Category Archives: Kailie Nagrath

Arriving in a New City

Upon arriving, there was no time to waste. My bags were fetched, and in moments we were loaded into a car that would take me to my new apartment. I looked out the window with wide eyes as I speculated on the wonders that this new city held — from street corners, to street walkers, to bustling kiosks and jeepneys making their way through crowded streets, I took it all in. Soon I would get to know this city more intimately, but now was not the time for window gazing – there were more important items of business that needed to be addressed – and yes in the car ride! I was first handed an envelope, filled with a settling-in allowance to get me through the initial weeks before my first paycheck. I was also given a broadband USB stick for my computer, so that I could have internet access as soon as I walked into my apartment. Several other necessities were taken care of right there in the car ride – I was handed the keys to my new apartment (more on that later), tourist pamphlets and maps of the city, schedules for the upcoming weeks of staff orientation leading up to the first day of school, and answers to the multitude of questions that were
uncontrollably popping into my head.
The most common question, a remnant from my childhood, “Are we there yet?” was running through my excited mind. I was so anxious to see where my new home was, and what it would be like! Before no time, I was pulling into a luxury apartment complex — my new home! Walking through a palm tree lined entrance way and taking the elevator up to my floor, I entered a beautiful 3BR unit where I was greeted by my two roommates, also newly hired interns, who were waiting for me with open arms and a warm welcome.
Excited for the year that the three of us would be sharing together and the anticipation of what the upcoming orientation was going to be like, I couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that it was only two days ago that I was on the other side of the world, and yet here I was staring at two perfect strangers in a foreign land and already feeling so much at home.

Teaching Overseas — The Adventure Begins!

This afternoon I walked off one of the most anticipated flights of my entire life. From
the time I first entered college I dreamed of what this exact moment would feel like
and there is no doubt it exceeded all expectations.
The days leading up to my journey to the Philippines to begin my first job after
college, were filled with excitement and massive preparation. There were travel
documents that had to be updated, banking and tax documents that had to be
completed, along with medical records and a host of other formalities that had to be
submitted to the school before departing for my new job. Not to mention packing
which is always a challenge especially when you’re packing for a year!
Despite all these preparations and the excitement leading up to my departure,
nothing could have prepared me for the anxiousness I felt as the plane touched
ground in Manila, and a new chapter of my life was about to begin. Knowing my
flight had been delayed by more than 24 hours, I worried about figuring out my
transportation from the airport to the school. Walking off the plane, and heading
into baggage claim, my heart pounded faster, as I wondered what I should do if no
one from the school was there to greet me.
My fears were completely unfounded, as soon as I turned the corner to the baggage
claim area, the first face I saw in this unfamiliar airport, was a familiar one. It was
none other than David Toze, the superintendent of the International School of
Manila. Mr. Toze, the Head of School who interviewed me on a snowy February day
in Boston — the one who offered me the job, was the very same person who was
there to greet me at the airport, on a steamy hot day in July, in this tropical island
nation on the other side of the world.
What a relief! Right then and there I knew I had landed at the right place. As an
intern, I know I am the low man on the totem pole, so to speak, but to be personally
greeted by the head of the school, sent a very strong message to me on my arrival. It
told me, without words, that I am an important part of the team and I am a valued
member of the ISM community.