For some reason this week my attention has turned to the future and more specifically, the next part of my year; heading to Oaxaca.
Here is what I have been thinking about this week, and writing it out like this does also help explain why I got to the weekend exhausted from sheer mental effort; I do also have a full time day job!
I have completely rewritten my resume into an international form, which is where the companies I have worked for don’t take as high a priority (as people overseas won’t know them) and my personality and skill set needs to sell me into an international setting. The focus is now more about flexibility, adaptability and communication than awards and high profile projects.
During my weekly Spanish lesson, we are also going to work on translating my resume into Spanish, not only as a good exercise for me, but also as a great document to take with me. I know, why am I taking a resume when I will be volunteering? Well, I think this is the measure of a good non-profit. Would you really entrust key areas of your operation to a random backpacker?
Where in the World?
I think I have sorted out where I am going on my way to Oaxaca, and then I need to get back in touch with my poor travel agent to complete this process (he has started this brief 3 times now, and each time my plans changed, meaning it was better to put it on hold).
The around the world countries are pretty much the same as when I first planned, however now Bilbao and San Sebastian (Spain) get included, and since my flight has to go via Zurich, it makes sense to try to get a train up into the mountains for a day trip when I am there.
To Find an Apartment or to HomeStay?
I have also looked into housing for my first month in Oaxaca, as i will arrive around mid October, and November 1 & 2 is Dia de los Muertos which means the city accommodation will be really booked out, since Day of the Dead is one of Oaxaca’s most touristy times.
In my first month, while i have a short term place to stay, I can determine which neighborhoods I like, where everything is, and areas I don’t want to be, in order to find myself an apartment for the year.
I did find a great short term studio, and emailed the manager, confirmed the dates were available, and organized to send through the deposit shortly ( wow, super expensive to send money to Mexico from New Zealand)!
However thank goodness I didn’t send money, as then I started thinking that for My first month, wouldn’t it be better to stay with a family in a homestay?
I would have people to chat to (slowly), get to know, eat with and generally assist me in getting to know Oaxaca. For some weird reason as well, homestays have been a topic on my Facebook, websites I have visited and chapters in books I am reading. I am taking that as a sign. Also I had the best homestay last year in Puerto Vallarta with Eva, now one of my dearest friends.
It also makes sense to enrol in a Spanish school as this is part of my planned routine when in Oaxaca (dependent obviously); school in the morning, work from lunchtime to close. The reason I am looking at this now is that the more I can prepay (or at least arrange funds for) the easier finances will be once I am actually there
I have also enrolled myself in a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course which I am doing currently – 20 hours in Internet modules and 20 grueling hours one weekend in Auckland next month. This is to give me a back up source of income while i am there (if needed) as going a year without getting paid does freak me out a little.
So, now my tasks for this coming week; to find a homestay for the first month, look into Spanish school reviews and costs and complete another TEFL module. Good thing this weekend is a long weekend!