Remember when I talked about my wonderful life and the things that come along with such a nice life that I don’t want to do?
The other day I was talking with a friend about the back and forth, the coming and going. I said, “When I’m there, in the States, I think, ‘Maybe another year or two in the DR and then I’ll come home,’ but when I’m here I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Ain’t that the truth?
Two years ago yesterday I flew to the Dominican Republic, still grieving the end of the best summer, still anxious about being a real teacher and a real adult (whatever that is), still very unsure of what was ahead. Today I celebrated by buying a fan (one is never enough). Two years ago I couldn’t buy a fan by myself. Today I walked to the furniture store, told the salesman that I wanted a fan – a nice one that wasn’t going to break in a few months. He asked if I wanted the best, el mejor. I said, “Si.” Then he told me the price and I settled for second best.
While paying for the fan (a much longer process than it is in the States) I talked with the ladies behind the desk. They offered me a chair and I told them if I sat down I’d never want to get up again! We talked about where I live, my blue eyes, and how to say my full name in English. I asked about water coolers and the manager and I remembered all the other things I’ve bought at that particular store over the years.
My how far I’ve come.
Two years ago I sat around a table in a preschool classroom, the only American (and the only English-speaker) in the room, trying desperately to keep up with the conversation but only catching snippets. Two years ago I inched my way toward becoming a real teacher leaning heavily on those women around that table.
Today I sat with my coworkers, my administrators, my friends – some I’ve known for two years and some I’ve known for two days. Today I thought, This is how I know I’m in the right place, as an administrator choked up talking about the school we all love. Today we cried together, not because we were sad, but because God is at work and we can’t believe we get to be a part of it. We cried because we love our jobs. We love our students and their families. We love our school and we love each other.
And then we prayed.
This is how I know I’m in the right place.