Today I woke up with the expectation that I would teach my first English lesson. Well, things did not go exactly as planned. That had me feeling defeated. To be honest, I felt like a total loser. It was mainly miscommunication that kept us from being productive.
Here is something else you need to know: culture shock is a real thing. It gives no warning, and it wrecks you. So today, I experienced the bitter taste of culture shock. It comes and goes in phases. Typically one would experience the honeymoon phase first and then things would get tougher. I, apparently, skipped the honeymoon phase and entered a state of mild depression. I spent pretty much the whole day asleep and on my phone. I was grumpy, and I had the most negative attitude. I became terribly sick for home. I even emailed my agent and half-jokingly threatened to go back home. My mentality was just that messed up.
On top of that, nothing was going my way. If you know me well enough, you know that I am overly obsessed with the show One Tree Hill. I don’t by any means Netflix binge, but watching the show became a nightly routine my sophomore year of college. Well, today I thought watching a few episodes would lift my spirits and make me feel a little bit more at home. Come to find out, Netflix Colombia does not have OTH. Y’all this devastated me more than I really care to admit. (Shout out to Janice Qualls for finding a url that has episodes of OTH) 🙂 Oh, and the water has been terrible for my skin and hair, so that had be bummed out today as well.
So yeah, today I was pathetic. I felt broken and inadequate. I was deeply wounded by the thought that maybe teaching English was not for me- that I had wasted a semester of taking classes for a new major, hours spent tutoring English Language Learners, and a rooted passion for seeing progression made in the English language. I know how imperative it is that refugees and immigrants have intermediate comprehension of the English language. In all reality, it’s their survival. It’s their opportunities. It is their future. And I want nothing more than to be a part of that. I desire to be a part of something greater at work. Ladies and gents, I can’t think of a whole lot that would be as significant as equipping someone with a language that they can carry with them and use for the betterment of his or her life.
So in those dark, few hours, I convinced myself I would never be a part of that. And that sucked.
I had to have a very tough conversation with the host mom about why nothing was accomplished today. I was worried that she would also feel like I was inadequate and wasting my time here. She was understanding, however. We came up with an itinerary complete with fun activities throughout the city. For example, we are going to a science museum, and Thursday, we are going to a gold museum. I was also able to share with them how badly I felt today. I told them I was homesick and having issues with adjusting.
Do not get the impression that my time here has been all bad. I have had a few awesome moments like watching movies with the family and sharing laughter with them. They are hospitable and loving. I gave them t-shirts that said Manchester, TN on them, and their reactions were more than I expected. They loved them.
With all that being said, tomorrow I will start my lessons. After some fun at the science museum, of course. 🙂
Feel free to use this as a means to ask me any specific questions. I tend to not write in full detail, but I will be happy to write about anything you may be curious about.
On Facebook today, there was a quote going around. I needed that today, because it reminded me that I have a purpose here in Colombia and here on this earth. I also want you to remind that you also have a purpose here in this life. And our purposes are not so that we will get glory and happiness, but so God gets glory and others receive blessings through us. The quote says:
You were created to make some body else’s life better. Someone needs what you have-your smile, your love, your words & your encouragement.
*The title of this blog is in reference to one of my favorite childhood books called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.