Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New job, new city, new country!

No photos for this posting....a first, as I usually let the pics speak for themselves....but there is a reason for no pics, as you'll read below.

A few weeks ago I got robbed..... twice in one day even...... on my bike in the wrong part of Bogota....guy with knife.....gave him what he was after....my kanga pouch with camera, cell phone and cash. Tried to stop a few cars to help me, but they decided to look out for number #1 and drove on by. While looking for the thief with the police, I left my bike in the police station, only to have them remove my fleece jacket from a pannier. Thanks for the help guys.

Now that is not why we are moving, as I've been robbed many times before.......goes with being a blonde gringo in a foreign country. But it did get me to reflect further on what kind of life I want for my kids......and...... I can't keep runnin' the guantlet. (Didn't post this earlier, as I wanted to make sure that Karen was on her way, otherwise she may have changed her mind! Actually she´s waiting in Toronto for a flight to Bogota at this very moment....hope she´s not onthe internet! Not to worry though, as we will only visit secure places!) While tourists are robbed in Ecuador too, it has fewer security woes than Colombia and as you'll read, a better quality of life where we are headed, while being even closer to family.

I applied to one school only.....and within a week I had the job! I was going to wait until next year, but then thought....well.....it's a hard school to get into.....and life is for living now. There was only one primary position open and so I accepted the offer to teach year 1. I've been teaching year 3 in Bogota and year 2 in Libya, but year 1 really is a different "ball game." Initially I didn't think I wanted to teach 5 year olds b/c I didn't want to clean up little accidents. But now with 2 little poopers of my own, I think I have enuf experience to deal with it :) if I have to. But then I'll have a full time assistent and maybe he/she would like the honours. But seriously, I'm really looking forward to this challenge, as I will also learn more about getting the best out of my own kids. (And if life is a bike, I've been coasting for a few years now....time to pedal a little harder/faster.....and too bad the thief caught me going uphill!)

Where? Quito, Ecuador. And yet another British school. It's located 30 minutes out of Quito in a rural area/small town of Tumbaco, at the foot of an extinct 32oom volcano, with lots of hiking trails and bike paths. Apparently the USD500 housing allowance is enuf to get us a house with a backyard and close enuf to work to walk or bike. We also have two cousins nearby, in Quito and in a valley 15 mins away, with a total of 5 kids b/t them, the youngest being a 1/2 year older than Ramon. Only a 5 hour drive to Pasto as well. Well be leaving here at the end of the school year....end of June.

On the downside, its a USD10 grand pay cut, (down to 26) but then who gets into teaching for the money! (Bogota pays extra as a sort of "danger pay" to get teachers here). So in short, the move is about quality of life, as in Bogota we are smack in the middle of densely populated, urban living and I have to deal with a traffic congested drive to work every day, making for an extra long day.

Here is the link to the school. http://www.bsq.edu.ec/

And a link to a power point presentation about the school with lots of photos.


It's a small school of 240 students, 65% Ecuadorian, with 1 class for each year group from Nursery to 13. The school pays tuition for 2 dependents, (as do most international schools) and Ramon may start in January.

So come on down to the equator (acutually about a 1/2 hour drive south of it!) and visit! It's a little warmer than Pasto and a 1/2 day drive to the Amazon or the Pacific coast.

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