How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Roads Are Diverging: The Emotional and Monetary Costs of Going to Abu Dhabi

The month of June arrived fast. Only two more months in which to get ready to leave for Abu Dhabi.  As the time to leave gets closer, I get less excited. I still want to go teach there. I still can’t wait to experience another country, I still can’t wait to meet my students, but excitement has been replaced by the knowledge that I will leave Georgia carrying my troubles and worries about my dad and the daily encroaching Alzheimer's draped over my heart.  Three very distinct emotions are running side by side within me: sadness, guilt, and happiness. The three do not compliment one another. Maybe when the plane actually lands in The United Arab Emirates, and I breathe in the hot, close air of Abu Dhabi it will bring back some of the excitement about my new journey in life.

 I am not looking forward to the actual trip as I hate long plane rides. Every time I have to fly long distances I end up glancing all around at people snoozing the trip away and feeling a certain degree of envy. I can’t go to sleep on a plane, I’ve tried.  I’ll get to the hotel and be utterly and completely exhausted and sleep for about twelve hours while some of the other teachers are out shopping for small electrical items. I bought my immediate need 220-240 volt electric necessities online, so I won’t have to shop when I first arrive. The voltage is different in the UAE, so 110 volt (USA) does not work over there, in fact, if one tried to plug these items into the sockets with only a plug adapter the only thing that would occur is the creation of a lot of sparks and smoke.  

I keep going out into The Depot (we call it The Depot because my husband has his model train layout there) and rummaging though the duffel bag I have packed with my teacher supplies. Every day I take out a few more items. The more I find out about the reading level of the students I will be teaching, the less I believe I can use the supplies I have.  Maybe I should walk in like the first day I ever taught: with nothing and build up from scratch.  Plus, I will be coming home in December to spend the holidays with my family, so I can always take the items then if I find I really do need them. It would be nice not to     have to pay almost $200.00 for a third checked bag.  We are allowed two bags not to exceed over 50 lbs each. Anything more is going to come out of my pocket. And my pockets are running a bit empty due to all the expenses I have incurred, thus far.

220-240 volt Hair dryer/hair straightener: $125.00
Notarizing  teaching certificate and Highest degree, Georgia Dept of State $20.00
Authentication of teaching certificate and highest degree through ProEx  $308.00
Three pairs of shoes (I wear a size five and can only find shoes online) $110.00
A new laptop $860.00
Suitable for the UAE long skirts and long sleeved blouses approximately $250.00
Luggage $150.00

GRAND TOTAL: $1823.00

And this total doesn’t even factor in that newly arriving teachers are advised to bring between $1500.00 to $2000.00 with them.
So, yeah.. I’m one broke ass teacher right now! But it’s all an investment towards a larger income in one year than I can earn in the United States in two years. It’s an investment in life experiences. It’s an investment in helping me to become a more well-rounded teacher.  Plus, I’ll get to pet a camel.

I am going to miss my little dog, Truman. I’m going to miss my sweet, dear husband, Jim. I’m going to miss my mom and my granddaughter.  I am going to miss working outside in my flower beds. I am going to miss so much. But I am also going to see and do so much that I would never had had the chance to do here. Life is a trade-off, isn’t it? A matter of choices and roads. Robert Frost wrote the following poem:  

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Most people have read this poem, usually after being forced to by an English teacher like me. But stop one second and ponder the meaning. We make choices all the time. Some large, some seemingly insignificant. We continually choose between “two roads” all the time.  And sometimes our choices appear not to be so important, but they end up reverberating and echoing for the rest of our lives. Making a choice of “a road less traveled” can make all the difference in our lives. So,  I stand at the fork in my two roads. I am choosing the one less traveled by. I am hoping it makes all the difference.

And I’ll get to pet a camel.

1 comment:

  1. Teri, you have quoted one of my favorite poems. Hugs to you my friend as you travel that road less taken.