As many of you know in March, 2020 my teaching in Albania was cut short by Covid. I then returned to teach first grade special education at Dudley School in Fairport, New York. Although I only needed to teach in Fairport for two months in order to retire, I ended up teaching for two more years. It was hard to think about leaving a teaching position that was challenging but gave me great satisfaction. When I turned 40 and then 50 and then 60 years old it never caused me any angst. But then I turned 65 which meant I was required to sign up for Medicare. That got my attention and forced me to start seriously thinking about retirement. When reflecting about whether or not to retire from Fairport, someone suggested that I start making a list of what I wanted to do after retiring. On that list was to teach again in an international setting. The first person I asked about it was my husband, Randy. Because he is a super supportive husband, when I asked him if he would consider moving abroad with me again, he said, “Sure, let’s do it.” Since I had previously taught in Albania I have friends that now live and teach in many parts of the world. Some of them encouraged me to come teach at their current schools. After much thought, Randy and I decided to go back to Albania. The cost of living in Albania is very reasonable. The location and climate are good. Plus, we still have friends in Albania. Finally, the ease of moving back into a setting that we were familiar with was enticing. For all those reasons we decided Albania was again a good choice.
When I reached out to Albanian College last fall about the possibility of teaching grade one there again, they said they did not have a grade one opening but they did have a grade two opening. So starting on August 29th, I will be teaching grade two in Tirana (the capitol of Albania) at Albanian College. Even though I have taught at the school before I will be participating in the new teacher training which starts on August 17th. We fly out of Rochester on the morning of August 12th. We fly through JFK to Istanbul and then onto Tirana arriving there on the 13th. We have rented an apartment that is close to the apartment we had previously and is a five minute walk to the school.
We have a few reservations about moving abroad. How will Covid be? Will the war in Ukraine impact our stay in Albania? Obviously, we have given this much thought and talked to friends that are living there and feel confident in our decision to go. If it is not working out or we feel unsafe at any time, we will simply come home.
Thanks for joining me on this second adventure to Albania. It is wonderful to be able to stay in touch with our family and friends through this blog. I will be back in touch after we start to get settled in Tirana.