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Yep, That’s a Big One: Updates from American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach American Samoa volunteer Bryan updates us about adventures and competitions on the islands. This weekend Colin and I decided to do some hiking behind our house, past To’o, and last beach. The goal was to get Colin to the cliffs of the Northern coast where you can look West just about all the way to Fitiuta on the other side of the island. As we made our way through the jungle, a relatively flat area that is easy to walk, Colin started pointing out all of the pig tracks. I was acting casual like it was no big deal, but through the half a dozen or so times I had been out there I had seen very few. Then…

A Blog about Prague

Posted by WTTech in Poland

WorldTeach Poland Summer alum Kate recounts a trip to a city she’d been longing to visit for years.  The longing began years ago in a now-ex-then-current-boyfriend’s living room. We sat cross-legged on the carpet, pouring over old photo albums and exclaiming over toddler smiles. Suddenly, the pages of one volume turned lush, ornate, mysteriously decked with stone and rich paints next to twilight water. “Where were these taken?” I asked my beau. “Prague. My parents took a vacation there about ten years ago.” Entranced by those glossy, candied prints, a capricious decision was made: I would make it to the The City of a Hundred Spires. Six years later, curled in a sticky overnight train compartment, I did. — Last Wednesday, Annie and I arrived back…

Noticias de Riobamba

Posted by WTTech in Ecuador

WorldTeach Ecuador volunteer Emily Mueller on teaching English as a foreign language, a new host family, and emborrajados: One of the beautiful things about travelling and temporarily living in another country is the opportunity to meet new people on such a regular basis. I feel I’m asked all the time, How long have you been here?, and… How much longer do you have here?. The numbers continue to increase for the first question and decrease for the second. Right now I’m at 7 and 5. It’s getting really surreal that this experience is more than half way over, and that my time here will soon be coming to an end. A lot has been happening and changing in my life here since my last…

Honors and Accreditation in American Samoa

Posted by WTTech in American Samoa

WorldTeach volunteer Bryan Williams talks character, leadership, and biting off more than you can chew.  On March 5th we completed our National Honor Society induction ceremony. We had 5 members, inducted 7 new ones, and at 12 members this is one of the biggest NHS groups the school has ever had. Hopefully all of them will be able to remain in NHS, but sadly I do not think that will be the case. NHS is founded on 4 core values of Leadership, Character, Service, and Scholarship, but my older students seem to ignore, or have not yet been held accountable for, everything except scholarship. Trying to teach character and leadership in a school that is not competitive and does not…

Death at a Funeral, and Lots of Women Dancing

Posted by WTTech in Micronesia

WorldTeach volunteer Laura has only a few months left on the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia. Kaselehlie, I can’t begin to fathom that I have less than three months left here on Pohnpei. This year has turned out to be one of the calmest moments of my life, filled with many moments of thinking and just being. It is commonly said that Pohnpeians are “expert sitters”, as life here can often be slow, calm, and at times all you can do is just sit and take it all in (and at many times there’s honestly nothing else to do). If anything, this place has taught me to just relax, which can be expected from living on an island for a year….

A True WorldTeach Family

Posted by WTTech in Ecuador

Debbie volunteered with WorldTeach in Ecuador more than 20 years ago. During her time in the country, she fell in love with one of her adult students; they now have three children and recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.     Dear WorldTeach, I was a volunteer in Ecuador in 1992. I started out teaching English at a refinery in the town of Esmeraldas. I weathered strikes, crime, and illness, including malaria and dengue fever. When the year was over, it was hardly the experience I had hoped for.   So, I stayed on for another year, moving around from Quito to Guayaquil. Toward the end of my second year, I subbed for an ex-pat friend teaching two English classes…

Living a Literary Dream: Becoming a Small Town School Teacher

Posted by WTTech in Poland

I write from Makow on a beautiful midsummer evening, perched on a chair in front of my host sister’s desk while she watches Polish crime shows. This is no little house on the prairie (rather, it is a good sized modish one filled with a charming combination of Catholic relics and Egyptian hieroglyphics) and yet, I feel more like my childhood hero, Laura Ingalls Wilder, than ever before. Let me explain. Last week ended with a series of lessons about how to teach English as a second language, a group pierogi making session, and a farewell dinner with free-flowing wine and bountiful meat. The pierogi making session was perhaps the most memorable of these events…mostly because it involved a red-cheeked Polish cook watching me…

The Summer of a Lifetime

Posted by WTTech in Ecuador

After her experience with WorldTeach Ecuador Summer in 2014, Katey found another opportunity to volunteer in Ecuador.   When I decided to apply for WorldTeach, it was on a whim. I didn’t know if I’d actually be able to go, how my family and friends would react, or what the experience would be like. But I committed. I went. I ventured out into the wild blue yonder and here I am, six months later,with the knowledge that my life has been forever changed.     I won’t get into the long story of how I ended up in Ecuador (of all places…who has ever even heard anything about Ecuador?), but I will say that I am infinitely grateful I wound…

The Learning Lab Project

Posted by WTTech in Tanzania

WorldTeach volunteer Chelsea is getting creative while finding ways to engage her students.   I’m not going to lie, teaching with no resources is a challenge. I have to constantly be on my toes thinking of ways to make a class interesting and understandable with very little to work with. However, learning a foreign language with no resources is 100X more daunting. How can my kids learn without dictionaries or textbooks? How can they become interested in such a difficult language with no fun, interesting stories to read? While I’m here I am a resource, of sorts, for my students but I am only here for a few more months and come on, I’m not THAT interesting.   I never…

Stand by Me in China

Posted by WTTech in China

WorldTeach volunteer Ben tells recounts a Chinese adventure reminiscent of a classic American movie.   In my school it is said there is a mountain nearby you can climb. In fact, some teachers climb it every night, taking flashlights for the early winter nights. However, I had yet to climb it until today. Probably.   It was a clear, sunny day in Dayao town when I took off to find the mountain for myself. I had no guide, just a vague sense of “go that way.” It had recently been a bit chilly so I opted to wear both a light hoodie and a light jacket. I tucked my scarf into my jacket pocket – just in case it was…