Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Feeling like a competant adult

For me, life here is very different than it was in the United States. I was a very independent person in the US. I could do anything I set my mind to, and for the most part I did.

For the first 5 weeks I was here I had a hard time feeling like a competent adult when I had to rely on others for so much. Spending time in prayer about it has helped. But there are two other things that really helped me get out of my funk of feeling sorry for myself. First, Johane asked me to help create a document on the computer. It was basically data entry, but it felt great to be needed. The other event was my return to the classroom. Even though the subject has changed, I am doing something I love. And although I’m not a perfect teacher, I’m certain I can teach English proficiently enough to help my students.

There were a lot of things I didn’t know how to do when I arrived, but I think most of the reason I felt so incompetent was due to the language barrier. Once I was told how to do something, for example buying water or getting more minutes for my phone, I still had to communicate with someone to make it happen. Until very recently I didn’t have enough vocabulary to say anything other than, “Good morning. How are you?” Now that I’m able to communicate very basically with people I feel more competent. It definitely gives me a new perspective on people in the United States who are in the midst of learning English. It is not easy to move to a different country when you don’t know the language!

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