Return to Siem Reap

One of the big advantages of working in a school in South East Asia is a long break in December when the weather is usually pretty good. Our first year we went to Indonesia diving and then to Bagan. The next year was Sri Lanka right before the pandemic hit. Our third year we were stuck in Yangon and our fourth year we were basically stuck in Thailand and spent it in Chang Mai. After 2 years this was our next and last chance to travel in the region. We decided on going back to two of our favourite places namely the temple complex in Siem Reap in Cambodia and then Vietnam.

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Job Jamboree

I think we mentioned that we had resigned our jobs and were looking for new ones to start in the summer of 2023. The international school job cycle usually starts in around September/October of the year before you want to start a new job. This is when you are asked by the school if you are intending to sign on for another year. In our case we had already informed the school back in July but jobs don’t really start appearing until mid-September so we couldn’t really do anything until then. The whole process is a bit stressful as you usually have to resign before you get another job.

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Bagan Again

A few weeks ago we had a 2 day break from school. This was actually the Thursday and Friday of the week before Thanksgiving as we no longer get a holiday on actual Thanksgiving. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have that day off with this specific population of students and there are actually a lot of Myanmar holidays in November so a few years ago it was decided that we would shift the vacation days to coincide with something that most people actually celebrated!

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Komodo to Quasimodo

Well, we had a great trip to Komodo but it’s been a bit of a downward spiral health-wise since we returned! Three weeks ago Gav started complaining that it felt like he had a bit of something stuck in his eye. I told him he was fine and also that THIS time I was not taking him to a hospital to have it taken care of. A few summers ago while we were visiting London Gav decided to clean out our gutters or something and blew some leaf detritus into his eyeball in the process. I ended up having to take him to the London Eye Hospital and wait ages in the urgent care area until someone could q-tip the stuff out. When he was still complaining the next day I figured he had pink eye so I gave him some drops for that.

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Mantas and ‘Modos

Is the world finally getting back to ‘normal’? I guess not if you live in China and especially if you’re an expat there. Lindsey looks everyday at the major recruitment site for international teachers and has to scroll for miles through the Chinese jobs before she gets to other countries. It’s not back to normal for Russians and Ukrainians and not for the people here either. One personal ray or normal for us was the opportunity to go on an actual holiday during our October break.

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One of Gav’s duties as the acting director this year was to get all of the new staff into Yangon and get them settled into their lives here. In the past, new faculty have all flown to Bangkok where we had about 4 days to meet everyone, have a few meetings and get our visas to enter Myanmar. The school has since decided to do away with that first step and just have everyone get their visas in their home countries and then arrive here and have a bit more time to settle in before the craziness of school starts. I think this is a great change but it was all up to Gav (and me!) to organize the intro week.

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New cars, creatures and careers

Ooh, I like a good bit of alliteration in a blog post title. Of course, this is all a bit contrived. There isn’t really much to say on the cars and critters front. I thought we would be getting the same car back as we had when we left but it seems the global car shortage and affects on the second hand car market is just as apparent in Myanmar as it is everywhere else. Instead we’ve ended up with a Suzuki Swift which is essentially a cheap mini. I like a high seating position and a good space for Nell in the back so didn’t think I’d like it but it’s actually quite a bit newer and higher spec than the other car. When you put your foot on the accelerator something actually happens which is a nice novelty and Nell actually fits in quite nicely in the small area at the back. Also, Lindsey got her Myanmar driving licence!

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More Catch Up

Gav actually didn’t do too bad of a job summing up our summer. I will add a few more details just for the record. It’s hard to believe that it’s September already. On the dog walk this morning I realized that 1 year ago we were gearing up for our move to Thailand-so much has happened in a year! The school year is well and truly underway now and it is pretty much back to normal operations. Sports and things are happening again so it is nice to see kids being able to enjoy more of the fun aspects of school.

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Catch up

It’s been a while. I know the hoards of people who avidly read our blog (that’s both Steve’s and my brother (thanks)) will be relieved to see another instalment of the Gav and Schubie diary. There’s no excuse really for not keeping it up. Lindsey will say that as she did the last post, it’s entirely my fault and she’s probably right. I will say that we’ve been extremely busy but when you look at the downtime we’ve had while travelling, ‘busy’ just doesn’t cut it.

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