I got a chance to write a page on some FAQs. Feel free to email me your questions so I can answer them and post them there for other folks who are applying to the grant.
My time here in Colombia has come to an end. I leave in a week and a half, and I head back home ready to embark on a new journey with Teach for America. I am very excited to begin teaching elementary school! I do have a bunch of things to do before my first day of school however, so I am a bit anxious, too. I have teacher certification exams to take, a hiring round to participate in, a 6 week training with TFA to attend, and an eventual apartment search to do this summer. It’s a lot, but I know it will all be steps to get me closer to that first day of school!
My university students are now heading into finals, so official classes are finished. Below are some photos from this past week! Half of the class in the first photo were missing because of a required event they had to attend. Saying goodbye was incredibly bittersweet, and the two classes you see were the hardest to say goodbye to. It’s because I taught them directly, whereas I only assisted in the other classes I had (meaning, in the other classes, the teacher taught and I helped him carry out his lesson). The teacher in the classes below allowed me to do things on my own during my time with them and complement her lessons, allowing me to get to know them better and have a hand in building in a community. I really appreciated that and the regard she had for me as a co-teacher. Our students improved tremendously, and I am very happy with their progress this year!
I will fondly remember all of their different personalities and the jokes they made in class. All of my classes were very different in terms of the atmosphere, what they enjoyed doing, how much I could push them, and how much energy they put forth. What I loved most about the two classes above was the community we built together.
This month has also been filled with a bunch of logistics for my departure. I’ve already sold my bed and my fridge, and have been sleeping on a pile of blankets and sleeping pads in the meantime (lol!). Selling my items online was a bit frustrating because people would say they would come to view my items and then never show up (??). Also, people would send me lowball offers even though my items were purchased brand new a few months ago. I recently chatted to a Colombian guy who fixed my stove about how annoying that was, and he told me that even if you were selling a car that was in your possession for 15 days, you could only get 70% of what you paid for it. I understand wanting a deal…but, that’s annoying. Luckily, I scored two buyers for my items and it worked out well! So, I’m happy. I sold my fridge to a nice couple from Armenia, and my bed to a woman from Venezuela who had recently arrived. I ended up donating a ton of things to the Venezuelan woman because she was in dire need of household items and it worked out great because I wanted to donate those exact items before my departure.
I sorted out my last apartment fees with the real estate office (leaving cash for the bills that will arrive in June, etc), and all they have to do is inspect the apartment when I leave on the 31st. Figuring out what I owed was a bit of a hassle because they wanted to charge me another month’s rent to leave because I was breaking my contract, but I spoke with the manager and I am SO glad that is all taken care off. I’m halfway packed now, and I plan on giving more things away to the Venezuelan lady (I can’t remember her name!). The less I have to pack, the more relieved I’ll be. I only have room for two bags and I have gifts to take back home! There’s only so much space.
My favorite cities in Colombia are Cartagena and Medellin, so I know I will certainly be back. But for now, I’m looking onwards to NYC and my next steps. It has been a journey here in Colombia, and I know will be talking a lot about my experiences at home.
For next week and a half, I’ll be hitting up the gym (I’ve had a personal trainer for the last month!), studying, and packing. Soon enough, I’ll be on my way home. NYC, here I come!