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A message of Hope from the Caribbean, our teacher Nadia

In the middle of winter I always dream about the warm Caribbean sea, refreshing and exotic cocktails, going on a boat ride on the ocean and such. Our American teacher Nadia decided to move to another country and go to help people in the Dominican Republic with a voluntary Christian mission in mind first and then teach English to a wide variety of people. I'm happy to have come to know such a person like Nadia. She is so energetic, lovely and bright like rays of sunshine. She always smiles and has a fantastic sense of humor. By the way, she is a Teacher by calling – she started teaching from her early childhood.

Nadia, please tell a few words about yourself. How did you become a teacher?

– In regards to teaching as a profession, I started in High School helping my classmates with class subjects I knew well. Then, when I graduated from the High School, I worked in different circles of expertise including administration, hotel and hospitality, education and management.

Honestly speaking I've been teaching all my life. I'm a middle child in my family so I've naturally been used to learning from the oldest child and then teaching the youngest. Our mom was quite busy with our family business and holding the house.

Where do you take inspiration from?

– People themselves give me that inspiration to teach but mainly, wanting to learn from them too. It has been said, "a good teacher is first a good student". I love to see people succeed in any subject or aspect of their life. Every person has potential to master any subject they want if they really have the desire to succeed. The teacher simply helps guide the mind towards necessary knowledge. One can be taught only if he/she does not put obstacles in their own way.

You were born in Canada, lived in the US and now in the Caribbean. Where do you like to live and work the most ?

– That is a difficult question. It feels like you are asking me what is my favorite color of the rainbow! I've done a lot of things in my life and I'm very grateful for it, but all were different and rewarding experiences in their own way. When I was 22 I lived in Florida, Fort Myers. There, I used to work in construction in interior finishing and painting, I would keep teaching on the side. At one point I also was a manager of a construction team.

Wow, that's interesting! I can see you like to try as many things as possible in life. What are your hobbies?

– Recently I've tried surfing, and now it's one of my hobbies. Living in the Caribbean helps, of course, and living near the beach as well. I just enjoy my life, my job and people. I can even stand on the surfboard and I can tell you it's not scary at all!

There are plenty of opportunities out here for fishing, surfing, diving and swimming. I love long walks with my dog along the beach and breathing in the fresh salty air. I love to spend time with my family even though I don't see them as often. I always cherish those moments together.

What are your favorite places or countries? Why?

– This too is a difficult question for me. I've been to several countries, I like traveling while experiencing their respective diversities. Countries that attract me most are those rich in natural, cultural varieties that are different from my own. I think Turkey is a beautiful and unusual country. To me, it stands out from other places I've been. Located between Europe and Asia, still having wild and untouched worlds yet to be discovered. There are vast territories covered with sandy deserts where only nomadic tribes exist to the other extreme of very lush filled with vegetation kind of lands. By the way, the people are very nice, friendly to foreigners and very hospitable.

Where do you plan to go next?

– I would just love to set foot in Asia. The more any country differs from my own the more it attracts me.
I've seen astonishing picture and videos of Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and are just breathtaking. Customs and ways of life seem to be based on a special life philosophy you can only experience in those places.

Because I am involved in a special volunteer work, this allows me the flexibility to go to any distant place. Usually these are developing countries where a lot of people are poor and illiterate, being limited in their education. I teach them not only the Bible's hope for humanity but also English or even French depending on the need at hand since I am native in both languages.

I know you have a mission in the Dominican Republic. How did you find out about this opportunity?

– I've known about such opportunity for as long as I can remember, since I have been doing volunteer work of my own choosing as a kid. I started teaching at the age of 9 or 10. I went to my weekly religious meetings where I was taught Bible truths and the art of public speaking. First, I shared a Message of Hope in my country. Then, as I grew older, I began to go to other countries with the same goal. I found out about the opportunity to work in the Dominican Republic through a friend who already had been living there for a year. He invited me and I went. I'm very happy to still be here now!

When I go to any country where very few people know how to read and write, I need to start learning their own local language by taking a class where local people teach me and in turn, I teach others. I feel that I learn much more from other people then they can learn from me. The world is very diverse and if you ever have an opportunity to explore it, do it!

If you don't try you'll never know.
Go for it.

Favorite movie
Budapest Hotel by West Anderson.

Favorite cuisine
An Iranian dish. I cannot remember the name but made with beef, fried potatoes in a cream sauce over rice. Their cuisine is famous for alot of fragrant spices, they give a sophisticated taste to food. I also find Ukrainian borscht very delicious and unusual. I just love any food, just love to eat.

Favorite kind of sports
I like tennis, surfing, soccer and going to the gym. When I was a girl I used to play baseball, basketball and dancing lessons.

Did you have any funny situations related to studies?

– Yes, there are quite a few, but here is a cute one. It was when I was teaching an elementary level student. We were studying animal names. When we came across the word "alligator" I asked him if he knew what this was. To which he replied that he did. Showing a variety of pictures, he picked out a picture of a Dragon-fly and he said "alligator!". I then showed him the real picture of an alligator and we both burst out laughing. He understood that an alligator is not an insect.

And here is the video of our charming teacher.

3 points how to make a lesson interesting

  • First of all I feel a good teacher should always be prepared and know their material from A to Z.
  • Secondly, sincere commendation goes a long way for a student. Nobody learns from a Debbie Downer!
  • Thirdly, know how to guide with confidence.

Advice to students how to succeed in your studies

Go for it, don't hesitate. Life is too short to waste it. If you have a goal you have been wishing to accomplish for a long time, dive in! Life is given for us to live it.

I think many people will agree with Nadia. If you've been wanting to try something for so long and your fears have been stopping you – it's high time to start! There are many opportunities in life and you may not know when your last chance comes up. I think many wonderful opportunities lie ahead, and many beautiful moments are still waiting for you. Everybody has their mission in life. If you haven't found yours yet, just try everything you like and you might meet interesting people on the way, learning a lot.

We are very happy we have such a creative and optimistic teacher like Nadia on our team, and we wish her success with happiness every single day.

Feel English and feel free

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