The Beginning of Something New…

¡Hola!

Before I delve into the tales of this new journey, I want to provide a little preface for my sudden departure… As you all know, I returned from my 27-month long Peace Corps service in Fiji at the end of December, 2016. I spent a total of 6 weeks in the US before picking up and moving to Cusco. There were wonderful times during these six weeks- I spent time eating and skiing with family, took a 2-week friend tour of Michigan with a giant pot of chili, saw 3 out of 4 of my best childhood friends (the other is in Utah), drank a lot of good wine with my Chimney Corners crew, and spent a week in Nashville with Lauren; however, I didn’t feel ready to be in the US. The American way of life, the one I once lived myself, felt unbelievably excessive, unnecessary and individualistic. After coming from a warm, friendly, caring culture and living purely off the land, our problems and complaints seemed extremely insignificant. SO, all politics aside (because that in itself is a reason to flee the country), I wasn’t ready to integrate into the US.

As Cusco is a large city with WiFi, electricity, running water, and a Starbucks, I will not be off the grid like I was in Fiji; therefore, in addition to being involved in developing an English curriculum for an innovative, active primary school, my time here will serve as an outlet for reflection, a chance to integrate into something new, and will provide another context for me to compare to Fiji and the US. I am also hoping this experience will help me shake the homesick feeling I get whenever I think of Fiji…

That being said, I am extremely excited about this awesome opportunity! When weighing my options, and deciding whether or not to accept this job, I became nervous because it really felt like I was going out on a limb. I couldn’t find the school on the internet, received a contract in all Spanish, and didn’t have the network of PC staff and other volunteers (in terms of safety and medical); however, I decided to trust the organization and bought a plane ticket. I wasn’t entirely sure I would be met at the airport or I would be reimbursed for the plane ticket, but I had nothing to lose, because I knew I could handle the worst-case scenario I had played out in my head! The whole plane ride, I tried to calm my nerves and refresh my Spanish!

Upon arrival, I was met by a wonderful family at the Cusco Airport. They were holding up an official school sign with my name on it and had giant smiles on their faces! I am currently staying with this family; they are the owners of the school and have 2 young boys, hot water, WiFi and beautiful house that overlooks the city! I have been well cared for, eaten a ton of Peruvian food, and drank great coffee! They have been going above and beyond to show me the city, share local fruits with me and make sure I don’t get altitude sickness (I am doing well but still have a hard time breathing!).  I will be staying with them while my host family prepares everything. I should be moving in with my new family next week!!

I met with the director of the school, the Belgian man who hired me, yesterday for a great lunch. We discussed the history of the school, the curriculum, my role and he answered my many questions about the school. I am so excited to be a part of this innovative new school. It is called the Global Active Learning School and is newly established this year. They are created under a similar philosophy to Waldorf and focus on active and creative learning. I will focus on teaching English Literacy for grades 1-6 in a hands-on way. I have many ideas including a Penpal activity with a US 3rd grade class (Thanks Erin Fought!), creating books, poem contests, and preforming plays… I am looking for more creative ideas! If you have any, please leave them in a comment on the post or send me an email (adrianekline@gmail.com). I have the next few weeks to plan as school doesn’t start until the 8th of March! So, in the next few weeks, I am going to plan activities and lessons while exploring the city and working on my Spanish in my free time!

I want to thank those who are actively engaged in fighting to preserve our rights, environment and our democracy and apologize to those I wasn’t able to see while I was in the US. Also, a huge thank you for following my blog and my newest adventure!

images

Las Plaza de Armas

Sunset Over Cusco

A beautiful view of the city! 

6 thoughts on “The Beginning of Something New…

  1. Mary Rogers

    So glad that all is going well so far. It sounds like this can really work into a nice experience. Have fun and enjoy your time…maybe Amy Heniser Robison has an idea about teaching for you? I will forward this to her.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Theresa Sherman

    Hi Adriane! Congratulations on your new teaching position in Cusco! You might be aware of the website TeachersPayTeachers as a resource, but just in case you have not used it, I would like to recommend it. This site creates a place where teachers can share their lesson or unit plans for a small fee. The plans are available as a digital download, which has the advantage that the plans are available instantly. For a school that does not have textbooks or other resources this site levels the playing field. Many of the plans are rated four stars and really deserve the high rating. You type in the subject and grade you are looking for and will be surprised with the choices available to you. Some of the material designed for close reading practice has passages available for five different levels of reading skills. The resources improve student skills by actively engaging them in reading and writing about topics. I’ve been inspired by the creative teachers who have posted and these lessons can be modified or used as is. I am enjoying teaching middle school social studies on Maui. All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Adriane Kline Post author

      Thank you Teri! TeachersPayTeachers is a very interesting website. I have found several very helpful resources for teaching English as a second language. Without textbooks, it gives me a great place to start!

      Like

      Reply

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