Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

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7 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I was tagged by Patti Duncan for the 7 Things You Might Not Know About Me meme. Although this is not usually the topic of this blog. I have really enjoyed reading what others in my Professional Learning Network have shared about themselves in this meme. There is more to all of us than teaching and technology. Tried to think of things that you really might not know about me. Most of you know that I have traveled and taught all over the world, so I didn't choose to say that. But my adventures traveling have put me in some interesting situations you might not know about. So, here goes.

7 Things you might not know about me:

1. I once traveled by Dole Banana Cargo ship from Ecuador to the US. My friend Lynnette and I had the opportunity to travel back to the U.S. by sea instead of air one summer. On our 8 day cruise, we were treated like royalty. The officers and crew were excited to have visitors aboard. We were someone new to talk too. The officers were Indian and Italian and the crew was Ecuadorian and Philipino. We spent a lot of time up on the bridge and the captain taught us all about the stars and how to use a sextant. I celebrated a birthday on board. They made a cake and had a huge sign made for me. Great memories and definitely once in a life time.

2. I spent 7 days traveling by camel and camping in the Samburu region of Kenya. While teaching in Kenya, I had several unique opportunities. One was a 7 day camel safari. We went for 7 days without seeing a road. Each night we would hear lions roaring and grunting all around us. Camels are pretty disgusting, ornery and pretty darn uncomfortable after 7 days. But the opportunity to spend a week in the African bush was incredible.

3. I participated in an orangutan release in the Borneo jungle. The school I taught at in Indonesia was on the island of Borneo. The school had started the Balikpapan Orangutan Society. We had all kinds of interesting creatures who lived at the school. The society had a rehabilitation center for orangutans out from Balikpapan. They would prepare orphaned and rescued organgutans to go back out in the wild. A few times a year, they would trek deep into the jungle carrying sedated orangutans in cages and then releasing them in the jungle. I had the great opportunity to go on one of these releases. They didn't let me carry a cage, but I did get to trek through the muddy jungle and see the animals released. They actually release them in a shelter in the jungle. The apes get used to the sounds and smells and then eventually venture off on their own.

4. I flew into Somalia on a UN cargo plane after the US had pulled out (Think: Blackhawk Down) to volunteer at an clinic over Christmas break. Another great adventure while teaching in Kenya was when I got to go into Somalia to help a nurse friend of mine who was working in a clinic in Mogadishu. I flew in on a cargo plane carrying 80 pounds of vitamins and a case of Dr. Pepper for a UN Aid worker. The US had already pulled out due to the extreme danger. We were escorted through town by 16 year old guards with AK47s. We spent most of our time behind sandbagged walls at the clinic. While we were there, we saw hundreds of people. My job was to dispense medicine. We could hear gunfire and bombs at all hours of the day and night. It was probably one of the craziest things that I have ever done. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

5. I once had an Incan Princess in my class. Sisimac Duchicella was a cute little 3rd grader in my class in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She was also a direct decendent of Atahualpa. Her family was still treated like royalty among the Incan decendents. Just Googled Sisimac and found her on Facebook.

6. My favorite food is black beans and rice. (I was destined to live in the 3rd world) Maybe this one seems a little mundane after sharing all my crazy adventures. But I think that it tells a lot about me. My heart and my stomach both reside in the developing world. If I could travel anywhere in the world I would choose a 3rd world market over a cafe in Paris any day. You should also know that I would also love a cafe in Paris or any other adventure I might find. I love learning and experiencing real life and real cultures.

7. My first teaching job was teaching Kindergarten on the Navajo Nation in Tuba City, Arizona. I was the only non Native American teacher in the school. They called me "the lello haired teacher". This was the first of many great adventures in teaching. I had never even been to Arizona, I didn't even know anyone in the surrounding states. I had thought that I wanted to be a missionary and had gone to seminary right out of college. After my first year of seminary, I decided I could actually serve "the least" better by being a teacher. So I took a job on the Navajo Nation. It was a great way to start my career as a teacher. I learned a lot about teaching and caring for the whole child and their community.

So there you go. 7 things you may not have known about me. I hope that my next 20 years of teaching is full of as many adventures as the first 20. Pin It Now!


mindelei said...

You really have lived such an interesting life! I feel blessed that you are in my PLN and I have the opportunity to learn from you. Megwich.

Ms. Tina said...

I loved reading your post about your life. I don't know you but know that you must be an fun person! I grew up traveling overseas as a child wish that I could still do so. I haven't had quite the same experiences you have but they definitely have shaped my views and appreciation for people and life! Thank you for your wonderful and interesting post!

Martha said...

Ms. Tina,

I agree. My views of the world have been shaped by my experiences. I wish that everyone could/would move beyond their known and learn about others.

Mrs. D said...

ye gads! You could probably written 700 things! What a wealth of experiences... I am so impressed and envious of your life story. I do hope that the next 20 are as full of delightfull stories!
So glad that I tagged you!

Danita Russell said...


What an exciting life! I enjoyed reading your 7 facts and can envision each excursion. I wish you would consider writing a book and putting it on Lulu. I'd love to read about all your experiences!

Keep up the good (and interesting) work!


Paul Bogush said...

Wow...that's the word I keep repeating throughout this post!