Oct 20, 2014…
a random facebook message comes into my inbox from a stranger.
“Hi, I am looking for a native speaker to invite on a paid vacation to communicate with the kids at the Camp in Carpathian mountains. The problem is that it starts in only a week October 27-31, would you possibly be interested?”
This began my relationship with a wonderful Ukrainian friend of mine Olesya. She and her husband Viktor started an English language school in L’viv Ukraine called “Linguistic Center Boyar.” They also arrange weeklong intensive learning camps for young Ukrainians eager to expand their knowledge and practice of English.
Paid vacation teaching English
I responded to Olesya’s facebook message and told her I was interested in hearing more about what this week in camp would look like. Although I wasn’t completely sure if I had just started a conversation with my future kidnapper, so I decided to proceed with caution. I requested a skype interview with Olesya to make sure this friendly and innocent looking blonde woman’s profile pic was in fact, a REAL friendly and innocent blonde woman and not a shaved head former KGB agent running an international kidnapping ring.
After my Skype interview, Oleysa no longer felt threatening. I took an overnight bus to Ukraine a week later. My hosts gave me a tour of a beautiful school they had built in L’viv and shortly after we were boarding some small busses with a few young teachers and lots and lots of kids aged 7-15. We arrived at a beautiful lodge/resort tucked away in the Carpathian mountains. I spent the next 5 days there teaching and participating in some basic English classes and activities.
There were a few overwhelming moments I needed to remind myself of what Olesya had said to me early on “this is a vacation, not a job.” When I saw my time spent in this light it helped me focus on the value of my time. After a week with these lovely teachers, I saw the amazing future they are providing their young students by giving them access to the world of English. This experience easily convinced me of the value of this time spent and it encouraged me to keep a more healthy perspective. Check out the fb page of Boyar Camp for pictures and videos that give a better idea of the excellent work they are doing there.