Tag Archives: by Georgina Rastall

Walk.

A few people have asked me what my best piece of advice is for living abroad. I only have one answer and it’s applicable to living anywhere, not just abroad… it’s walk everywhere. Walk as much as you can. Not only do you get fitter but you see things you’d just never see if you drove. Here’s just a few bits and bobs I’ve come across that I’ve had to stop and look at, which I would have never taken the time to look at, or seen at all if I’d have taken another form of transport.

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views from St Hilarion castle

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backstreets of Kyrenia, I still can’t believe this is my town?!

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March caterpillars… look but don’t touch!

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Casual roundabout peace statue

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Becoming Native

I’ve always been quite proud of being able to blend in when going abroad and not looking to British. Really, who’d want to be in this category?

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Some of my blending into a native is great, some needs work and some just needs to stop.

Driving

Driving in Cyprus is, at best, awful. General rules of the road are considered more as guidelines and horn beeping is an absolute essential. Up to now, I have considered myself quite a good, considerate driver. Since moving to Cyprus I find my indicators are rarely used; parking is somewhat challenging; horns are a first resort; who cares about that zebra crossing or cheeky cutting someone up?! Coming back to the UK is going to be a shocker. I mean, I considered this to be pretty decent parking. Oh dear dear.

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Orchid Walk

Went on an orchid walk for charity, didn’t see any orchids. Turkish dancing is pretty amazing though! For this, I think the photos say it all! A lesson I definitely learnt is that I miss my photography and definitely haven’t taken anywhere near enough photos on placement!

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Placement Must Haves

5 things I couldn’t live without on placement.

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I’m sure a Kindle would double up for this too. There are so many reasons I’m crazy about my iPad. Firstly, I’m a total bookworm and this saves baggage allowance and general space. I know I’ve always been an advocate for real books however, on placement, it’s just too much of a hassle! Also, it’s just so handy to have a device you can easily use the Internet on, while you’re travelling around.

  • My phrasebook

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This has been crazy helpful since I’ve been here. It’s always great to have a reliable source to learn things such as numbers and days of the week from. It makes life so much easier when you have a bit of a grasp on the language in the country! This one is great because it has a miniature dictionary in the back and it’s so small I can fit it in any of my handbags.

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Thank you, beautiful people.

Today, I’m feeling a little pensive about my time over placement and people I’ve met. Some days are a bumpier ride than others and today has been really bumpy! I hate the feeling when you’re second-guessing yourself, did I make the right call? Was anything I did wrong?

The only up side of today is knowing that whenever I’m going through trouble, my amazing work colleagues and friends out here are there in a heartbeat. When I started my placement journey I didn’t really think I’d meet such kind, amazing people. I knew that placement would affect me in many ways, but I hadn’t banked on meeting these unbelievable people. The people I’ve met are fabulous role models and I’m so glad to have met them. The people I’ve met on placement have changed my life for the better and made me think about the person I want to aspire to be.

Sorry for being so soppy, but thanks, placement people!

That’s what I go to work for!

It’s not just the beautiful views from driving to work on a morning…

 

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or the breathtaking sunsets on the way home..

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It’s actually the topic of my research project (almost)… all the hilarious things the kids say to me throughout the day, so here’s a few of my favourites so far! You’ve got to love ESL students!

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Term 1 is Over!

My first term in Cyprus is coming to an end and the town is donning its Christmas attire! This term has been amazing and I can’t believe all the things I’ve learned and amazing people I’ve met! The school really is a family and I’m ending the school year feeling really privileged that I’ve been made a part of it!

I’d forgotten how much fun being in a school at Christmas could be. I’ve never had a job before, where I go into work with a smile on my face every day knowing that something will make me happy and glad I’m there. This week, the festivities have been never ending! We’ve not just been celebrating Christmas but achievements the students have been working towards all term. We’ve named the star of the term, elected the student council representatives and the winners of the golden diners contest have had their prize! I should explain what golden diners consists of… each day one table wins ‘golden diners’ and the next day they get a tablecloth, centerpiece and just general pride at being the quietest and most civilized table. They then get to put a golden circle on the chart. At the end of the term the class with the most golden circles gets the ultimate golden diners! They even get served by the teachers and pick their food from a menu!

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12 Days of Christmas… placement style!

On the first day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
A sunny day by the Mediterranean Sea

On the second day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Two evil eyes
and a sunny day by the Mediterranean Sea

On the third day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Three terms of student loan
Two evil eyes
and a sunny day by the Mediterranean Sea

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Lessons Learned

Patience is a virtue.

Before I started my placement, I thought I was a moderately patient person. I get frustrated with self-checkout machines and their non-existent items in the bagging area but I’m totally cool with driving behind elderly citizens without feeling the need to tailgate. Just average patience levels, really. However, being a teaching assistant at a language immersion primary school can require patience on a Gandhi level. On days when you’re feeling a little ill, tired or hangry (hunger anger), spending a good 15 minutes miming what an alien is isn’t ideal. Kids can almost sense when patience has potential to be tested and oh, they do test!

Kids are hilarious.

Having said all that about patience, I do have to admit, it’s definitely not an effort going to work in a morning. I’ve never done a job before where I’m 100% sure I’ll belly laugh at least once throughout the day. Those hilarities can come from anything from being asked if you’re menopausal to songs about anti-bullying efforts to the suggestion of David Attenborough jumping out of a plane and plunging to his death. The minds of children are vast and amazing; you never know what’s going to come out of their mouth! DIY Although living in the Mediterranean sounds idyllic, and for the most part it is, the Med lifestyle can be somewhat displeasing whilst trying to get things done. For example, I’ve been waiting on a handyman for approximately two months. He appeared a couple of weeks ago, took a look at the issues, told me he’d be back the next day. Never saw him again. Due to these kinds of things, ingenious DIY ideas such as my window fixed by a spoon, are essential. (the spoon window was my finest hour, if I do say so myself). If something’s broken, I’ve found the best strategy is to attempt to fix it. You never know when it’s going to get done properly! Superglue is the best investment I’ve made while being out here, so far its fix list is: shoes, handbag strap, phone charger, sunglasses and my bathroom shelf. The possibilities are endless.

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