And the Winner Is …

It has been four years since I announced that I was leaving Las Vegas and moving to San Salvador. Here are a few thoughts, in award-ceremony format, to update you on my experience:

Biggest Surprise- The warm and welcoming nature of the people of El Salvador

Best Trip- Oaxaca City, Mexico (other nominees in this competitive category include Antigua, Guatemala, and the Lake Atitlán area of Guatemala)

Significant Music Discovery- Maná

MVP- Arely Gramajo (runner-up: Hudak Hendrix)

What I Miss Most about Vegas- the desert Southwest (the Red Rock Canyon area, Valley of Fire, Zion, etc.)

Biggest Disappointment- I’m still not conversational in Spanish

What I Wish I Would’ve Known- How demanding and consuming it can be to teach at an international school (and, perhaps, any high school)

Teaching Highlight- An open mike-style poetry event that was hosted by one of my students, during which every member of the class got on stage and read an original poem. I read, too, as did my colleague Dr. Bud Navero. The poems were outstanding and presented with poise. All while being observed by the chair of the English department.

Biggest Bummer- Not being able to talk to my parents occasionally (I don’t have a U.S. cell number and they don’t use Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.)

Biggest Regret- There were no qualified nominees in this category

Lesson Learned- If you’re not content or if things feel stagnant, it’s never too late to make a significant change

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