Traveling Around: Bermuda
Can you relate?
• Having an international school teacher friend that moved to a tropical location that you were FOR SURE going to visit at some point.
• Realizing that Bermuda is indeed so close to the United States and only around 1.5 hour flight from JFK airport in New York. Why did I wait so long to visit this country!?
• Staying at a friend’s apartment and enjoying the view from their balcony while eating breakfast every morning.
• Finally understanding exactly what Bermuda shorts are and when the locals wear them.
• Taking the local public transportation (with a mix of locals and tourists) to one of the many beautiful beaches in Bermuda.
• Filming a 30-second movie on my smartphone at each of the beaches that I visited and posting them on Facebook for all my friends to see!
• Visiting the school that my international school teacher friend works at and getting a personal tour of campus.
• Being a bit jealous of my friend’s less than five-minute walk to work.
• Going grocery shopping at a local grocery store and finding a paper bag (for bagging up your purchased products) that had a printed warning about the upcoming hurricane season on it.
• Checking out some the more popular caves in Bermuda and wondering whether I truly like visiting caves or not.
• Seeing animals that only a tropical island would have, but also finding animals that I thought an island wouldn’t have (e.g. cardinal birds).
• Walking around a wooded area and finding a “secret spot” to swim, only to find that some other people were already swimming in this secret spot!
• Getting a nice ride on my friend’s moto to her most favorite beach on the island and finding it to be very worth the scariness of being on the back of a small motobike going at pretty fast speeds.
• Thinking I’m being all free and all by walking around the area around the beach in my bare feet only to find that I wish I would have worn my sandals because of the extremely rocky ground (sharp!).
• Taking lots of pictures of all the free-roaming roosters walking around everywhere on the island. Beautiful feathers!
• Being in awe of the parrot fish. Finding it in one place and then finding it even up closer in another location the next day. So colorful!
• Eating some amazing local fish (wahoo anyone?) at a variety of restaurants.
• Getting the opportunity to go on my friend’s work colleague’s house sailboat for the day. He took us around the beautiful island to a secret spot to go swimming in the open ocean. It was a really nice, warm and sunny day too!
• Avoiding going to the more popular, very touristy, beach in Bermuda. I ended up going there though on my last day and I am glad that I did. There weren’t too many people there and it was fun to walk around the beach to enjoy the awesome views.
• Not getting burnt at all from being out in the sun too much. Still got some color on my skin, but I was very wise to not over do it and make sure to put on enough sunscreen.
• Shopping at the local “expat/imported” grocery store and being astounded by the VERY expensive prices there. I think a bag of cherries was 25 USD!!!
Currently we have 19 international schools listed in Caribbean on International School Community. Here are the ones that have comments submitted on them:
• Lucaya International School (Freeport, Bahamas) – 15 Comments
• St. Andrew’s – International School of the Bahamas (Freeport, Bahamas) – 7 Comments
• The Codrington School (Int’l School of Barbados) (St. John, Barbados) – 32 Comments
• Somersfield Academy (Devonshire, Bermuda) – 18 Comments
• The Bermuda High School for Girls (Pembroke, Bermuda) – 41 Comments
• International School of Havana (Havana City, Cuba) – 15 Comments
• American school of Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 6 Comments
• Saint George School (Dom. Rep.) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 4 Comments
• St. Michael’s School (Dominican Republic) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 11 Comments
• The Ashton School of Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – 21 Comments
• International School of Sosua (Sosua, Dominican Republic) – 9 Comments
• American International School of Kingston (Kingston, Jamaica) – 7 Comments
• International School of Curacao (Curacao, Netherlands Antilles) – 8 Comments
• Saipan International School (Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands) – 13 Comments
• Guamani Private School (Guayama, Puerto Rico) – 16 Comments
• Caribbean School (Ponce, Puerto Rico) – 7 Comments
• International School St. Lucia (West Indies) (Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia) – 20 Comments
• International School of Port of Spain (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) – 17 Comments
• Cedar International School (Tortola, Virgin Islands, British) – 7 Comments•
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I currently live in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I am a retired Catholic School administrator with 44 years of teaching and administration in public, private, and charter schools. I have taught from coast to coast in the US and am now leading accreditation teams for a major International Accreditation Organization. I try to reserve special family time in my schedule to enjoy our two little princesses, Abigail and Zoe.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
Several years ago, I was invited to be on an accreditation team for a private school in the Dominican Republic. The school and the people there captured my heart and soul. I actually cried during my flight back to the states because I had been so touched by that visit. Although I had no idea how this would happen, I knew in my heart that I was going back. About six months later, I received a call from the owners asking me to serve as the Vice President of their Board of Directors. That experience has totally changed my life.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
I have been affiliated only with The Ashton School of Santo Domingo by serving on their Board and providing some professional development and parent activities. Ashton is privately owned and is transitioning into a Christian School. The factor that has impacted me the most is the remarkable difference it makes when owners can make critical decisions that add to the school’s success and outreach to students, family, and the greater community. There seem to be few limitations to creative endeavors. The spirit of the Latin people is evident in the manner in which they live and think. Naturally, it is a culturally-rich experience that provides international acceptance for all entities.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
I must share two such encounters. First is the fact that the school’s owner was able to get an extremely successful Soccer Camp instituted for the children of Santo Domingo with a contract with the Milan Junior Camp officials. Major corporate sponsors supported the camp and it will be continued. The long range plan is for the Ashton Foundation to open a sports facility to enhance the sporting options for the children in the area as well as those at the school.
The second big smile came in the opening of two classes called the H.O.P.E. classrooms in the city. These classes are filled with 44 needy four-year-old children who will be sponsored by other individual families for all fourteen years of their education. This sponsorship includes participation in the children’s school life, attending events, filling gaps in life. Families that can give the monetary support and not the human support are paired with families that want to give the human support but cannot afford the financial commitment. The owner sought the sponsorships and built the classrooms. (Check out a video about H.O.P.E. here)
These two smiles would still be in the dream stage in the US. We miss many opportunities to turn dreams and possibilities into realities.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
As I am asked to help other international schools, I look for the Vision of the owners and the leadership of the school. Those are key factors for me to be able to work effectively.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Transforming Exciting Challenging Embracing Engaging
Thanks Mary Anne!
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Want to work for an international school in the Dominican Republic like Mary Anne? Currently, we have 6 international schools listed in the Dominican Republic on International School Community:
• The Ashton School of Santo Domingo (12 Comments)
• Saint George School (Dom. Rep.) (4 Comments)
• American school of Santo Domingo
• Carol Morgan School Santo Domingo
• International School of Sosua
• Putacana International School