The week before my family and I left Australia to start yet another new life as educators in Qatar we had a meeting with our 'retirement' specialist. We had been avoiding this meeting as we are are always a little embarrassed to go and admit we are a little slow in planning for, thinking about or acknowledging that one day we may have to retire. I suppose one reason for this is that we are having such an interesting and exciting time (read also between the lines exhausting and stressful) as international educators. Anyway, our man behind the desk has lived our international life vicariously for the past ten years and is always pleased to see us and hear our latest adventures. This time he sat back and looked at us with quite a sense of admiration (rather than disturbed alarm as many others do) and said, "You know, you have really lived the dream. You have done something that many others are too afraid or have not had the opportunity to do."
I have been thinking about this statement over the past week as we settle into Qatar. In between unpacking our mouldy 18 cubic metres of shipping sent from Bangladesh (and throwing a great deal of it out, including personal items such as photos and paintings), in between getting to know many new colleagues at Qatar Academy, in between opening a bank account, having our medicals, leasing a car and driving it ourselves along the Doha freeways, in between walking around our new housing compound at dawn (the coolest time of the day now), in between attending new staff orientation sessions and finding our way around the enormous Qatar Foundation Education City campus, in between joining a new jazz band and playing my first gig last night at a sophisticated event at the Pearl (if you know anything about Doha you will understand where this is), in between all of this I have been thinking that opportunities are always there for everyone. It is a matter of knowing when to take them and then having the courage to do so. It is a matter of having confidence and prioritising your life and allowing yourself the luxury of chasing and finding the dream and allowing the journey to be just as important, if not more so, than the dream itself.
I encourage you all to live your dream and be risk takers in life. You never know where it may take you and what you may find. If you are an educator and/or and educational blogger maybe your journey will take you to our EduBlogger World first organised event and virtual meetup on Thursday August 23. I blogged about this before and full details can be found on the EduBlogger World wiki on the Virtual Meetup page.
There will be TWO synchronous events on this day, August 23. These are listed on the airset calendar for EduBlogger World. If you are not familiar with airset.com it is very easy to start a calendar and add events and other calendars. Also, if you set the preferences to your own time zone every event that is posted on any calendar will come up in your time....this is SUCH a great feature!
For the sake of this blog post I am sharing the times of 2 synchronous events in GMT. Here they are:
Thursday August 23 at 2am-3am GMT: Hosted by Julie Lindsay (me)
Thursday August 23 at 7.30-8.30pm GMT: Hosted by Vicki Davis
Don't forget there will be events on Second Life as well....check the Ning and the wiki for these.
Both of these sessions will be in Elluminate so make sure you download the software first and open up the Elluminate room. More details about this will be available on the Ning on Wednesday.
So, live the dream, participate and let's see what sense we can make of this international blogging world. Don't forget to tag your blog posts on this day with edubloggerworldmeetup2007 and to share a photo of where you are and talk about your blogging and online experiences. The world will be waiting to hear from you! I will be sharing more of my experiences in Qatar and some ideas for how we can expand and connect the edublogger community.
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