Saturday, February 05, 2005

Karla and have signed a contract for next year (actually I signed them both). We are going to teach at George Washington School in Cartagena, Colombia. Before you get too concerned that Kuwait to Colombia is an out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire move, the Canadian travel warning says: Canadians should not travel to Colombia until further notice, with the exception of the city of Cartagena and the islands of San Andrés and Providencia. (you can follow the link to check it out for yourself).

We will be teaching grade 7 and 8 English and Social Studies. The positions will be a lot like what we are doing now - we will each have two groups of students which is the same as in Kuwait. What is differente is that we will be the only English teachers for our level, instead of one of two or three. We will see both classes once a day for a 95 minute block where we will do both English and SS. The school is near the beach, in the touristy part of town. Here's a photo:

Cartagena, Colombia

At the bottom of this photo the area with the red roofs is the old colonial part of town. You can see the old city wall pretty clearly at the bottom right side near the water. Looking up, you see a very narrow crossing that leads toward the tall buildings. Just past that, about where the peninsula is widest, before it narrows again, is where the school is. Many teachers live in that area where they can walk to work, basic services, restaurants and, of course, the beach. We get a generous housing allowance that will cover rent, utilities (including high speed internet), the maid/child care, and even food. We just turn in our bills and the school pays them off (unfortunately, we can't reclaim the part we don't spend).

We will have three weeks holiday at Christmas, when we will be home to show off our tans! We do have to show up earlier than usual though. School starts on August 10th, and since it is our first year, we need to be there for orientation and to find an apartment on the 1st.

Here is a site with some photos of Cartagena, which is on the north coast of Colombia, in the Caribbean. And another good one of the old city.

We are both happy about the school. There was another another school in Colombia that offered us jobs, but it was in Medellin. We would have earned a little more, and one of us would have been the head of the department, but safety, number of students and positions made us choose Cartagena.