Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My time year living and teaching in Marshall Islands is sadly coming to an end. It has definitely been the most rewarding and eye-opening experience of my life. Teaching in the Marshall Islands has been challenging at times but also an extremely rewarding experience. I have formed a strong attachment to my job and the 140 teenage students that I have spent most of my days with.

Since leaving home last July, many aspects of my life and my way of thinking have changed. My blessings and priorities have been clarified in a way that I am pleased with. I have been fortunately given opportunities that have allowed me to fulfill my goals, explore my passions and broaden my mind. I am grateful for these opportunities on a level that I was incapable of understanding before living in the Marshall Islands. Here, most students are not as fortunate as I was; students are often passed through the education system without even reaching an ounce of their potential.

Recently, I (along with the other worldteach) worked with a group of students on applying to the Junior State of America (JSA) summer program. JSA is a three week intensive program discussing government at three very prestigious schools in the United States; Georgetown University, Princeton University and Stanford University. We were so excited to find out that five of our brightest and most outstanding students were accepted to the programs. However, we were greatly dismayed when we heard that the scholarship money had already been distributed to students at another high school. Our students were also very disappointed that this wonderful opportunity was out of reach to them because of financial difficulties.

These five students, despite the obstacles presented in their daily lives, have been able to understand the value of education. They are active participants in the limited school activities. They are members of clubs, sports teams, and the student government. They are self-motivated individuals who strive to attend college in the near future. They are focused on continuing their education in a more structured educational system. My greatest hope is that students like this will be able to attend colloge and follow their dreams.

5 comments:

  1. Have you asked the Kwajalein landowners who just last week received over $US32 Million to contribute?

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  3. Hannah,
    My name is Kip. I have been a Community Manager for a small 25 unit HUD subsidized 62 and older apartment complex. I have had about half of my residents from Marshall and they have become like a second family to me. We have all become good friends. They have always wanted me to go to Marshall, not just to have a vacation, but to find a new life. I have learned a lot about the Marshallese Government, Kings, people and their difficulties. I believe 10's of thousands of Marshallese have come to the United States including Hawaiian Islands in an effort to find better lives and in many cases to get the medical treatment they need as most Marshallese have diabetes along with many other medical problems. As a HUD manager I am bound my many rules and laws that I do not necessarily agree with and have broken because I care about people and want to do whatever I can to help them. Not just Marshallese residents either, all my residents. Unfortunately after helping one particular young woman and a really rough November that I kept thinking "it's got to get better", I lost my job yesterday. I have been an on site manager and now have to be out of my apartment by next Friday afternoon. My Marshallese residents have told me they will leave this apartment building after I have been removed as they know I have only done things to help them and they do not believe my getting fired was right or fair. As I have very few options here, I am now considering moving to the Marshall Islands. This morning I am preparing to go out with my family to retirement homes and other types of senior housing to do our annual Christmas caroling. I got online and searched "Life on the Marshall Islands" and your blog is the first thing I saw. I have not had time to read through all of it but will when I have more time. I would love to talk to you and learn from you more about your experience in Marshall. Please feel free to call me or text me at 509-701-9604. You can also find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Kip.Erickson.1167. I really look forward to hearing from you. And I thank you for what you have shown me and taught me already.

    Thank You
    Kip

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  4. Hi, Congratulations for your blog!
    I also have a blog, about philately: http://www.albumdeestampillas.blogspot.com
    I intend to get a visit from every country, and I would really apreciate a visit from The Marshall Islands.
    Thanks,
    Pablo from Argentina.

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