Teaching in Cairo, Egypt
Turning Points: Journey to Egypt
In every life there are turning points. Choices we make that can never be undone or changed. We each make the best decisions we are capable of making at that point and live with the results. Sometimes the people in our lives wholly agree, cheering us on to our destinies. Other times, they venomously disagree, warning us of the unpredicted harm that may lie at the end. We stand and choose.
As I prepared to board the plane that would take me across the world for a school year, I cried. Knowing something was changing. Something inside would never be the same after this journey. I had no clue of the challenges and achievements that lie ahead. I just knew that I was leaving something and moving towards an arrival. An arrival to self perhaps or possibly just to new ideas and lifestyles. Something was about to happen, to change and my life and indeed myself would never be the same. I boarded the plane with this knowledge.
Sitting on the plane preparing for take-off, there came a wave of calmness. I suddenly felt that undeniable feeling that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. My shoulders eased. My back loosened and I felt the plane take off, leaving behind Los Angeles and every familiar face I knew. I took a few deep breathes, taking in the experience and feeling the cool, airplane conditioner in my lungs. This was a step that could never be erased or taken back.
The travel was long and after many hours of travel, I was anxiously awaiting my arrival into a country I knew very little about: Egypt. It had begun with looking for work. Pressed by my student loan bills, I knew the $19 an hour job I loved would not cut it anymore. I was barely paying my rent and other bills and progress had been slow in the last two years. Something had to be done. This is how it began.
Seeking better opportunities, I worked with a head hunter and looked for local opportunities. Nothing really materialized but I stayed steady and focused at my current job, loving on the children that so mirrored my young self. Unexpectantly, a school contacted me and they were from all places, in Egypt. At any other point in my life, I would have run, or simply clicked the name off the list of my opportunities online. But something was different in me.
I had reached a point in life where suddenly everything seemed possible and even my wildest dreams seemed achievable. Teaching abroad had always been on the list of “someday I will try.” And here it was, right in front of me! I talked to close friends and began talks with the school. There was something about this school that just hit me at the core. They were new and embracing not only the teaching methodologies I embraced, but also the philosophy. Their goal was to do perhaps exactly what I attempted to do in my small, urban classroom: create empathetic leaders for the future. There was a caring, a soulful passion that I heard in the voice of the school’s head when we met online. There was just that something that felt absolutely right.
My Classroom Website-Egypt
Follow Your Dreams
More on my experiences in Egypt
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