I am now in Ibagué, meeting my future co-workers, the Jefe (a.k.a. Bossman), exploring the city and still fighting my cold. Ok, tranquilo, my cold will get better. For now I am not really settling in, I am staying at a big empty house for the first week or two, which is ok.
Shawn my new employer and his family are very nice and my co-workers all seem like very nice people and then the fairies come out to dance with the unicorns and we all live happily ever after. I love teaching English, and I love teaching abroad too, but I know at some point I will learn who the assholes are, and who the nice people are.* It might not go perfect, and I know there will be ups and downs but that is half the adventure of moving to a foreign, 3rd world country, where you cannot flush toilet paper.
Note By Editor: Sure enough, within a couple months I learned who the assholes were. There was this crazy, and I mean CRAZY Colombian guy who worked at the Institute – he made it his personal job to micromanage the shit out of everyone. He was also responsible for all the grammar errors when they wrote the main curriculum that the institute used. In the end, they finally got rid of his entitled posterior. He was awful. I remember one time he came over to Pereira, the office girls blamed a bunch of crazy stuff on me, because I was the “newbie.” Needless to say, I didn’t end up finishing my contract with them because they were making my life miserable even though I really enjoyed teaching and mostly liked my classes.
So here I am loving every minute so far in the sweet honeymoon stage of Colombia. I was in a quandary yesterday as to how to handle having an indoor swimming pool all to myself. Fortunately I was able to find a way to enjoy it!!!! It was very nice. I went Skinny Dipping. One less item of clothing to have to wash. It wasn’t that exciting. Felt like a normal swim with less clothing.
But, in this big fancy mansion – I have cold water. I can’t figure out how to get the hot water to work (maybe there isn’t any). This seems to be a habit for Colombians. Cold showering is a bad romance that I fear I might have to get used to, and learn to love slowly in my own time…or not. I couldn’t do it in Brazil. Fortunately, it’s quite cheap to install an electric shower head that could possibly shock my tits off on a bad day if the ground wire decides not to work…yeah, ok!
So – The head honcho owns a really nice house, its big, has maids, is built around a swimming pool and even comes with high speed internet. I am also finding my way around the English Institute, but not really that impressed. It’s a good way to jump-start a life abroad. And, it’s an easy way to get longer term visas for places like Colombia.
Life is good if you are rich in Colombia, but you really have to ask yourself:
Am I being good to people by putting out good Karma? Making photocopies of actual text books and selling them does not count towards good Karma. This is just an example, of course 😉
Am I treating my employees in a fair way? Colombians sell themselves pretty cheaply and gringos love this! Who wouldn’t enjoy $9/day maid service? On the other hand – Colombians also react to statements like this one and then jack up their prices…there must be a balance. You aren’t doing yourself any favors when you price it to the point where Colombians stop buying from you.
Does my presence serve a legitimate purpose in helping the world? Ok, this one is logical enough. English really does benefit those who can speak it even if they never can find a practical use for it, outside of American video games, talking to tourists and graduating from the university,
I recommend finding institutes who offer training and test signup information for the Cambridge English Certificates otherwise you might be wasting your money for someone’s wild idea of how English should be taught and learned).
I am waiting to find out what city will become my new home. I will live in either Ibague, or Pereira. I will know at the end of my two week training period. Probably Pereira, I suspect.
Back Home the Rumor Mill is in Full Gear!
It is absolutely appalling some of the reactions that my mom receives when she tells people I am living in Colombia now.
Like I am here to do drugs or go camping with the FARC! Actually, I’m not into the whole greasy, smelly “I’ll tie you to a tree in the jungle” type. Well its no skin off my chin, I can be pretty flexible, but I don’t have to indulge in criminal activities in order to chill out in a tropical paradise. It sucks that people still have so many preconceptions in a world that has become globalized beyond just the internet.
BUT If you really are ignorant and close minded please, go to yahoo.com and read about Britney Spears latest haircut. If you are still actually reading my blog and giggling a bit at my tall stories and “gringo jokes” then open your mind and consider a world outside of McDonalds, The GOP, and all that “I just want to live a normal life bullshit.”
Stay tuned for more adventures of my crazy life in Colombia as an English Teacher!!!