Coming here we’ve found ourselves plopped down into a group of co-workers that is as well-travelled as it is down to earth. While we talk about the school bus we ride, and joke about our classrooms and our meals, the stories we hear often aren’t typical Colorado conversation.
Last night Philip and Linda were telling us about living with the Inuit in a village far up north, where they would have polar bears come into town, where they would hunt their food of caribou, and four foot arctic rabbits (which the natives joked hunted the wolves), and seals. Mark told us about living in Cairo Egypt, where during the month of Ramadan, strangers on the street would invite him and his wife into their homes for the night because they seemed without a big group to break the daily fast with. Pauline and Will talked to us about the traffic in Jakarta, Indonesia, a city almost the population of New York City but with several times the population density, where rush hour wasn’t stop and go, but instead just stop, for hours on end. We’ve easily heard about fifteen countries in the last two days.
There are nearly twenty of us teachers who are new to the school, and the majority have already lived in three other countries and speak more than one language. It is a culture where travelling all over the world is commonplace, where everyone wants to go out and explore the neighborhood and the country. We are surrounded by people who are street savvy, and who know how to travel safely while getting more out of a seeing a country than most tourists. We are all new together, and so we are all ready for friendships. In two weeks, I already feel like we have more people who have opened to friendship with us than we had in the first year in Denver, where everyone already had their social groups established.