International schools face a lot of staff turnover. Most staff are young and looking for a year overseas to add to their resume or pay down a student loan before heading back into the jungle that teaching in Ontario has become. If they are older, they have family committments that keep them from investing too much time on foreign shores. Folks in the middle are rare, and are usually on the international school circuit as a career choice. Not a bad choice either, as there is a lot to see in this beautiful world, and a teaching certificate is a more or less universal passport.

New this year are Amy and Michel, a youngish couple (from our perspective) from Toronto. Amy has done some teaching in China, but Michel never so much as got in an airplane until a year ago. He is doing real well in a foreign climate and loves the food, but is not terribly impressed with the crowded conditions found here in public transport. Amy is just loving it and is game for just about anything. Her can-do spirit is especially evident in English 3U, jumping in with lots of ideas and enthusiasm.

Jim and Shelley are from Ottawa and closer to our age. They were married three months before us, and this is their first overseas experience. He is teaching Computer Science, and was one of the developers of the Math Trek program, software that is widely distributed in Ontario public schools. Shelly has been in administration for the last dozen years and is happy to be back in the classroom teaching Challenge and Change. They are thoroughly enjoying their time in Malaysia and can’t wait to see more.

We have a barbeque planned for this afternoon, just to get to know one another a little better. Its a good excuse for a Canadian comfort meal in a relaxed setting. If the evening is fine, we might go for a swim after! After all, if you live in this climate, you might as well enjoy it.