Back to “ojalá”

When I started this blog I wanted to choose a title that represented the journey I was taking from my teaching job in Woodburn, Oregon to a new job in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I chose the title “From ojalá to insha’Allah” as I felt it best represented the cultural transition I was making. The two words, in Spanish and Arabic respectively, mean essentially the same thing, “God willing”. For me the two words now mean so much more. But, as the title of this posts indicates, I am soon going to be returning to ojalá.

When the 2013-14 school year began I knew it was going to be my final one in the UAE, I just didn’t know what I would be doing next. Throughout fall term I looked for other international teaching positions however, the more I looked the more I was drawn toward returning to the United States. I stopped looking for international jobs and started contacting everyone I knew in Oregon looking for a way to get my foot in the door. Then, I went to Germany for winter break and was reminded, again, how fun it would be to stay overseas a little while longer.

In January I went back to looking for international positions, particularly in Munich (which if you follow this blog, makes perfect sense), and also in Oregon. I came across a few jobs that I thought really fit my teaching goals and my personality, but I was still pretty sure I wanted to return to Oregon.

In March I was contacted by two potential employers and I had Skype interviews with each of them on two consecutive days. One was an Oregon job (a candidate pool, which I was accepted into), the other an international job. I left for spring vacation in Europe with a job offer from the international school in my pocket.  When I arrived in Germany I was pretty certain I still really wanted to return to Oregon.

After many conversations with my amazing friends while in Spain, with my Mom and most importantly with the faculty of the international school I decided that the offer was just too good to pass up.

I am excited to announce that I will be returning to the world of “ojalá” as I have accepted a teaching position with United World College Costa Rica. You can find out more about the school on their website. It is a very unique school and I feel very lucky to call myself their new History Teacher. I am beyond excited to get back into teaching history, to travel to new places and to (fingers crossed) become fluent in Spanish! I just hope I can learn the curriculum in time! I have a lot of studying to do.

I want to say a special thanks to those who helped me process all my “pros & cons”. Thank you Mom & Ken, Elise, Liz & Aaron, Heather and Julia your advice and insights were overwhelming helpful.

Map courtesy of

Map courtesy of



About Andrea

I am teacher and traveler blogging my experiences living as an expat from the USA. From 2007-2012 I lived and worked in Oregon, USA. From 2012 (when I started blogging) to 2014, I lived and worked in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. In August 2014 I begin living and working in Santa Ana, Costa Rica.
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12 Responses to Back to “ojalá”

  1. heatheryoder says:

    You came to this amazing decision on your own. I loved watching how meticulously and objectively you considered your options and truly made the best decision for you. I learned a little something from you that week. And I’m so excited you are going to “Costa Fricka Rica!!” (as my au pair who studied there last semester calls it).

  2. anita says:

    Congrats! On to new and exciting adventures!

  3. Joni Erch says:

    Congrats on your new position, however, I was looking forward to you returning home and becoming our neighbor again. The couple that are in your house are very friendly and it appears keeping the place really nice. Good Luck, ~ Joni

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Joni!! Thank you! I really do miss my house! It was a hard decision. I am glad to hear that the renters are fitting into the neighborhood. I hope you are well!

  4. dwhlibrary says:

    Congratulations! Hopefully your trips to other countries will now include the Dominican Republic! 🙂

  5. That is great news! Costa Rica will be fantastic, and I think you will enjoy some holiday time in Nicaragua, I worked for a month there in the children’s hospitals, there is alot of beauty there 🙂 Check out Granada and Mt. Mombacho

  6. Valerie says:

    I’m so happy you are continuing on your daily discovery, learning the world and yourself. Such hard decisions but this opportunity sounds awesome! It’s been fun to follow along! 🙂

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