Dancing

Yesterday’s prompt from the Daily Post was “dancing“.

I’ve always loved to watch people dance and wished I could dance as well myself. I’m just not what you’d call ‘light on my feet’. I never got the hang of it and almost never even try any more. I’d rather just enjoy watching.

line dancing ladies from Lebanon

Those first 3 were taken during my last vacation (I can’t believe it’s already been a year- but I’ve really been jonesing lately). I took a dinner cruise down the Bosphorus. That’s the waterway that divides the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.

It was a really nice cruise. We had an interesting dinner of local appetizers- olives, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, carrot salad, sliced meat, cheese and then a choice of chicken or fish. The crew put flags around the tables of each person’s nationality. It helped make for many good conversations.

After dinner, we had entertainment. We started with a performance by a whirling dervish. Then the crew dressed in costumes and danced the different traditional styles from all over Turkey. Later the belly dancers came out and got everyone going. By the time they finished, everyone was ready to get out on the floor themselves.

Besides the dinner and dancing, the sights outside the windows were beckoning too. I sat out on the deck watching the shipping traffic pass by and enjoying the fresh cool breeze along the water. I was so excited to see all the minarets poking up from the mosques lit up in the night. Over the low hum of the engines I could hear the faint calls to prayer. It all drove home exotic Istanbul for me.

These next 3 were from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I went down there last February to get certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). I stayed for about a month. I would’ve stayed longer but I had a promising call about a real job (offshore- I had already been out of work for over 6 months), so I flew back home. Sadly, the job fell through.

I loved PV! I lived right next door to the language school and just a couple of blocks from the ocean. There were only 4 other students in my class, so we all got to know each other. Every weekend, our teacher would take us all on a field trip. I had a blast!

I loved to take the bus to the old town. I would walk up and down the Malecon, take pictures and talk to people. There was always something going on. Every weekend there was a farmers market at the square down there. Friday nights were for dancing!

The local dance schools put on a show for everyone that was free for all. They danced the different dances from all over Mexico. Their dancing was fantastic, especially considering how young some of them were. You could tell they were having a good time together. Their costumes were so colorful. I really loved watching them. 🙂

I haven’t been back to start teaching yet, but I’m missing Mexico more and more.

8:00 Friday Night

And I’ve been nodding off for the last half hour.

What the hell is happening to me?

Yeah, I know I’m getting older, but I used to be up til 2-3 in the morning every weekend. I never went to bed before midnight even during the week when I had early classes. I was quite the party girl for a lot of years. You would never know it now. 🙁

Now, I’m almost always in bed by 11 pm. I might read for a few minutes. But I used to read for a couple of hours, or even all night if it was a good book. Now, I’m too tired and sleeping within a half hour no matter how good the book is.

I can’t even blame it on getting up early. The only time I wake up early now is when I go to work in Houston (3-5 days/month). That wipes me out for the week. I go up there Monday-Tuesday. So I’m up til 1-2 in the morning Sunday night. Get up at 0430 Monday morning. To sleep around midnight Monday night. Up at 0430 Tuesday. And a good thing they cancelled work Wednesday cause I’ve been so sleepy driving to and from work.

I’ve been home since December, other than my month in Puerto Vallarta getting TEFL certified. In all that time, I haven’t accomplished anything, partly due to nodding off half the time. I think the stress of being in limbo is really getting to me. 🙁

The Daily Post: Beach

I haven’t posted the last couple of days. I needed a break after finishing up the A to Z Challenge. I’m not used to posting every day and it was exhausting. It was fun and a great way to meet other bloggers, but I’m glad it’s over.

Today I’m back with a post for the Daily Post. The first one in a while I feel like I can respond to. I don’t really like what they’ve been doing lately with their ‘one word’ challenges. But I do know a lot about the beach. 😉

I’m from Florida. I spent a lot of time on the beach where I grew up, around Madeira Beach. It used to be so nice, quiet and peaceful. It was very relaxed and we were able to enjoy it pretty much every day.

I was never into sun bathing. As a redhead, I get sun burned easily, so I try to avoid just roasting myself. I liked to go swimming and snorkeling, shell hunting, observing the plants and animals, and just walking along the water. Friends would start up a game of frisbee, touch football, or volleyball. Sometimes we would have a BBQ with a bonfire.

I remember going out to Egmont Key, just outside Tampa Bay. We would head out in the Island Girl and raft up with a bunch of other sailors. We would spend the weekend out there, playing with our friends (all ages- from babies to oldsters). We had some really great times.

When I moved to Texas, I used to spend a lot of time on the beach at Surfside and Bryan Beach. My class would go down there to practice taking sights for our celestial navigation. We would go camp out for the weekends, have a bonfire where we’d cook out, sing songs, tell sea stories and play music.

I still like to go to Surfside. I love to go in the Winter when it’s quiet. I like to sit and watch the water, listen to the wind and the waves, watch the birds, look for shells, and just enjoy the peace away from everybody.

I travel a lot and there’s usually a beach involved at some point there too. In Thailand, it’s Phuket. In Indonesia (Bali), it’s Kuta. In Mexico, it’s Cancun, but I have to say Puerto Vallarta is hard to beat. 😉

Do you have a favorite beach? Which one? Why?

A to Z: TEFL

Todays post for the A to Z Challenge is: TEFL-teaching English as a foreign language. This is something I’ve been considering since we first went to Thailand to find the cause of the tsunami when I was still working for Oceaneering.

I really loved Thailand and wanted to figure out a way to move there. I started looking into what it would take to move there permanently. I found out that I would not be allowed to work as anything other than an English teacher.

Of course, if I wasn’t working- if I wanted to open a business and hire locals, or I was rich enough to ‘retire’ with a steady income- then I would be welcome. I just wouldn’t be allowed to take any job from a local.

Turns out, it was pretty much the same story in every other country I looked into. 🙁

For years, taking the TEFL course was in the back of my mind. I was interested in doing it, but as long as I was working offshore, I just couldn’t justify giving up that lifestyle.

Well, things have changed drastically around here lately. I got laid off last September. I did manage to find a job after that, but it didn’t last long. I work a couple of days a month up in Houston. I’m still hoping to get a call to go back offshore any day, but it’s getting harder to keep that hope going as the days keep passing with no calls, no response to emails or online applications, nothing. 🙁

I finally went to take the course and get certified in TEFL. I had a great time while taking the course in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico a couple of months ago. I got to teach and I actually kind of enjoyed it. I think once I get used to it, I might like it.

I came back home because I was supposed to ship out for a short job. Short, but long enough to stock up the savings again. I had planned to go right back down to Mexico to start teaching. I had to put that on hold. I’m still waiting to ship out. 🙁

Dance

Here’s a photo for the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance. 

I took this photo one Friday night at the Fiesta Mexicana in Old Puerto Vallarta.

I was down there for a month getting certified to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL). Every Friday night there were dance shows downtown by the beach. I never got there early enough to get a good seat, it was always packed at least a half hour before the show started. It was a real challenge to get any decent pictures.

This is one of my favorites. The show started with Spanish dances. 🙂

Moving Day

Class is over and they’ve already started picking up new students for next months class. I need to move out of this apartment I’ve been staying in all month.

I found a nice looking place downtown. I’ll be packing up and moving out later this morning. I still have some food here, I’ll give it to the other girls in the class. They’re all staying on here for at least a few days.

We went out for a celebratory drink last night. We found a place right on the beach with margaritas for only 15 pesos (less than $1)!

I would try to put up a couple of photos, but my computer is refusing to let me see them! It is apparently stuffed full and I need to delete some programs to make room. I’ve already been storing all my photos on thumbdrives, they’re not even on the computer. I have no idea what I can delete without screwing up something I need. I guess that means I can’t look at any photos til I get home to see the computer guy. 🙁

Graduation!

It’s over. The time flew by so fast. My time in Puerto Vallarta is coming to an end.

I went to class this morning only to have any last minute questions answered and to receive my final documents. I got my TEFL certificate and letter of recommendation. I have an official TEFL website now and it doesn’t look too bad. Check it out! Let me know what you think. 🙂

We had our class photo taken with our newly minted diplomas, and that was it!