Moroccan Summer: A Tremendous Gift

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Morocco, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach Morocco volunteer Lisa Bobst, 2016 I was in the middle of some things when I packed up and left for Morocco in early June. Some of these were not so little things, like packing up and selling my home of twelve years, building a new home, raising a teenager. It was challenging and complicated, at 53 years old, to step out of my life and live a different one for two months. But it was so extraordinarily worthwhile. I definitely felt like the oddball in our band of volunteers as we settled into our youth hostel during training week in Casablanca. Because I am a mom, I travel with Benadryl, band aids, and a lot of Tylenol, not…

Vlog: Do’s and Don’ts in Colombia

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Colombia, News & Highlights

This week’s post is a “vlog” (video blog) coming to us from Colombia volunteer Autumn Thomas. Autumn keeps a series of YouTube videos from her time in Colombia and this is one example after having lived and taught there for four months. She discusses 10 “do’s and don’ts” of being a foreigner, or gringo, in Colombia. Click below to watch!  

A Mile in Another’s Shoes

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Namibia, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach Namibia volunteer Sarah Ritten, Summer 2016 “Ubuntu:” a person is a person only through other people. Throughout my summer spent with WorldTeach South Africa, I learned exactly what it means to live a life of the African Traditional Religion term, “Ubuntu.” It is only through helping others and empathizing with others that we fully feel connected to the world. My internship with WorldTeach and the experiences I had because of WorldTeach showed me just how important “Ubuntu” is for a community and all its members. Throughout my summer in South Africa, I had the incredible opportunity to work with the Family and Community Motivators (FCMs) in Masiphumelele (Masi), a black township outside of Cape Town. The Family and…


Posted by Nolan Sutker in Ecuador, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach Ecuador and September 2016 Alumni Spotlight volunteer Elizabeth Paiva, 2015 Home. What is home? Living in Quito has made me question the definition of home, reworking it to encompass my experiences abroad. I have often wondered how long it must one be in a place to be able to say one lived there. For it to feel like home. Is three months enough? Is 10.5? Is 27 months? The other night, my eyes watered when I accidentally stumbled across pictures of Yosemite on a blog I was reading. I had the most vivid vision of childhood camping trips with my sister and dad, waking up to crisp mountain airs in the early morning, welcomed to the morning by a warm…

The Time I Almost Ran Out on Mint Tea, Palm Trees, and Cheeky Grins

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Morocco, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach Morocco volunteer Shaalini Ganesalingam, 2016 “Oh honey, you ain’t gettin’ on this plane.” I laughed. When the woman checking my luggage said this I thought to myself that this must be some silly airport joke. But her visible irritation made me realize this was not, in fact, some silly airport joke. “You shouldn’t come here with less than an hour before your flight. You need to get here three hours ahead of departure,” she snapped at me. But I had. It wasn’t my fault all the kiosks malfunctioned, causing the ridiculous lines for the person-administered check-ins. Before I could argue- “You don’t have time for nothin’. Now you go on and race over to security. Make sure you…

La Paz

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Colombia, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach Colombia volunteer Julia Rampton, 2016-2017 Cartagena has a civic day today, which means that all public schools and many public officials take the day off of work in order to observe a monumental moment in Colombia’s history. On September 26, 2016 the city is hosting the country’s president Juan Manuel Santos, leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC), and representatives from the United Nations to sign an international peace agreement. The signing of this agreement marks the end of a 52-year-long Colombian civil conflict that first started in 1964 between the Colombian national government and the FARC guerrilla group. After four years of negotiations and peace talks held in Habana, Cuba, members of the international community have…

Pathways for Promise

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Bangladesh, News & Highlights

Pathways for Promise: Empowering Young Women and Rediscovering my Purpose in Bangladesh By WorldTeach Bangladesh volunteer Mark Flanigan, 2016-2017 Before coming to Bangladesh as a WorldTeach volunteer, I had never spent much time in South Asia. While I had experienced brief trips to Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka, they were more as a short-term traveller, ensconced in the comfortable scheduling of an observer passing through other peoples’ realities. I was actually much more familiar with the history and culture of East Asia, having lived twice in Japan. I had spent a number of years there in each case, and greatly enjoyed living in Nagasaki and then later in Tokyo. While I was quite comfortable in my role as a cultural…

I Am Not a Tourist

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Anna Bauder, 2016-2017 I am not a tourist. Such a simple truth, but until recently, I found it hard to believe. In full disclosure, I can be quick to judge, and this was manifested when I would look at several of the previous volunteers’ pictures and statements. You see a smiling face, holding a coconut, wearing traditional garb, and some cute caption with intermittent Samoan words – seemed pretty touristy to me. I knew they were teaching. I knew they had struggles, but it had the Instagram effect of being perfectly chosen snapshots. When I applied, I didn’t think I was going to be a tourist. When I accepted I knew there were going to…

Xi Guan: The Cultural Adjustment

Posted by Nolan Sutker in China, News & Highlights

By WorldTeach China volunteer, Wing-Yee Lau, 2015-2016 “Ni xi guan le ma?” Are you adjusted to life here yet? People would often ask me this question when I told them that I’m American. After living in Changsha for several months, I still struggled to produce a concrete answer. Moving to China to teach English was a lot more difficult than I expected. I chose China because I had a Chinese background—my family was from Hong Kong and I had taken two years of Mandarin in college. Little did I know that it wasn’t enough. I didn’t realize that my perspective of Chinese people was limited to the overseas Chinese population. I knew that many Chinese immigrated to other countries during…

The Friendliest People in the Pacific

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights

This week’s blog post is a throwback to 2009 when Marci McPhee was a volunteer in the Marshall Islands. Marci volunteered while on a leave of absence from Brandeis University. “When you live on a small island that is sometimes no wider than the road you are walking on, and at high tide only inches above sea level, your only two choices are to change the way you think and live, or go home.” – Jack Niedenthal, For the Good of Mankind: A History of the People of Bikini and their Islands, xi. (Bikini is one of the Marshall Islands) It took me awhile to realize that the children were calling to me when they chanted “ribelle, ribelle!” (“white person” in…