Marlene from down the street and I took a trishaw to church together again, along with her two girls. We squish in and it’s not so bad. The girls I feel for – they can’t be overly comfortable, but they don’t complain.
Marlene and I talk about all sorts of things – she’s definitely a conversationalist – can talk on just about anything – but one topic that interested me muchly was about me working part time or occasional as a teacher or a teachers aide or a substitute teacher. Her school requires the teachers to have a degree and be certified, but not all international schools here require that. I’m North American, I’m articulate, I have some university and college, therefore I could if I wanted to. And I would be paid in US funds, which means I’d make a lot more than Sri Lankans do. But because I don’t have the degree and certification, I wouldn’t be paid as much as the teachers who are brought over on contract. Fine. I don’t care. It’s fair.
I’m not looking for a job – that’s the first thing to understand. If I had a job, I’d only want part time or occasional. Would I enjoy it? Perhaps. Getting out of the house on occasion with some kind of purpose would be good. And extra money to contribute to the family finance pot is a good thing, too.
I taught a lesson in Relief Society today – "Service in the Church". It went very well. I was nervous at first, and thought initially I wouldn’t have enough material to carry to the end of my allotted time, but that wasn’t at all the issue I thought it would be.
I got some huge compliments on the lesson. One woman said she could handle me teaching every Sunday. Marlene, the professional teacher, gave me some very specific feedback – I involve everyone, it’s a discussion not a lecture, I have presence (oh, I do? Huh.) I speak loudly and clearly enough. I use my sense of humour. She tells me I’m a natural teacher. Later, this turns into another conversation with Marlene.
When church is over, I ask Visaka, the Relief Society President, when the next homemaking is. Her reply? Name a date. When would I like it? And for that matter, what would I like to do? Gulp. I get the distinct impression that they haven’t had homemaking in a while. Oh boy. I don’t have a clue what kinds of things to do for homemaking. I tell Visaka that, since I’m clueless, I’d like to send around a sheet of paper in the next Relief Society asking what kinds of things everyone else would like and what they’d be willing or able to teach. She thinks it’s a great idea. Well, even if she didn’t, I’d still do it anyway. I warned her – I’ve avoided homemaking for the entire last decade. Of course I have no ideas.
After church, I go outside to see if Marlene and the trishaw driver were waiting for me. The guy who drove us to church isn’t there, but Marvin, who drove us around yesterday, is. He told me that our other driver had mechanical problems and he was there to take us home instead. It helps that he knew who he was looking for – he had, on other occasions, taken both Marlene and I to this church – but not both of us together. What a convoluted sentence that was. Anyway, I recognized him, so I wasn’t confused for long. I think my confusion here is becoming a rather normal thing.
On the ride home, Marlene and I talked more about the whole teaching thing, and because of the comment I made earlier about me volunteering with Project Literacy in Kelowna for a year and enjoying it, she suggests something entirely different.
She is one of the special education teachers at her school. Her boss, Victor, is the other one. They are both swamped and can’t handle the load they have. Marlene suggested hiring some aides. Victor, dubious, talked about hiring Sri Lankans and having to spend a lot of time training them. See, one of the things they need help with is proper English pronounciation by native English speakers. Victor didn’t think it would be possible to hire such people here. Well, here I am. And I can’t be the only other person in Sri Lanka like this. Marlene said she’s going to talk to Victor about it, and she suggested the possibility of me volunteering at her school as an aide for a few hours a week and when they’re ready to hire, I’ll be at the top of the list of who gets hired. They’ll already know me. I would be paid in US funds at US rates. And living a Sri Lankan standard of living. Yeah, I’m open. But again, I want part time or casual. I don’t want full time work. I’m supposed to be working on my writing. That’s got to be my main focus. This would be for fun – get me out of the house, meeting people, getting my mind working in a totally different direction for a while. A diversion, if you will. That would be good.
On the other hand, I’m planning on doing Book in a Month in October – one of the writing lists I belong to has a challenge every month – Book in a Week – where you write as much as you can that week, post your daily totals, and whoever wrote the most gets a prize. It’s on the honor system, so we don’t actually post our written pages. It works well. It’s mainly for motivation. Well, twice a year, it’s Book in a Month instead. October’s it. I wanna do it.
Basically, I’m not in a hurry, and if things work out for teachers aide/substitute teacher/whatever, then great. If not, fine. Fahim doesn’t care either way. His concern is over me having the time to write. He wants me to write my novels.
The couch is supposed to be delivered today after twelve. We wait. It doesn’t come. We get a phone call at 4:30 or so saying it’ll be delivered tomorrow.
There’s a book fair at the conference centre that Fahim and I would love to go to, but can’t. Two reasons.
- we’re waiting for the sofa set to be delivered
- buying the sofa set broke our budget
Remember the flip flops we bought yesterday? Well, today, I got a blister between my toes, it broke, and the skin peeled off. Ow. So guess what? I can’t wear flip flops. At least, not until it’s healed, and then, I’ll have to build up a callous or something. Drat.
I work on plotting my novel. Since I’m planning on doing the October Book in a Month challenge, I have to finish plotting this week. Or else.