Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Becoming Teacher and Mama

Last week I blogged about all the crazy jobs I had and that led to the question of how I became a teacher in Mexico. Good question considering my background, it may have made more sense for me to become a mopatera (shot girl) or professional tequila taster but here I am four years later and I am "Teacher". (Students don't call me by name, it's always "Teacher! What means 'however'/'humble'/hothead'?" "Teacher, is cold", "Teacher, I no understand").

Let's jump in the old time machine back to the year 2004. After living in Cozumel for six months, Hubby and I moved to Cancun for his new job in March. I of course, did not have a job, I was living free and easy on some savings and having a grand time doing it. Come July, the funds had run out and I knew it was time to get back in the job market. Basically I knew nothin' bout nothin'. I didn't really know where to start, we didn't have a computer so I was not tied in to the ex-pat community, the only people I knew in town were from the bar scene and some time share folks. They tried to convince me to get a bar/time share job, but I really didn't think that I would be a very good fit for either. I met with some time share managers and just got a really icky feeling from all of them, they were grilling me to see if I could lie and be aggressive, and the answer was "no" on both counts.

Hubby was discussing my job search with some folks in his office and a really nice British ex-pat said she would meet up with me for coffee to discuss some options. She told me that her nephew had worked as an English teacher when he came to Cancun and really enjoyed it and she recommended I check out the same school. I put together a resume and dropped it off and waited for the call.

Meanwhile, Hubby's family was visiting us in Cancun that same week. It was my first time meeting them and they ALL came, parents, sisters, nieces, the whole clan. We struggled through our language barriers and ended up having a fantastic time together. I played a lot with the kids, it was easier than trying to make conversation with the adults, though when the tequila came out we all managed to communicate and laugh.

Early in that week of in-laws I got a call to go for an interview at the school. I put on my shiny, happy, enthusiastic face and went to meet the director. We had a lovely chat, though I thought afterwards that perhaps I was a bit too shiny and happy. I definitely blathered on and on but I guess that was ok as on the Friday of that week I got the call that I would be starting training the following week. I got the job!

We of course celebrated with the family who were happy to hear that the guera (white girl) wouldn't be leeching off of their son. We spent a terrific day with the whole gang, their last day in town and went home happy and slightly (mm, more than slightly?) buzzed. It was one of those "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music" days, smiling and spinning and happy as could be. We were so happy that Hubby convinced me to try to get pregnant. And so we did.

And that is how I became "Teacher" and "Mama" on the very same day, Friday July 16th, 2004. I love both jobs, they both give me headaches but the rewards outweigh all the pain. I am constantly learning from my students and my son and I am forever grateful to the hands of fate for stepping in to align all the planets in my favour that day. A special thanks to Don Julio for allowing me to open my mind to the possibility of having kids, I couldn't (wouldn't) have done it without him.


Islagringo said...

Ah, that nasty old Don Julio! His Cuban cousin, Ron Bacardi, is just as devilish!

Anonymous said...

Great story .. Don Julio nasty stuff (agree with Wayne) .. I'm a SOL girl (much safer).
KW from Michigan

Fned said...

I LOVE that story!! I can so relate to the "planets aligning at the perfect moment" thing *wink*

And since we're all blabbing out our favorite Trago family member... I gotta go with Miss Michelada... she's cool and doesn't give me a headache the next day. LOL


Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing that story. i was one of those who asked how you had gotten your job. i have always heard that you have to have a work permit before going down, but i can see that's not always the case. that's great to know because i am seriously thinking of moving down sometime in the next few years and the only way i could afford to do so is if i could get a teaching job.


Anonymous said...

Ahhh....the old Tequila! Back home in Australia we call him the "party crasher" because he always comes at the end of the night and he never comes alone!
1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila floor!
Great read!
len xo
Ps...and we always curse the smarty pants the next day who invited him!

jillian said...

I hope our first is conceived under conditions as auspicious. In fact, I have no doubt it will be.

Heather said...

Well i think we should all just thank Tequila for, while not making you a shot girl, Tequila still helped with the mama job, lol! Got to live it!
thanks for sharing!

Nicole said...

Ha! Good ole Tequila. The things we do after a few shots of that stuff.

Islaholic Trixie said...

Great Story. I'm not a tequilla girl, but give me some "Apple Pie" (made with Everclear) and a shot glass and I am a Rock Star...Just ask me!!LOL

CancunCanuck said...

IslaGringo- Captain Morgan is a pretty good friend to both those gents, too....and Jose Cuervo, Jack Daniel's...they've all contributed to overpopulation I think. :)

KW- Don Julio is best when served with sangrita and sipped, it's too good to do it in a shot! Though put it in a traditional margarita and I am a very happy (and agreeable) girl. :)

Fned- Ooh, Micheladas! The "craze" right now is flavoured micheladas, I am quite keen on the chamoy, divine!

Teresa- You don't need a work permit before coming down, but immigration is a hassle for sure. I got very lucky with my timing at the school, there is a 10% rule in place. Only 10% of the staff can be foreigners, so if a school has 30 teachers, 3 can be native speakers. I hit at just the right moment (lucky for me!) when they had a spot available. There are teaching jobs here and yes, it's best to do some research ahead of time. Keep in mind I ended up living here by accident, I had no plan, so anything good that happened was pure LUCK. :)

Len- LOL, oh yes, the end of night "Let's do tequila!" inevitably brings next day regrets. Always seems like a good idea at the time! :)

Jillian- I wish you great fortune in your quest for conception, may it be exactly as you want it to be. (Always better than "Surprise!", even if it was a tequila decision, it was still a decision and not a mistake). :)

Heather- Is there nothing tequila can't do? (Sorry, channeling Homer Simpson again).

culture queen- Yes, what is it with tequila? It creates new "best friends forever!" and takes off your clothes, sneaky devil.

Trixie- Haven't heard of Apple Pie, must try! Would love to see your rock star interpretation, I bet you have a pretty mean air guitar. :)

3LittleFlowers said...

This is the first time that I hear your history, and I had no idea that your "new self" (mama and teacher) were "concieved on the same day... Awesome!

As of course, I had to click the Don Julio link cause I had no idea who/what it was!

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