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Update from Melissa Enderle in Mali

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From: Melissa Enderle (melissa_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 10 2002 - 06:07:44 PST


Hi all,
    Thought I'd give an update on what's happening. I took the long plane
ride from Mali to Chicago in order to attend the overseas recruitment fair
held from March 1-3. I had the opportunity to visit my family for few days
before the fair began. This also gave me a little time to purchase a few
items not available (or extremely expensive) in Mali. At the UNI recruitment
fair, I was invited to speak to the audience about my experiences and advice
on leaving/teaching overseas. I then had 3 interviews that afternoon, with 5
more lined up for the next day. Of the 3 interviews, all three offered me a
job! I have decided to accept the computer teaching position at the American
Cooperative School of Tunis, Tunisia. It is a small school of about 200
students from 30 nationalities. For those of you who don't quite know where
Tunis is, it's a North African country across the Mediterranean Sea from
Italy. Conferences for the Mediterranean region schools are held in and
include schools from countries such as Morocco, Spain, Italy, Greece, and
more.
    One of Tunisia's more famous cities is Carthage, which still houses some
impressive Roman ruins. In fact, Tunisia boasts of having the most
comprehensive collection of Roman mosaics. Because of its location, Tunisia
is a mixture of many cultures and ethnic groups, including the Bedouins,
Berbers, French, Arabs, Romans, Greeks, Jews, and more. Woven rugs and
pottery are two of its specialties. You can enjoy the gentle breezes and
climate on the sandy beaches (some areas with resorts) or you can escape the
modern world and head inland. Here you will be transported to the world seen
in "Lawrence of Arabia," complete with endless dunes of sand and impressive
oases. People of these areas live much as they used to. Dominant languages
include Arabic and French, with a little English. Transportation options are
much greater, thereby enabling more travel opportunities. In Mali, reaching
the important sites was a challenge due to distance, weather/season (heat
and rain), and an underdeveloped transportation structure. With Tunisia's
proximity to Europe, I can easily fly to locations in Europe for a short
vacation.
    Teaching overseas is a great opportunity. You get to meet and work with
students and colleagues who have lived (and are from) all over the world.
The kids overall are motivated and eager to learn. Class sizes are small.
Parents are supportive of their child(ren)'s education. Since the school
pays for housing and utilities, my expenses are mainly composed of grocery,
telephone and internet, hired help, and whatever travel/entertainment
options you choose. US citizens living abroad can make up to $70,000
overseas tax free. So, I can save a substantial part of my salary! If anyone
is interested in the idea of overseas teaching, I'd be happy to provide more
information or insight.
    In Mali, it's getting hot. Although we have had a couple day's reprieve,
the temperature is now around or over 100 during the heat of the day. The
swimming pool looks better each day! School ends on the 14th of June, so I
probably will be heading back to Wisconsin that weekend. So, if you are in
the area and want a little show and tell including artifacts, photos and
videos, drop me an email!

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                   |          Melissa Enderle         |
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             __(  (  art teacher/ adaptive art   /_)   ) )__
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Melissa Enderle
melissa@afribone.net.ml
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