As you can see, this is my first posting to my blog. I am so glad to be living in a day when technology is what it is! So, using this means of communication, I want to stay in touch with friends – old and new!
Well, let me tell you how it all started. Instead of writing New Year’s Resolutions, this year I had written a list of 101 things I want to do before I die (well, I almost had 101 things), and one of them was to teach overseas for a year. Within a couple weeks, our assistant superintendent in the Rogers, Arkansas school district sent out an email informing us of the opportunity to teach in Taiwan for a year. That was almost coincidental! After talking with my family first, and then some friends whose counsel I respect, I decided to apply. That was in early February 2007. So, that was the beginning!
It sure seemed like a long time to wait, but I had an interview in Little Rock over our spring break. Then, waiting some more! I was thinking I would get a phone call, so really didn’t notice that in the mail in late April I had received a letter from the Department of Education. And, in it was a letter stating that I would get the opportunity to travel to Taiwan to teach. On June 8, a press conference was held in Little Rock to introduce those of us who had been chosen to represent the State of Arkansas.
In the meantime, I had been trying to get ready to go. We were given email addresses of some teachers from Indiana who had already been there to teach, as well as one who is still there. I began corresponding with Janice and Shawn Hull, who have given me some tremendous tips and encouragement on this venture. They went with the state of Indiana the year before last. As we talked, we realized that we had a lot in common – they had taught here in NW Arkansas before, and they were going to be in Costa Rica the same time I was going to be there in June of this year. I was visiting my brother there who is doing some missionary there. Amazing! So, we were able to arrange a time and a place to meet – at the Children’s Museum in San Jose, Costa Rica. What a fun museum, and what a delightful time we had getting to know each other more. Not only was our time enjoyable, they gave me some great insights, ideas, but most of all, encouragement for the adventure ahead of me.
So, at this point, the time is close for us to leave. Those of us traveling from Rogers have gotten together to share thoughts, and tips for traveling, what to take/not to take! Our departure date is August 31, 2007. We will be arriving in Taiwan on September 2, with two weeks of training and introduction to the year ahead of us.
As much as I am looking forward to teaching the students who will be in my school (Nan Ao Junior High (Elementary) School in Yilan County), I am looking forward to what they will teach me. I want to be able to experience as much of that country as I possibly can – so that when I come back, I can share some of those experiences with my students and the faculty here.
So, how do you get there from here? Take the next step – do the next thing.