Celebratory Christmas Couscous

So, things around here have been fairly quiet. For more than a year, I have struggled to find my path – trying for months to get something, anything, with an international NGO. Then – in desperation – I decided to enroll into a 10-month postgraduate program at Humber College in Toronto. I moved to the big city, worked back at my old agency for the summer, but ultimately decided that the back-to-school plan still wasn’t actually the right fit. Toronto wasn’t for me, and neither was the idea of spending $10k on something that really had no guarantees – there is nothing that says it would be the ticket into the development world.

But still, I needed out. I needed a plan to make this happen – I need out of this Western lifestyle, and I can’t afford to keep jaunting around on my own dime. I need this to be sustainable. And believe it or not, part of me does crave some stability.

Enter: TEFL. Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Brilliant. Why haven’t I thought of this sooner? Teaching English doesn’t have to be just a way for young kids to fund their SE Asian party-tour. It can also be a way to get somewhere I want to be, afford to live there, learn new skills, and maybe actually contribute something! And immediately, I knew I wanted to go to Morocco; the climate, the culture, the language, the food, the beaches, and the hammam – oh god, the hammam.

So I bought an online package, and started studying.

It took me about 2 months to complete (longer than anticipated) and honestly (& ironically), it didn’t teach me all that much about how to teach. Really, I learned more about how not to teach, but I suppose that’s nearly just as good.

Then I found a job posting that I really wanted. A well known institution with a good reputation in a great little coastal town that I’ve heard only amazing things about.

On December 9, I applied.
On Dec. 10, I heard back.
Dec. 11, I had my first interview.
Dec. 13, a request to submit references and a sample lesson plan.
Dec. 16, second interview.
Dec. 17, contract in hand.
Jan. 3, I fly to Casablanca.

8 days. Just 8 little days to go from “Oh man, I hope this works out. I really want this to work out. I need this to work out. I can’t spend another 7 months stuck here.” to “Holy sh*t, it’s happening. It’s actually happening. It worked out. I’m really going!”

And 15 days later, I’ll be off.

So in the meantime, not only is it Christmas, when everyone and everywhere is hectic and busy, but now I’m scrambling to see everyone and get everything I might need (which oddly includes a set of sheets. Why I can’t get them there, I’m not sure, but it’s been suggested to me twice by my director, so I’ll be damned if I’m not bringing them with me.) Criminal record checks, translations of my degree into French, booking flights, stocking up on my favourite products, baking treats for my dad – all things I’m getting done in the days before and after Christmas. Feeling a bit frantic.

And also, my heart is heavy with these goodbyes. I’m hopping around, trying to see everyone I can in this ultra-busy time. I welcome anyone and everyone to come visit, but I know that it’ll be a while until I see some of these faces again. I’m obviously thrilled about this next step, but it does always come at a cost.

So for now, as I put that aside, it does call for some celebratory couscous. My favourite. And soon to be my staple. I can’t wait.

6 thoughts on “Celebratory Christmas Couscous

  1. Like wow…. good for you Megan…. nice to see this news…. Teaching english is a great plan…. we are back in Mali right now as well……
    Read this today too…. might resonate after hearing of your struggle.
    Courage……

    Kind of thought it might resonate with something in you.
    Happy New Year…

    “…. she says a few words in Japanese, and when I look up, I see on her face the smile of a young woman who chose to be a guide on a road no one knows, who learned to dominate a pain which not everyone senses, and who understands that the path is taken by walking, and not by thinking about it.”

    (Paulo Coelho: Warrior of the Light)

    Like

  2. Congratulations. Best of luck for the job, you never know what other possibilities it might throw up anyway, besides you can never have too much cous cous. I will be out your way sometime next year so could say hello if you are still around. Looking forward to some new posts from you to get me primed for the country

    Like

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