Friday, April 26, 2013

Papers, Papers, and more Papers

For those who are curious, here's what it takes to teach in Tanzania for a year.

8 passport pictures, without smiling

2 original copies of the Residence Permit Application (not one original and one copy of the original)

2 original copies of the "Application for Registrationa and Licensing of Teachers"

2 original copies of the contract with CAMS

2 original copies of both my College and High School transcripts

2 notarized copies of each of the following:
  • My High School diploma
  • My University of Wyoming diploma
  • My birth certificate
  • My Teaching certificate
  • My passport

I finally have all of my paperwork together and the applications are almost filled out completely.  (One set needs a witness as I sign and another I had to re-do because I forgot how to read.) :)  I just have to get my passport photos and I'm ready to send my package off to Tanzania!

It really is starting to feel like this is actually going to happen.  Something about filling out official paperwork and having a notary sign documents makes it all real.  I am really getting excited!

On another note, I would like to thank Jill Carow, Becky Davis, and Margret Larsen for their donations so far.  Thanks to them, I am already at $200!!  Only $9,800 left to go!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Here's the why...

I have had so many people ask me about what I'm doing next year, and I usually give them the short answer.  Usually, this leads to a longer discussion about what exactly I will be doing.  I have already talked about what I'm doing here, so I'm not going to get into it right now.  If you are wondering more about where I'm going, here is the website for Canon Andrea Mwaka School, the school in Dodoma, Tanzania where I will be teaching next year.

What I haven't talked about much, with anyone, is the why.  There are obvious reasons that I would want to work abroad doing mission work and teaching.  There are experiences I will never get staying in Wyoming that working overseas will provide, such as learning about a new culture and getting a new perspective on my own.  I'm young and single and have no reason not to travel while I have the chance.  I also have skills that I can share with others around the world. 

My reason to join YASC goes deeper than this, though.  I have an amazing life, amazing friends, and an amazing job.  I love going to work every day!  I am also part of a great church that has never been anything but supportive of me. I became to realize, though, that there was something missing.  It was like there was a void inside of me that needed to be filled.

When I heard about YASC, I knew it was what I was missing.  Now that I have my placement, and have started fundraising, I no longer feel that empty space inside.  I am embracing the year ahead of me, with arms outstretched, an open mind, and a ready heart.  No matter what happens, I know that THIS is where I am supposed to be!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's starting to feel like this is really happening!

I just got off the virtual phone with Vicki, the principal of Canon Andrea Mwaka School.  It was great to get to talk with her about the school and what I am going to be doing!  CAMS is a Christian school in Dodoma, Tanzania.  It is a smaller school, but serves children from around the age of 3 until they finish at 16.  Many of the teachers and others who work there are, like me, there for only a short time.  Class sizes are kept small, with no more than 24 in a class, which is actually a little large than what I am used to here in Cody.

The school provides housing and I will be staying in one of their housing compounds.  They have set it up so that we don't need to bring or find a lot to live there for the year.  The apartment is furnished and includes some basic linens, kitchen supplies, etc.

I am going to be working with their Standard 6 class, which is the same as our 5th grade in the US.  I will get to partner with a teacher who went to CAMS as a child and is in training to become a certified teacher.  I am excited to work with her!  I'm sure I will be learning as much from her about teaching and learning in Tanzania as I can share with her about teaching.  I will also be helping in other classes with reading groups, something in which I have had a lot of experience!

It is finally starting to feel like this is something that is actually going to happen!  Up to this point, there was always a little part of my brain that said "everything hasn't happened yet, so it still might not."  Things are starting to roll, and roll quickly!

Part of my excitement is that I can now really start focusing on my fundraising.  I have a long way to go to get to my $10,000 goal, so it is nice to begin to work on it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And so it begins...

At some point in the last year, I realized that I needed to do something else with my life.  Sure, I have graduated from the University of Wyoming and have my Wyoming Teaching Certificate.  I work with an amazing group of teachers who are helping an equally amazing group of students discover who they are going to become later in life.  I also am blessed to be able to work with our children, youth, and families at church as Christian Education Director.  Still, it felt like something was missing.

Fast forward a few months to the beginning of February.  On a cold Wednesday morning, I drove to the airport before the sun was up and boarded a plane.  When the plane landed for the last time, I was in Florida.  This was the beginning of Discernment weekend for the Young Adult Service Corps.  Within the next 5 days, I would get to know 25 truly amazing young adults who also shared my desire to do something more with our lives.  During the weekend, we laughed a lot, learned a lot, and ate a lot.  The weekend was certainly full of discernment as we looked at the program and began to decide if it was a fit for us, right now.

We left Florida with one week to let YASC know if we were still interested.  I was pretty sure I was going to tell them yes.  It wasn't until the next day, as I was standing on the playground at recess with my kindergarten and first grade students that I knew for sure.  It was at that moment that I realized that I LOVE my job.  I've worked hard to get where I am and I have never been as happy as I am every day I go to work.  I also knew that I was absolutely going to be living in another country next year.  I had never felt what I can only describe as God telling me exactly what I need to do. 

I am very excited to be moving to Dodoma, Tanzania this summer for a year of mission and service work in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika.  I will be working for the diocesan school and don't have many more details about my placement yet. 

I am excited that you are here and hope you will continue to follow my blog as my year unfolds.  If you are interested in helping me along the journey, I would love to have your support!  I would be happy to have your prayers, financial support, and other talents.  I have to raise $10,000 for the year and would love to have you be a part of this experience.  Let me know if you are interested!!