So far away…and just as close
A parent of an international teacher tells what it’s like to be mum
OK, mums and dads, you have just been told the ‘good news’ by your son or daughter that they have decided to take their teaching degree and do some international teaching. The conversation in your head immediately goes into high speed mode, but you take a deep breath, close your eyes (to stop them from orbiting your head), smile haltingly and say “Wow, that is really exciting”. That’s exactly what I did.
Before asking any more details I started to think that this could be a really good thing and lots of fun for everyone. I mean…Florida right? Nice weather and Disneyworld! Hawaii? Hey, even better…tropical and sunny! Europe? Always wanted to go back and see London. I thought this was going to be alright.
I took a moment and asked the big question; so where are you going? “Doha.” Where? My husband and I pulled out our trusty atlas; something all parents from the 60’s and 70’s remember, found Doha on the map and reality hit. Our daughter was talking about the Middle East. Yes, we had always encouraged her independence and wanted her to see the world but, we hoped, through Google, world globes and atlases, and short summer breaks.
Fast forward four years and the reality of the situation is very different from our early apprehensions. Yes our daughter is very far away, but Skype is a wonderful tool. We can see and hear her, get a glimpse of her environment, share her life, and best of all it is free! Yes, I did say free – something that we hadn’t heard since we became parents…well for most of the time anyway.
Our daughter is half a day away by plane (not free), however a journey I would highly recommend. Visiting our child in her new home and her new country is a highly enriching experience. The school is wonderful, the accommodation is incredible, the weather is tropical, the country and its culture fascinating, and hanging out with her is the best gift of all.
Our daughter knows the locals and the customs, where to go and how to get there, the hidden gems that tourists often miss, she’s the perfect travel guide. And best of all, parents, yes she still remembers how to spend our money while we are visiting! It is comforting to know that some things never change.
Donna Morgan Fazekas, from Crystal Beach in Ontario, Canada, is mum of Hailey Fazekas who is teaching at an international school in Doha, Qatar. Hailey works with Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), a specialist recruitment company that provides teachers with free support and representation in their search for the best job in the best international school.