My First Post!

namibia 2

May not be as easy as it sounds, but I’m giving it a go!  This board was on the wall in a coffee shop in Namibia, where we stopped to sample what was ‘supposedly’ the best apple pie in the world.  Definitely debatable – let’s say most of my fellow travellers (including me) would beg to differ…

So here I am, setting off ’round the world’ to teach English as a foreign language, leaving behind friends, children and husband (or maybe not quite him as he has already gained the ‘ex’ tag…). There is no clear plan and certainly no itinerary, although I expect to be away for about five years.  But 5 years is a long time and much can change and happen.  I have decided to go with the flow and see where the wind will blow me.  As there is worldwide demand for teachers of English, I do not know which countries I will visit and whether ’round the world’ will literally see me circumnavigate the globe… But I am making it my mission to collect as many different stamps in my passport as possible and have not done too badly in the last twelve months.  By the time I reach India later on this week, I will already have covered four continents and eight different countries within this time, even though my teaching of English is only starting now…

The last three weeks since my African adventure seem to have evaporated in a flurry of preparation for my first teaching post abroad.  And as expected, there were a multitude of hiccups along the way, not least getting an employment visa for India.  You would have thought that as my post is ‘voluntary teacher’, this should not have caused too many difficulties.  But it took me two trips into London to get the necessary paperwork together and even then, I had to use my powers of persuasion not to add a third visit to this to also provide copies of all my qualifications (which was a requirement not previously mentioned).  I will learn from this experience and be more careful when I next have to apply for an employment visa  and shall read all the available information on the internet BEFORE journeying into London…

Then there was the acquisition of an appropriate wardrobe; I have a choice between wearing a sari or a shalwar kamiz.  Considering the layers of fabric wrapped around the waist for a sari, this is not an option – I would simply melt in the heat of ‘God’s Own Country’ (as Kerala is also known).  So I shall plump for the trouser and tunic approach as it seems more practical and certainly cooler.  But as the school I will be working at stipulates having sleeves in the tunics, my clothes are far from finished…  Although some only need minor alterations, one pair of trousers can only be worn by a stick-insect!!!  No amount of trying would get my legs through the narrow pipe-cleaner legs and after even letting out the side seams, my legs got stuck at the knees.  It is entirely plausible that years of cycling to school has done unthinkable things to my calf muscles, but I consider my knees within the realm of normality…  so either Indian women have much thinner legs (and knees), or these trousers were never meant for humans…  Luckily, I have also invested in some normal stretchy thin black leggings which will be a life saver if I cannot find trousers to fit my legs in India…


As time is marching on and with just over 24 hours to go until I leave home, I  must now get a grip on the packing issue.  Most of the shopping done – there will be the inevitable last minute purchases – I just need to fill the suitcases with masses of resources, mountains of essential foods (mainly coffee…) and toiletries and yes, I hope to squeeze in a few of my western clothes for days when I do not want to do as the Indians do…  I am only a stone’s throw away from Kovalam Beach, so must at least pack some swimwear so I can top up my tan in between lesson preparation…

I hope to post regularly on my blog and keep in touch with everyone. And I look forward to your comments.




5 thoughts on “My First Post!

  1. Victoria

    How exciting Aunt Lieve!
    I look forward to reading about your upcoming adventures.
    Much Love.
    Also, I believe us Indian women are known for having chicken legs…at least they are in my family 😉


  2. Doreen Frusher

    Wow, one brave lady!! It sounds brilliant, what a lifetime experience, I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you enjoy every minute of it (well, 99% anyway).


  3. Greet verlinden

    hei Lief ik hoop hier toch wel wat te lezen over je ervaringen. Hoop dat je daar goed je mannetje staat. Groetjes. Greet



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