I leave the country July 16th and there still seems to be so many unanswered questions. Will I get my visa in time? This is the most pressing question because without a visa I cannot go. The other questions such as what if I decide to go for less time is less pressing because I know regardless I am going and I can go even if I decide to stay nine months instead of the original year that I had plan.
Things have changed dramatically since last December when I accepted the Lumos Award to teach overseas in South Africa. Most importantly, the guy that I was dating at the time is now my boyfriend and things have gotten pretty serious. I was even considering not going because of him but when it came down to it, I knew in my heart that I had to go. The question of going for a shorter amount of time has been played with but I never sat down to figure it out and it turns out if I would have made this decision earlier it would have been a lot easier. Right now, I don’t know what will happen to my award if I decide to go for nine months instead of a year. My guess is that it will decrease and while that will suck 🙁 I still think it’s worth it if it means I’ll still get to go for a extended amount of time but come back earlier so I can start life on my own.
One of my main concerns about going abroad is the whole money thing. I just graduated from Belmont but choosing to accept this award means that I have no money coming in for a year (or nine months) and as an extremely independent young graduate I want to avoid going back home by ANY means necessary. So accepting the award was a risk in itself. It’s hard to find a job while you’re in the States, imagine trying to do it from thousands of miles away. Needless to say, I am looking NOW. People might think that’s a little excessive but I was told the same thing when I was looking for a job (or at least what to do after graduation) my fall semester of my senior year. It worked out then and I’m praying that this will work out too.As for as the project itself, I know I’m going to love it once I’m there but all the paperwork and the money and the logistics seriously take away from the awesome experience. I know it’s going to be great. I went to South Africa before my fall semester of my junior year and it was the amazing (Check out my blog from then at coming2sa.blogspot.com). I went on a safari, bungee jumped, learned how to surf and sandboard, the list goes on and on. But one of my favourite experiences was tutoring at a local school which just happened to be two houses over from where I lived. I tutored elementary-aged learners for most of my time there and it was this experience that I cannot wait to do again.
The main purpose of my specific project is to teach, a career path that I am exploring. I loved it then and I hope that by getting more experience in the classroom, it will help me decide if this is indeed what I want to do with my life. I am anxious for this journey to begin. I’ll be back soon with developments about my visa and how long I decide to stay.