Friday, July 28, 2006

...flying across the atlantic...

Opening the door of opportunity (it's little...just like me)

Well, I was finally able to book my flight from Toronto to London, Heathrow. Looks like I'll be heading out on the 16th at 7:15pm and arriving in London the the 17th at 7:30am (I am definitely not a morning person!). I'm hoping to stay with a friend of mine named Tim . I've know Tim since I was 6 years old and in grade 1. Back then, he used to wear multicoloured striped turtle necks and had a bowl cut (I wore wool dresses and pigtails). Now, he's an actor and photographer living in Guildford. (I'm soon to be a teacher living in Sierra Leone). Oh, how we work our way up...9 years can really make a difference! I'm also hoping to cross paths with my friend Heather. She and I spent 5 looooong years together during undergrad at Trent and then teacher's college at Queen's. I've only know Heather for 6 years and she always looked fabulous. (I always looked fabulous, too, save that pigtail stint...) I haven't seen her for over a year, and have yet to meet her long-term, long-distance boyfriend, Matt. Maybe this will be the year!

Who knows what might happen!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

...On the cusp of a new reality...

Welcome all!

If you're here, it's probably because you received an email from me informing you that I've got a site up and running to keep you up-to-date on the hustle and bustle of my year in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Let's begin with the basics. You can find most of the pertinent facts about Sierra Leone, by clicking here. Omigosh, my first real link!! (it's all thanks to my friend Michelle, who helpfully posted a 'how to do html.' on her own page!)

Ahem. I digress.

Pretty pictures, and not so pretty pictures from the war, as well as government documents, archives, news reports, and nifty cultural tidbits can be found here. (there you go, I did it again! Oh cut and paste...I love you...)

While in Freetown, I will be working at the American International School of Freetown. I will be teaching Social Studies (History/Geography) and Literature for grades 3-9. Yes, you read that correctly. First of all, I've convinced myself that I can handle it, and second of hard can it be to learn everything about US history and geography in a week?? Not to mention English grammar...hmmm...well, there's always "US History for Dummies." I kid you not. I'm waiting for delivery from Chapters. Information and some pictures of the school I will be working at can be found...wait for it...wait for Click on DOAS, and then search for accredited or candidate schools outside of the US. My school is on page 2.

While I'm there, I will be living in a house 3 other women (ranging in age from 25-52 years) who work with various NGOs (non-governmental organizations, think Oxfam, Care International, UNICEF). The house belongs to an NGO called World Relief/Faith Consortium. Click onWorld Relief or Faith Consortium. The women who I will be living with all work for, or come from Christian backgrounds, so I'm hoping that will ease my transition a bit.

As for the moment, I'm still in Halifax, tying up lose ends here. I have put my MA on hold for the year I am away, but will be returning to Dalhousie to finish my thesis in September 2007. I will be doing some interviewing and research in Salone when my teaching contract ends in June. I will be leaving Halifax on August 7th, and will be back home in Toronto for a short time while I pack and prepare to leave the country. I wish that I could see you all before I go, but I cannot, as it is important for me to spend the days before I leave with my family (not to mention the running around like a chicken with my head cut off part..). I'm not sure of my exact date of departure from Toronto, but my flight from Gatwick airport, London, UK leaves mid-afternoon on August 18th. I will be in Freetown that evening!

Thanks for all of your support, your thoughts, your time, and your prayers. Bookmark this page and keep checking back often. I'm not sure how frequently I will be able to update you, but your comments will be encouraging for me. Please post them!!