I have a good friend who has worked in the same school since she and I graduated from college in 2010. This fall, she will enter her fourth year. I admire her so much. She is a damn good teacher. She knows the first grade curriculum inside out. She will tell you that she’s still beginning, which of course is true, but when I look at her, I am in awe of her mastery.
This isn’t about better or worst paths: it’s just that when I talk to her, it makes me think about how much moving I’ve done. Since college, I’ve had five different jobs. This fall I will be moving to New York, and 2013 – 2015 will be the first time I live in the same country for two years in a row since 2006 – 2008.
In personal and professional ways, I have loved moving. I am so glad I’ve seen two countries up close. As a teacher, I have refined my vision of best practice and best schools by working in very different, and in many ways dysfunctional, schools. As a person, I’ve made deep friendships, which is both the pro and the con of all this moving. I am so excited to go back to Chile, where I will travel for the next three weeks, staying almost exclusively with friends. I will visit my beloved Palena and my beloved people there. And yet, then I will leave again and once again, not know when I will return next.
As to this year in particular, there is absolutely so much to say that I will simply say this: I have a deep affection for Colombia, and particularly for Bogotá. I don’t think Bogotá is objectively the best place in the country, but it’s where I’ve come back to for eleven months, so it feels like mine. I’ve made rich, rich friendships, with the advantage that most of them are young professionals, both Colombian and foreign, who move and travel, so this goodbye doesn’t feel nearly as final as Palena. And I know what’s coming next, and I am so eager for it: a Master’s in Bilingual/Bicultural Education with Dual Certification in Elementary (1-6) at Teachers College at Columbia University.
This is a hasty post as I am leaving for the airport in a few minutes, but here is my itinerary for the next few weeks:
Friday, June 28 — Sunday, June 30th: Santiago de Chile with good college friend.
Sunday, June 30th – Sunday, July 7th: my beloved Palena (a plane, boat and bus ride from Santiago).
Monday, July 8th – Tuesday, July 9th: Antofagasta, with my former Chilean colleague who now lives in the north.
Wednesday, July 10th – Friday, July 12th: San Pedro de Atacama.
Saturday, July 13th – Tuesday, July 16th: Arica, with same friend, possibly a mini-trip to Peru across the border!
Wednesday, July 17th: travel back to Santiago, and overnight to Bogotá.
Thursday, July 18th: one last day in Bogotá to cash out bank account, get my hair and nails done, and see friends.
Friday, July 19th: Travel back to Boston.
As I have been stressed with packing and buying tickets and goodbyes this week, I’ve tried to constantly remind myself of how lucky I am. I am so fortunate to be able to travel like this, and I want to remember that, even when I am waiting at airports or shivering on a boat. This is so special. Seeing my Chilean people will be so sweet, as well as one more brief dose of Bogotá. And also, how comforting it will be to return to sweet little Ipswich, Massachusetts in just over three weeks.