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“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…

Comfort in the Quiet

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Uncategorized

Written by Erin Carden (current WorldTeach Thailand volunteer) Today marks 22 weeks that I’ve lived in Thailand. Despite the fact that I’ve lived here for almost half a year now I still sometimes have the urge to pinch myself “awake.” So much of my life here still feels like a dream because of the fact that it’s so completely different from the life I had before. And I don’t think this will change. I think I’m going to move back home to NYC and look back on my time in Thailand as some sort of surreal dream that I didn’t wake up from for several months. Living alone in rural Thailand has given me a different temperament, a new disposition,…

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…

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,…

Papa Park’s tough love on volunteer teaching

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Colombia, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

This post is an excerpt from Nancy Park’s blog, a WorldTeach Colombia 2015-2016 volunteer. See below for the link to more of her blog posts. Back in August, about a month into teaching, I was skyping with my dad, venting about the difficult time I had been having. He was good enough to indulge me and listen first. He had also grown up in a poor neighborhood as a child, in rural South Korea. He was the only person in his family to finish high school, and first in his town to ever go to college. He was the exception I dream about for my students. He found relatable the most unrelatable classroom experiences I was having, and empathized generously,…

Presence

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

This post is an excerpt from Claire Svoboda’s blog, a WorldTeach Marshall Islands 2015-2016 volunteer. See below for the link to more of her blog posts. I have realized lately that I need time to myself for reflection, meditation, and re-finding my purpose of why I am where I am. It’s easy to get lost in all of this madness of being in a different place with varying scales of positivity, focus, and meaning. Some days I feel so heavy with negativity and try to remember why I am here on this island in the middle of the Pacific. I read the other day that: “There would seem to be nothing more obvious, more tangible and palpable than the present…

Rikaki in Majol: Teaching in the RMI

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

By Taylor Lascko, WorldTeach Marshall Islands 2015-2016 This past year, I had the privilege to live in the Marshall Islands. When someone thinks of living on a tropical island, they probably think of living in paradise. Some place with soft, sandy beaches, a beautiful blue ocean, coconut trees, and no worries. Is this what I expected when I signed up to live and teach in the RMI? Well, not quite. I knew that I would be living in a beautiful place filled with kind souls and a rich culture, but I also knew that there would be hardships and struggles, but that is all part of the experience. My fiancé, Lance, and I were assigned to work at Kwajalein Atoll…

Havin’ Samoa Adventures

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

By Gabriel Lamanuzzi, WorldTeach American Samoa 2015-2016 I am writing this in the fale (traditional Samoan home with no walls or levitating roofs, only supporting pillars) in front of my house. An ocean breeze plays footsies with a rainbow of towels, sheets, and clothes, rippling them on the drying lines beside me. The edge of the ocean is a mediocre football punt away from my bedroom window – thunderous, unrelenting. Like a liquefied Zeus. The water, nearly pristine in its shining turquoise glory, is visible through coconut trees arranged in straight lines that would make elementary school teachers drool. They were planted as windbreakers for hurricanes (the trees, not the teachers). The warm sand invites wiggling toes as the clusters of smaller rocks, dragged against one another,…

From Micronesia with love – or why you should start packing

Posted by Nolan Sutker in Micronesia, News & Highlights, Uncategorized

By Ariela Moraru, WT Micronesia volunteer 2015-2016 Ariela is a free spirit. Originally from Transylvania in the heart of Romania, Ariela was a WT volunteer in Weno, Chuuk, Micronesia (2015-16). She taught literature to five 10th grade sections at Chuuk High School and co-facilitated Chuuk Women’s Council’s Young Women Empowerment Program. She’s lived in Romania, the US, Paris and London, and travelled to over 30 countries. Life is for experimenting and multiple identities. Why be one thing and live in one place for your whole life? Why not be the teacher, the dancer, the writer, the researcher, the soul searcher – you name it. My soul cannot be defined by a nationality and cannot be contained within the borders of…