Teaching Abroad · The Nomadic Life

Are Foregin ESL Teachers Taking Away Jobs from Locals?

A little while ago, I did some fascinating research for an article about how to volunteer responsibly abroad. Among the things I listed were transparency, integration of community members, background checks on anyone working with children, and of course: responsible volunteer programs will not place volunteers in a local community at the expense of taking…… Continue reading Are Foregin ESL Teachers Taking Away Jobs from Locals?

Africa · Madagascar · Peace Corps · Teaching Abroad · The Nomadic Life

From Strangers to Friends: Making Peace with Madagascar’s Swarms of Small Children

From a city with more dogs than kids Before coming to the Peace Corps, I lived in Seattle. I will forever think it’s one of the best places on earth, but it is also one of the most childless. Of all the American cities, it has the highest percentage of single adults and one of…… Continue reading From Strangers to Friends: Making Peace with Madagascar’s Swarms of Small Children

Africa · Madagascar · Peace Corps · Teaching Abroad · The Nomadic Life

My Second Year in the Peace Corps

I wrote this blog post back in October at the beginning of the school year, but somewhere along the way failed to post it. It may have lost some of its relevancy, but seeing as how tomorrow is the end of Christmas vacation and the beginning of our second trimester, I thought I would go…… Continue reading My Second Year in the Peace Corps

Peace Corps · Teaching Abroad

Where Christmas Snow is Only Ever Made of Paper

{Teaching Malagasy students about American Christmas traditions} I taught my 7th grade (5eme) students how to make paper snowflakes and sing Christmas carols this week. When we started the activity, one student held up the test I had just passed back, jokingly suggesting that he would use that to make his paper snowflake. I shrugged…… Continue reading Where Christmas Snow is Only Ever Made of Paper

Africa · Madagascar · Peace Corps · Teaching Abroad · The Nomadic Life

My Peace Corps House is a Middle School

In the late night cover of darkness, I wander out to the naked goal post in the school’s field. The gates are locked up, the lights turned off, and blissfully, all the schoolchildren have gone home. The grounds have become nothing more than a cluster of sealed off, dark and empty buildings. I jump up…… Continue reading My Peace Corps House is a Middle School

Africa · Madagascar · Peace Corps · Teaching Abroad · The Nomadic Life

Madagascar: Life as an Education Volunteer for the Peace Corps

In the midst of a looming thunderstorm I discovered the pink and purple postcard of a sunset in Seattle. Once the initial excitement of receiving mail (real, actual, physical mail!!) from a friend subsided, I read it. “How do you fill your days?” she asked. Although I joke about the endless hours spent eating peanuts…… Continue reading Madagascar: Life as an Education Volunteer for the Peace Corps

Teaching Abroad

The Guilt Complex of Teaching English Abroad

Imperialism is dead, right? We certainly aren’t grabbing land in the way our colonialist forefathers were, but I still can’t make this statement with absolute certainty. And it’s just this thought that inspired a discussion with other English language teachers and students about whether our presence in other countries is OK — morally sound and…… Continue reading The Guilt Complex of Teaching English Abroad