The 7th grade teacher is named Chanel. She teaches Science, American History, Grammar, and Literature to the 7th graders (the first grade of high school that we have at this school). We hung out a little this weekend, and she is a very cool girl. She´s much younger than I thought, only 19. She´s lived here for six years though with her mom and younger brother. She´s originally from New Orleans, and her family (not sure which side of the family, dad maybe) is from the Islands.
The Bay Islands, for those who don´t know, are three beautiful, Caribbean islands just off the coast of Honduras. There are ferries that go to two of them, which conveniently leave from La Ceiba, where I live. You can also fly into Roatan, the biggest and most developed of the islands. Interestingly enough, there are charter flights directly to and from Milan.
Roatan, the largest of the three islands, has the world´s second largest coral reef, which hugs the shore, providing calm and clear waters which are some of the world´s best beach scuba diving. That said, the islands are also one of the cheapest places in the world to get dive certified.
Anyway, that´s where Chanel is from. Her dad lives and works in the US, but comes down every six weeks (sweet life, right?). He´s some kind of petroleum engineer guy who works on a boat. They have a nice, big house right across from the airport. Chanel is actually going back to the US in February to go to school. Her boyfriend, who she met in the States, moved down here in October to be with her because he was sick of being so far apart. Must be nice to have that option, huh?
On Friday night, there was a parent meeting at school. Afterwards, we went out and got something to eat. Saturday, we went to the salon together and spent 4 hours there getting a manicure and pedicure (which only cost me $7.) To be fair, we only waited for an hour, it just took three hours to do the manicure and pedicure. It wasn´t bad though; it was nice to get pampered. They told me that I should go back every 2 weeks, so I think I will.
I´ve also gotten to know another teacher a little bit, named Seydy. She teaches Ciencias Sociales (in Spanish). She is from Olanchito, which is to the west and a little south. She came to La Ceiba and found a job at this school through her cousin. She lives with her cousins, like 3 of them, I think, only about 3 blocks from me. I think we may hang out sometime in the future. She might be a couple of years older than me, but II think she´s in her mid twenties. She´s worked at the school for 4 years, but considering she probably got her teaching training combined in the 12 years of high school. Maybe she´s older than I think. I´ll have to ask sometime.
The other teachers are all nice to me, but I think that some of them might resent me behind my back, which I guess I can kind of understand. A lot of them have worked here for years, and I think I´m making at least as much as they are. Granted, I have a college degree, and I´m a native English speaker, which when you are switching your school to a bilingual school, is kind of a necessity. Also, I am living in a very nice, furnished apartment that I´m not paying for. I only pay the electric bill. At the same time, I moved how many thousands of miles just to teach in this school. I´m certainly not in it for the money, considering I took like a 75% pay cut. Not to say that I´m not making plenty, because, really I am. I don´t have a ton of disposable income, but I certainly do have some. Living is cheap, and most of what I spend money on will not be my electric bill, groceries, and cell phone cards, it will be all the other stuff I do. Chanel´s mom works at another bilingual school, and apparently, Chanel had heard of me before she even got a job at Holy Trinity, where I teach.
But really, this isn´t that weird for La Ceiba. Mazapan is a really nice, expensive bilingual school in La Ceiba, owned and operated by the Standard Fruit Company. From what I understand, their teachers make way more money, along with getting residency, and their flights paid for and everything. So, yeah. I understand why the other teachers might be a little frustrated, but I don´t really feel bad either.