About this time two years ago, I was days away from flying for Bangladesh. How could I forget the preparations – all the paper work, medical tests, and drama I had to go through. In fairness to the Bangladeshi Embassy, they didn’t give me as much of a hard time as the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA).
I think the Biggest Loser will be a lot more popular and effective if they hire people from POEA. With all the stress, action and drama, the only question is how much weight they will lose. Drama aside, so many concerns inundated me right before I left for Bangladesh. I thought about what my colleagues would be like, what my apartment would look like, how I’d like the food, and a bunch of other things that I had no way of answering until I got there myself. I just like torturing myself by thinking about what will happen.
I did all those while packing my clothes and making sure all the important documents are secure. It helped that I was able to read blogs of foreigners living in Bangladesh, esp. one from someone who taught at the university I was going to work for.
Friends and family even threw me a despedida (going away) party. Each of them had a message and advice for me. Their advice ranged from saving money to finding a support group. I was really touched by their concern and support. I never really felt like I was leaving. I also received The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. It was the perfect companion to a long trip, which could probably be my first step to reach my dream.
Before the Bangladesh trip, I’ve been to other countries but always as a tourist. It was my first time to actually go to a country to work and live there. It wasn’t really too long ago but back then, I was still unsure what exactly to pursue. At the back of my mind, I was thinking ‘maybe I should pursue a media career since I took up Journalism.’
But then I thought I love to teach and I’ve already had some years of experience in it. My prayer was for me to find a place or a people that needed me the most. It didn’t necessarily have to be in the biggest company in the world. What helped me decide was asking ‘how much of an impact will I make here?’ That was one of the main questions I asked before I accepted this job. Of course, I could have easily chosen to choose in some other international schools. But I was attracted to this one because of its vision in selecting underprivileged women in different parts of Asia who have a potential to be leaders in their respective fields.
The thought of being able to learn about different cultures (there were students from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and I might have forgotten some other countries) brought endless excitement.
Little did I know just what exactly was in store for me…