Country Programs

 

Fast Times at Ban Phaeng High

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Thailand

Written by Samantha Harper (current WorldTeach Thailand volunteer) When I came to Thailand through WorldTeach, my biggest fear was that I would be lonely. I imagined myself in a village where I would be unable to communicate with the inhabitants. My students would be too young to be my friends, and my co-teachers would likely be too old. I knew (hoped) that the experience would be challenging and fulfilling, but I also supposed that I would make weekend escapes to Bali and Hanoi, and submit to the travel bug whenever the pace of my village was too isolating or slow. In actuality, I am struck by the irony of the fact that the only real trial I’ve encountered has been…

“Not My Country”

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Ecuador, Uncategorized

Written by Amanda Canny (current WT Ecuador volunteer) I have been dating a man from Trinidad and Tobago for over four years. Although he has lived in the U.S. for six years, he occasionally uses a phrase that once upon a time confused me.  “Not my country,” he would say, and I would wonder, What is that supposed to mean? That is, until I caught myself saying the same thing. Fast forward to July 2017 – here I am in Quito, Ecuador, video chatting with my boyfriend, laughing about how I think I’ve found my own understanding of his saying, “Not my country” all of these years.  Before I experienced living in a different country, I, a U.S. citizen, had…

New Semester Perspective

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Thailand, Uncategorized

Written by Will Jobs (current WorldTeach Thailand volunteer).  To learn more, check out the awesome videos that Will has put together of his time in Thailand. The sun is just barely rising outside the bus windows as I start this post. I’m on the back of a cross-country bus in Thailand, traveling from Bangkok back to my teaching site in northern Thailand. Nine months ago I would never have believed how comfortable I would be with all of this. As a WorldTeach volunteer in Thailand, I have been living, teaching, and learning for the better part of a year in That Phanom, a small, rural town in Nakhon Phanom province, within the Isaan region (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isan). Each week I teach English to…

In Memory

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

The Marshallese word “Yokwe” has multiple meanings and contexts. It is a greeting, a noun, and a verb, all the same. On a wooden sign to the side of the James C. de Brueys – WorldTeach Memorial Basketball Court on the Bikarej atoll in Arno, Marshall Islands, it means “to bid farewell”. On November 26, 2010, locals Baby Kaiko and her unborn child, Kiotak Jorsam, Anwel Ninne, and WorldTeach volunteer, James Clifton de Brueys were lost at sea as they attempted a short journey from Bikarej to Maduro. James was approaching his 23rd birthday at the time and had become a welcome member of the approximate 200 member Arno community. After his death, his family created the James de Brueys…

The Seeds You Sow

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights

Written by Bethany Fisher (current WorldTeach Marshall Islands volunteer) The island of Wotje is known for having good soil to grow a multiplicity of crops. However, since the El Nino draught of 2016, the extreme heat and lack of rain that swept through the RMI dried up most of the gardens on Wotje. Despite this setback, a group of students from Northern Islands High School on Wotje have succeeded in growing some vegetables this year. As a new school project for the grade 9 and Pre-9 students, they have been learning how to grow a garden. English and Agriculture classes have found a happy blend this year for the NIHS freshman students. Our freshman English class of 81 students started…

Sights without Sounds

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights

Written by Cari Deschak, RMI ’15 One innocuous half-wall of a Washington DC gallery holds a ringed twist of scrap metal. That description could include many art pieces at their most elemental, especially here along the cutting edge of modern artistic license, but this one must have been magnetic. It shot me a pulse of unexpected familiarity. My sister appraised me as I stood in the gallery’s center jabbing my finger at it, words having yet to escape my open mouth. “That’s it!” I finally managed, exclamation point voiced by re-throwing my fully-outstretched arm. “What’s it?” “I mean I’ve tried to describe … I can’t believe it’s perfect the … can’t be an accident, that’s it!” I was awarded a…

It’s Always a Good Time to Begin

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Colombia, Ecuador, Micronesia, News & Highlights

Below you’ll find the story of Mary Nolan, one of our more experienced WorldTeach volunteer teachers. She recently began her third year and different country placement with WorldTeach. Mary serves as an inspiration to all of us as she continues to travel the world on her journey to global citizenship and understanding. Below is a glimpse into her story….. Having lived in Ireland all my life, in 2013, I decided it was time to see some more of the world. In that year I applied to WorldTeach to take part in one of their volunteer teaching programs and went to the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia. During that year – July 2013 to May 2014 – I taught computer applications…

The Importance of Choice

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights

The Importance of Choice by Christian Colo (RMI ’16) It’s another Monday morning as I wake up to the sound of lagoon waves lapping against the shore mere feet from my house. I look out my doorway towards the cookhouse and see smoke rising: breakfast time. Mama is hard at work as she flips hot pancakes off the coconut husk fire that she has been tending all morning. She already has a steaming stack waiting for me with a boiled fish caught just the night before. Within a few minutes, I am walking past breadfruit, banana, and coconut trees as I make my daily commute along the dirt path that leads to the school. As I unlock the door and…

A Love Story to the RMI

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Marshall Islands, News & Highlights

A Love Song to the RMI I hum softly as you drift off in my arms. I watch as Mary breaks off from her twittering friends and wanders through the party in our direction. She doesn’t bother to make eye contact when she speaks; we gaze off at the same middle-distance, unmindful of the festivities. That is your baby? No. Whose baby? He is Likto’s baby. There is a pause in the conversation while Mary mulls over this apparently new information and I wonder how anything is ever news on this little island. You gurgle softly. Your mother is Wijlang? Yes. Likto mother is Wijlang. Yes. Likto is your sister. That is your baby. The tone of finality in Mary’s…

Toe Tasi (Just One More)

Posted by Nolan Sutker in American Samoa, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

Siva Siva Mai I‘m standing over the stove when I hear the music start to play. The bass carrying over the village kicks starts my rusty math skills; if I finish the pasta and sauce that will take 15 minutes, and its 7:15 right now, but if I go right now and they are setting up then I’ll wait around for 45 minutes, but if it’s starting right now and I don’t go until 8, I’ll probably miss half. I go to the window looking for any signs of life, or lack of life, in my neighbor’s house. I decide to finish cooking the pasta, but not to make the sauce; if I’m early than I can offer to help,…