Marshall Islands

 

“…this country is a big family that has adopted me.”

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

WorldTeach volunteer Justin Behravesh recently returned to the United States from his year long volunteer experience in the Marshall Islands. In his final blog post, Justin shows us just how close volunteers can grow to the communities and people of the nations that they serve in. Take a look at Justin’s blog post and see how he spent his last days on the Marshall Islands – and more importantly, how his journey has changed him as a person.     This will be my last blog entry.   The capital island of Majuro, for all of its pollution, traffic, and its expensive nature, has some charm to it. When I found myself missing Jabor and my host family this past…

The Run

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

Traveling abroad to work as a WorldTeach volunteer doesn’t mean giving up your hobbies from back home. Liz, a WorldTeach Marshall Islands volunteer, kept up her New Year’s Resolution of running even far from home, and found some unexpected fun and companionship in the process. Read on for her humorous take on the experience.     For several months I started running on the causeway to keep me sane. I decided to run with the goal of training for a half marathon when I get home. Ironically I just read the post in which my new year’s resolution last year was to start running seriously. Better late than never?   While I’ve never enjoyed running per se, I savor the…

Hospitality When You Least Expect It

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

Sara, a Marshall Islands WorldTeach volunteer, reflects on the hospitality of her new neighbors and community.     I don’t think I have written much about how hospitable people here are. Today I was reminded of that during my run.   I was running the causeway, which at some parts is literally a dirt road in the ocean and at parts closer to the islands it gets wider to include little beaches and trees. As I was on my way back to Guegeegue I noticed some young boys off to the ocean side of the road. They seemed to be playing on the rocks near the shore. As I ran past them they motioned to me, so I stopped running…

There Are Times…

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

Throughout your term of service, you are bound to experience various emotions about your job, your location, your community and more. Justin, a WorldTeach Marshall Islands volunteer, writes about his ups and downs, how they seem to balance each other out and how, regardless of the emotion involved, everything he is experiencing has value.       There are times when I wonder what I’m doing here.   There are times when my 6th grade class can’t seem to stop talking, and no amount of positive or negative reinforcement changes this. There are times when I feel like my students aren’t making any progress. There are times when I stare at the textbooks all afternoon trying to figure out how…

Old Prom Dresses Live a Second Life

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

Sarah Lipson, WorldTeach Marhsall Islands volunteer, has been collecting old prom dresses from friends back home to throw a memorable party for some of her students. Below she shares the touching story and beautiful photos as she prepares to wrap up her year of service.   The much anticipated Prom Dress Party, or PDP, was a huge success and a reminder of the remarkable, and for a brief time, connected worlds to which I belong. Home in Boston. Home in the Marshall Islands. Seeing Sarah B’s prom dress on a Marshall Islands High School senior was indescribable. My childhood friend sharing from a world away. Seeing my own prom dress on a skinny, skinny MIHS girl was also indescribable (but…

The 1st National Youth Nitijela

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

Sarah Lipson, WorldTeach volunteer in the Marshall Islands, writes below about some of her students’ impressive accomplishments.     This week I cried in the national chamber of the Marshall Islands. Though the state of national affairs in the RMI is often depressing, I was crying not in sadness but in pride. This past Saturday was the first-ever Youth Nitijela (Nitijela is the RMI national parliament). As I wrote about for The Marshall Islands Journal, forty-six MIHS seniors were selected to participate in a full-day mock government session in the national chamber, debating issues of great importance to Marshallese youth before members of the RMI Parliament (senators, ministers), teachers, peers and the Majuro community. At first I was fighting back…

College Access: Anywhere But Here?

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

Sarah Lipson, a WorldTeach volunteer in the Marshall Islands, writes about some of the challenges her senior students face as they pursue their hopes for college.     After much negotiation and the support of faculty and staff at the College of the Marshall Islands, Majuro’s March 5th TOEFL registration was re-opened last week to accommodate five more Marshall Islands High School students eager to take the test. For almost all students who attend colleges and universities off-island, the financial support of the RMI Scholarship Board is essential. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must score a 500 on the paper-based TOEFL, a cut-off my seniors are perhaps all too aware of after a presentation by the Scholarship Board…

The Friendliest People in the Pacific

Posted by Heather Tang in Marshall Islands

Marci McPhee, currently on a leave of absence from Brandeis University, reflects on the deep culture of sharing that she has encountered during her time as a WorldTeach volunteer in the Marshall Islands and the lessons that it has taught her even as the blurred lines between “sharing” and “cheating” present a challenge to her work in the classroom.     “When you live on a small island that is sometimes no wider than the road you are walking on, and at high tide only inches above sea level, your only two choices are to change the way you think and live, or go home.” – Jack Niedenthal, For the Good of Mankind: A History of the People of Bikini…