My Incredible Life as a Short Termer
Danielle, a recent university graduate from No. Ireland is serving as a teacher in the South Pacific. She reflects on her last five months of service:
"2013 was one of the most eventful years for me so far, I think. This year, I wrote a dissertation, something that still surprises me because I can’t believe I actually sat down and wrote it! I watched my good friend get married. I graduated from University, making me a qualified teacher. I finally learnt the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’. I did something I always swore I would never do and dyed my hair blonde. I visited Italy with my sister, cousin and friend, which, despite having issues like broken suitcases and more than one incident with trains, it was the holiday of a lifetime.
Then, I moved across the world to a country where I don’t speak the language to start my first ever teaching job, and I’ve been here in the South Pacific ever since, trying to figure out life here. This process has been one of the most challenging and most hilarious experiences ... and is still ongoing. I’ve grown to love my class of little boys, managed to keep a hamster alive, accidentally enrolled at Bible college, began a youth group, somehow ended up in the local newspaper, helped organise a Christmas production for the first time, learnt how to ride on the back of a motorbike without holding on, spent my first Christmas away from my family, and most surprisingly, am now able to have a (basic) conversation in a language I didn’t even know existed a year ago.
There have been sad things as well – missing people and events back home, but serving overseas does involve a sacrifice. When I chose to live overseas, I’m not sure I completely understood what that sacrifice would entail, but this time if I choose to stay another year, I have a much better idea of what I’m giving up and what I’m gaining."
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