This is an announcement about my life and a little clarification on what I tweeted before exams about my teaching gig next year. I'll be leaving this public, so that everyone can see it. (If you're new to my flist, hi *waves* I guess this is a wierd intro post but okay.)
For twelve months, starting this August, I will be working as volunteer English teacher in the Dominican Republic. I’ll be working as a volunteer from a really great charity Project Trust
that specialises in sending school leavers (that’s high school graduates to the Americans) overseas for twelve months to volunteer in various projects. I’ll be working with one of their partner charities COPA, which has built and runs a school and medical clinic in the rural village of La Hoya, where I’ll be living and working.
I spent a week at Project Trust’s headquarters last summer as part of their selection courses and was matched up with their project in the Dominican Republic. I’ve raised £5,100 since last June as my volunteer fundraising requirement. That’ll pay for my insurance, plane travel, food and housing while I’m away, so I’m not a burden on anyone. Project Trust will pair my with a female partner, another volunteer (my placement is only girls. Some of the other placements are mixed or only boys) who I’ll live and work with. We’ll share an apartment in La Hoya.
La Hoya is in the south of the country, near a larger city called Barahona. It’s in one of the poorest areas of the country, where large portions of the population are Haitian immigrants. I’ll be teaching in a school nominally with grades with students up to 14 years old, but some students can be up to 18, if they haven’t progressed with their schooling. I’ll be teaching English and working in extra-curricular activities, like reading groups and such.
I’m wracking my brains to try and remember if I’m forgetting anything. I don’t think I am but please feel free to ask questions! I love talking about it, I’m so excited to be going. I plan to study Spanish at university, so this is an excellent opportunity to become properly fluent and work for a really good cause before I go to university. I’m a little scared fandom will change a lot while I’m gone (DO NOT CHANGE PLEASE GUYS *clings*) but I’m also so excited and keen to go and have adventures.
However, part of this announcement is about the fact that internet will be probably be, at best, spotty or, more realistically, non-existent. COPA has a somewhat modern facility but I doubt that regular high speed internet access will be on the menu for me. I know there’s internet cafes on offer in Barahona but La Hoya is a small rural village. I’ll still be here until August and will try and keep people updated, but after I leave, the best communication will be old fashioned snail mail. I’ll be making a post closer to my leaving date, when I’m packing and getting organised, asking for addresses, if you feel comfortable giving them (comments will be screened then) and listing ways I’ll be keeping in contact but right now I just wanted to tell everyone about this big thing happening in my life!
Here is a hand map, under the cut:
( Map! )