Saturday, 21 March 2015

Opportunity Awaits

So here is my story of how I got a job on Nevis...

Some of you know that I was able to get an interview, then it got cancelled and was rescheduled for this past Monday. Well, what an adventure that was!

My interview was scheduled for 10 am with someone from the Ministry of Education. I made sure to have all my required paperwork ready to go which included transcripts, passport, resume, application, reference letters and birth certificate. Thankfully I met someone here who works for the Ministry (also from Mississauga) and he helped me make this connection. I am so blessed to get this opportunity that I was just thankful to have this initial meeting not knowing the possible outcome. 

So I got all "interview ready" which included straightening my hair for the first time on the island...I doubt I will do that again. It was very hot and by the end I had to change my clothes haha, and once I was driving my hair got messed up anyway from the wind :P

To make sure I didn't get lost, I gave myself plenty of extra time, I did have to make one phone call to figure out where to go because the instructions I received initially were to go past the round-a-bout on your right, and go over the "drain or grate thing" and then keep driving... hmmm okay then. Well I thought I had an idea of where to go, it's just past a gas station, and that was never mentioned in my instructions haha. Anyway turns out, I was about 30 feet away from the building I needed to be at when I made my phone call. So that was great! I arrived 15 minutes early and waited patiently. 

I actually wasn't feeling nervous at all. I think because I was going in with an open mind, and to not expect anything. I just wanted to make an initial contact and meet some new people. As I'm sitting there, a nice looking lady walks in and sits beside me, I then find out she is the principal at the school I am interested in!!! I didn't think she was coming to the meeting, but here she was! So of course I do my best not to fumble my introduction and start asking about the school. 
It's a special needs school, and they currently have about 20 students ranging in ages from 4-16, all with varying special needs. PERFECT :)

So we get called into the meeting and well, it was definitely not your average interview. The Ministry lady basically said it's up to the principal to decide if they could use me. The principal described that right now there is an immediate need for someone to help a young child aged 5 with autism who has pretty severe behaviors and is on PECS. All my Erinoak friends will understand that. Sounds perfect for me!! I immediately talk about my experience in that area and present my resume. The Ministry lady seemed impressed that I had all my documents ready to go. So she went to photocopy my passport and the principal and I talked some more. The meeting basically ended with me going to the school right after to get a tour, and the principal wanted me there 5 days a week if possible. It all depends on budgeting, and she has to write a letter to the Ministry explaining her needs. When the Ministry lady looked at my resume and saw my address she asked more details and it turns out she has seen me running before because she lives close to us! Hahaha! #smallworld #smallisland 
So it sounds like any sort of work visa I may get won't happen until after Easter, and I think I will be starting off at part time. Pay wasn't really discussed, at this point I would be happy with enough to pay for groceries each week :P

So I followed the principal to the school. I was blown away!! This woman has so much passion for her job it was so refreshing! She is originally from England so she knows about ABA, there is also an SLP at the school from the US. The property was more than I could have imagined. It recently got rebuilt and it sounds like the principal was in charge of the whole rebuild. I even met the lady who the school is named after! What a privilege! Not to mention the kids I met were amazing! They were so cute, not shy at all! Unfortunately the girl the principal wants me to work with wasn't there that day, but I saw where her work station is, and I was able to learn more about her. This principal was so nice, but she is a very busy lady! She has three children, one who has autism, and another on the spectrum. She is teaching the children farming, she really believes in the kids being on a healthy diet to help manage behaviors. She wants to hire a karate expert to help the kids manage their energy, and teach them how to make smoothies. She is in charge of arranging a trip to the Bocce Ball competition, Nevis is in the finals this summer. This is just a few of her projects underway. 
So our meeting ended with me coming back next Monday to hopefully meet the little girl. I could tell that this seemed to be the most important need right now. She is really concerned about this little girl, and I can only hope that I am able to help the school out in any way possible. I'm a little nervous for that part because I have to realize that this is not set up like the place I'm used to working in, so it will take a lot of creativity to adapt to the resources that Nevis has, and to be able to utilize what we do have available. It should make for a fun adventure though. 

After I got home, Kyle had finished his exams and his classmates wanted to go out and celebrate, so we went to this fancy restaurant! Although we didn't know it was fancy until we got there! It was called Bananas. The name doesn't really sound fancy, but the venue sure was! It was hidden in the middle of the mountain, and you had to travel along this one lane sketchy road for a good 10 minutes following teeny tiny signs. We managed to find the place and I was blown away. The only way to describe the setting is by looking at the pictures below :)

The prices for the food were slightly outrageous and it looks like a place that you only eat at once a year :P. But it was a great setting and we got to see a nice sunset. It was a great way to end the day...although once we had to pay, that was not so great. Haha. Kyle got steak and he loved it! So he said it was worth it. 

I'm excited for this new opportunity on the island. I am worried about how I can manage my school work with this potential job, because school is starting to pick up again. I hope I can mange both. The whole point of me doing my school on the island here was because I wouldn't be working. I'm not the type to be able to work and be a student at the same time. A lot of people can handle that stress, I'm just not one of them. I will keep you updated on how my first day goes on Monday. Now that,I am nervous for ;)

An Expensive French Onion Soup

An extra dinner date :) 

Miss you all!! 

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