be filled internally…Ok Damn. I then decided to apply to a couple of jobs even though I didn’t know much about any of these countries and Zimbabwe is the only one I had visited because I was #steppingoutonfaith in order to see what happens. Truthfully it was more of an exercise in seeing if I would get an interview or if I was being passed over simply because I was trying to leave after less than a year at my current job. I got an email from the HoS in a school in East Africa and she asked why I want to leave Egypt and why I left Ethiopia where I was working at the Embassy school which is a sweet gig. I told her for Ethiopia it was the lack of good health care at the time and my health needs. She replied that the country she is in is similar in this way and I thanked her for her response and let that school go. The school in West Africa on the other hand replied the same day I sent my resume and cover letter and wanted to set up an informal chat; I figure to find out why I am leaving in the middle of a contract. I agree to skype the next day when I get home from work. Like Egypt, this country that was not on my radar but because I had nothing to lose, I decided to go for it.
This chat /interview started with the question I anticipated but it went very well. I got a good vibe from the principal and he told me he enjoyed chatting with me and he wanted me to talk to the current middle school counselor. At this point I have reached out to a sista who works there and is in my international facebook group and we are chatting about her experience. She is very honest about the challenges and the benefits of working at the school. I reach out to my Head of School to let him know I had an interview and the principal will be checking my references, he is supportive and wishes me well. I have a conversation with the MS Counselor that weekend and a couple of days later I get an email offering me the job #blessings💃🏾🤩. That was easier and happened faster than I expected. So now I have a decision to make.
After a couple of emails asking questions and trying to negotiate a higher salary which does not work but at least I asked, I accept the position as a HS Counselor. So it’s early December, I have stepped out on faith and I have found a job for next year😎. I’m excited because this school is very different from my current school in some very important ways – it’s a smaller school with a manageable case load, high school counseling, the school provides housing, a decent settling in allowance, PD allowance is more and it is in a warm climate on the coast of West Africa. While the salary is not as high as Ethiopia, it is a good salary so I can travel and save. All of this is a win for me so I tell my family, head of school and principal, and begin the process of telling my friends. So I am moving again this summer 🤷🏾♀️. I am hopeful that this new start in this new country in West Africa will be a place where I can stay for 4 years 🤨. I am truly looking for a place to settle down, and stay for a spell and I pray that this school and country will provide me with this opportunity. 🌍☯︎ Time will tell but I am open to the new experience and looking forward to starting over again 🤔#fearwontstopme
#Blackexpat #livingmybestlife #Dopelife #travelismytherapy #exploring #steppingoutsidemycomfortzone #blacktravelmovement #mytraveljourney #blacktravelculture #blackandabroad #blackwomenwhoblog #wanderlust
To be continued in August #waitforthebigrevealinJune