New Neighbors in Namibia

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

WorldTeach volunteer Kate Piniewski talks about living in very close quarters with her learners in Namibia.   My 56 Grade 10 learners moved into school on Monday. In less than three weeks they will take their national exams, determining their eligibility to continue with their education through Grade 12. So in order to ensure proper study habits, a (medium) well-balanced diet, and a stronger sense of camaraderie—or misery, depending which learner you ask—they have packed their bags, tents, pencils, and calculators and become my neighbors for the next seven weeks. As one learner so gently put it, “Miss, you are our first parent now. We spend more hours a day with you than with our parents. They must come second.”…

How a Year in Namibia Influenced a Lifetime Career

Posted by WTTech in Namibia

Wendi Haugh’s year as a WorldTeach volunteer in Namibia helped her define her future career. Here, she shares her experience abroad and discusses how her research in Namibia led to her career in academia, and the eventual release of her recently published book. I served as an English resource teacher at Mariabronn Primary School outside Grootfontein in central Namibia in 1992, over twenty years ago now.  The school was home to about three hundred girls and boys.  My primary job – besides working with the teachers to improve their English – was to develop activities which would allow the students to practice their English outside the classroom.  Lacking any other organized programs once school was out, they seized these opportunities…

Celebrations of Life and Death in Costa Rica

Posted by WorldTeach in Costa Rica

At times, the cultural immersion process that volunteers face abroad is not always the celebration of life, but also of death. Samuel, a current WorldTeach Costa Rica volunteer, has been fortunate enough to be welcomed into his community, so much so that he took part in a traditional funeral. As many Latin cultures do, the community came together to honor the life that was lost, and in doing so showed Samuel a different definition of death, as understood in Costa Rica. And with a new definition of death, comes a redefined version of life.      Death is not something I would ever consider a welcome event; however, it did allow for me to experience one of the more interesting…

Meet the Students! WorldTeach Volunteer introduces some of her students.

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

WorldTeach Volunteer Elizabeth Skurdahl introduces us to a few of her students with her Learner Profiles. Read more to meet some of the students from WorldTeach Namibia… Double the pleasure, double the fun! That’s right, you lucky devils, today I bring you not one but TWO learner profiles in one, epic DOUBLE LEARNER PROFILE POST!! (Please, please! Hold your applause. Seriously, guys – stop, I’m blushing!) Today I would like to introduce you to Brucely and Mbaunguraiye (pronounced Bow-n-gur-ay-ye), two cool kids direct from my grade 6 English class. Brucely   Brucely is a total jokester. He has a wide, charming smile that will disarm even the sternest of foes, and the antics and hijinks he gets up to constantly…

Word from a WorldTeach Marshall Islands Volunteer

Posted by WorldTeach in Marshall Islands

This week on The Traveler Series meet Elayna Tekle, a travel-enthusiast who spent a year abroad teaching English in the Marshall Islands as part of a World Teach volunteer program. Here I interview Elayna on what inspired her to volunteer abroad, how she adapted to Marshallese culture and her best travel advice. What inspires you to travel?  Curiosity about the world, adventure, a want to understand different cultures. My dad didn’t grow up in the US so a big part of me has always been interested in different ways of living. It’s important to see other perspectives in the world.  If you see other cultures first hand, humans are more likely to be understanding in times of conflict. What is your favorite destination you’ve been to so…

You get a Holiday! You get a Holiday! WorldTeach Nepal Volunteer tries to get past the holiday confusion.

Posted by WorldTeach in Nepal

WorldTeach Volunteer Holly Liebl talks about getting used to a totally different calendar system and schools us a bit about holidays in Nepal… One of the most confusing and ambiguous parts of my journey here in Nepal is figuring out when there’s a holiday.  You might be saying, ‘duh!  Look at the calendar!’ And sure, you’re correct, but only about 50%, so it still doesn’t add up.  If you look at the Nepali calendar, which follows the Bikram Sambat calendar as the West follows the Gregorian calendar, you will find that Nepal’s calendar is approximately 56 years and 8.5 months ahead of the Gregorian calendar.  So they are in the year 2071.  While looking at a Nepali calendar, any days…

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable in Tanzania

Posted by WorldTeach in Tanzania

WorldTeach volunteer Chelsea Reist talks about how she has learned to be okay with going outside her comfort zone during her stay in Tanzania.. Over the years I have discovered that there are many ways to feel uncomfortable. I have also learned that being uncomfortable is not all bad. During my years as a university student and basketball player I was constantly forced into situations that made me uncomfortable but I think these are the moments where I really grew. I want to share 3 example/stories of this here in Tanzania: 1)      Transportation So to give you a brief overview of transportation in Tanzania – if you thought no one or no other thing could fit in or on a vehicle…you…

Buzzed… WorldTeach Tanzania Adventures

Posted by WorldTeach in Tanzania

WorldTeach Tanzania Volunteer takes a trip to the salon to get a trim and leaves with a big surprise! Read on to hear about her cosmetic mix up and more of her adventures in Tanzania… Boy oh boy have the last 36 hours been an adventure. First things first, I no longer have hair. How did this happen you ask? My mane was getting out of hand and I needed to get a trim. I asked my friend here Madam Grace (who is a very stylish primary school teacher with good hair by the way) if she could tell me the best salon in Bariadi. She graciously offered to take me there after school on Friday and translate for me….

Changing Paths: Life After WorldTeach

Posted by WorldTeach in Namibia

Soon after returning from WorldTeach Namibia, volunteer Taylor McLaughlin found herself working as a part of corporate America. After some time back in the States, she realized that she wasn’t as happy as she expected to be, and her heart wasn’t in her work. Read more to learn about Taylor’s change of heart and transition from a member of the corporate world to a future teacher.  When I first moved home and began looking for a job, I had a list of various job titles and companies I was interested in pursuing. Amongst that list, I classified a handful of the positions as “cool” jobs. You know, the career or position that makes others stop and think “wow, that sounds fun” or “I…

Looking Back: Reflections from a WorldTeach Ecuador Volunteer

Posted by WTTech in Ecuador

A WorldTeach Volunteer has been in Ecuador for almost a year now. Here, she shares the highs and lows of her time abroad and gives advice to prospective volunteers. Read on to hear feedback from her experience and to learn more about volunteering with WorldTeach Ecuador. What was your most memorable experiences with WorldTeach and why?   My most rewarding experience has been creating meaningful relationships with Ecuadorians. I did not expect to make such deep connections with my friends here. Although I am sad to leave Ecuador, I think that is a good feeling because it means that I have created roots here. What is the most interesting thing you learned about yourself through this experience?   The most…