A Travellerspoint blog

Dad's birthday


View Teaching and Travelling Abroad on 3Traveller's travel map.

Today and for the last couple of days I have been feeling a bit wobbly inside. I so wish I could have been able to say 'happy birthday' today to Dad on video chat, or even better, in person. It hurts so much to know that I will never be able to do that again. I told one or two people at work about it today and they were really sympathetic, which helped.

I feel the urge to write about an incident from about a month ago that also made me feel distinctly wobbly inside.

It was after my Friday 4-8 pm public sector Upper Intermediate 5 class. A student (now called 'M') offered me a lift home, saying "My family is in the car outside, we wanted to give you a lift because then we can see different areas of Guayaquil". She had never offered me a lift before and I had never met any of her family. Secretly I thought this was a rather peculiar way of offering a person a lift, but accepted with thanks anyway. Now before I go any further I need to mention that 'M' knows about Dad dying, because the class was told about it in their first lesson back after Christmas by the teacher who took it for a couple of weeks in my absence. In my first lesson back with them 'M' came up and said how sorry she was to hear about Dad. The subject had not been mentioned since, however.

As we were driving to my flat she spoke to me in English. After a bit of normal chat, the conversation took an unexpected turn;

'M': "Who do you live with?"
'T': "One of the other teachers. We're housemates"
'M': "And who does your mother live with, in England?"
'T' (taken aback): "Um. Well, she doesn't live with anyone now, but people visit a lot..."
'M' (conversationally): "So, how did you feel when your father died?"
'T' (stunned): "Well..." (short silence while I gathered composure, aware that I had an audience) "Very, very sad. Yes..." (short silence) (change of subject)

Now 'M' is a very kindly person and I could tell that she had absolutely no idea that either of her two latter questions were intrusive. Luckily she was sitting directly behind me and although I had half-turned round in order to be polite when speaking to her, she still couldn't see my face properly. I still tried not to show anything though because I knew her children and husband could see more of my face and I didn't want to embarrass 'M' by revealing through my expression that I thought these questions inappropriate.

Luckily I arrived at my flat only a few minutes later, so I could have a quick bite to eat and have an early night.

Posted by 3Traveller 10:12 Archived in Ecuador Tagged dad ecuador guayaquil english_teaching

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comment with:

Comments left using a name and email address are moderated by the blog owner before showing.

Not published. Required
Leave this field empty

Characters remaining: