We began thinking about teaching overseas at the end of September 2008 and immediately started the long process of updating resumes, collecting recommendations, submitting paperwork and making travel plans. In December of 2008 our files with International Schools Services were complete and the letters of application began to go out. Every day would bring new jobs to our attention and we would diligently research the country and school. Soon we had our first inquiries and the task of setting up preliminary interviews began. With such dramatic time differences we were interviewing at some odd hours!

The challenge of finding a school with two available music positions was present from the beginning. The search was further narrowed by job descriptions and locations. The American International School of Kuwait popped up on the radar rather early and was on the list for a long time. Though initially mixed on the prospect of teaching in such a different country, any uneasiness was calmed by numerous emails, phone conversations and eventually meeting at an ISS job fair in San Francisco in February 2009.

We met with the superintendent over dinner and talked about the school, philosophy, culture, history, music and a thousand more topics. We traveled back to our hotel knowing our options. If we nailed our interviews, the jobs were ours. Who we are as people and music educators really came through and we won the positions.

In March, and subsequent months, the task of relocating and everything that such an endeavor involves weighed heavily upon us. Medical clearance, selling a home and posessions, summer travel plans; the list never seemed to get shorter until July 4 when we left Salem, Oregon for the last time. After that weekend we could look forward to whatever was next – Marrakesh Moroccan Restaurant in Portland, Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program in Seattle, Orff Schulwerk training in Las Vegas, exploring the Arizona desert, visiting family and friends in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, or traveling by train back to the pacific northwest. It was an amazing break before the next incredible experience on which all the effort from the previous ten months was aimed; living and working in Kuwait City. -b

An Afternoon  in the Park