Today marks one year back in Canada for me. Not a thing I ever really expected to write again. I was bound and determined to stay permanently in Malawi - it is home to me. However, God had a different plan for me these past twelve months.
I also realize that I have not posted on this blog in a very long time! Life has not been the easiest, and I am looking forward to resuming more regular posts in the near future.
So... what happened since my last post, why am I in Canada, and what am I doing?
I returned to Canada for a few weeks over the summer of 2015 to see family, friends, and take part in some mission activities with the Liebenzell Mission of Canada. I also enrolled in an online teachers ed certificate program through the UK, and attended a one week intensive in Nottingham. I spent a week in Zambia in August at the Liebenzell Mission All-Africa Missionary Summit - it was great getting to meet my fellow co-workers, and learn more about the wider ministry of Liebenzell in Africa and the world. I returned to Malawi and moved into my own little cottage, sub-letting it from a co-worker.
My second year as a Kindergarten and swimming teacher for ABC Christian Academy began - and I loved it! I had great co-workers in my fellow Kindergarten teacher from across the hall, and in my wonderful teaching assistant, and a super fun group of five-year-olds!
However, in October, everything started to crumble... my teaching assistant got married (yay!) and moved away (awww...), and was not replaced for over a month, which essentially doubled my workload, and made day-to-day classes much more stressful (and report cards and parent conferences began); my landlord decided to sell the cottage I was renting, so I ended up moving into the big house with my co-worker and her children (fun, but exhausting to move mid-term); and swimming lessons began, where I was in charge of enrolling 150 students, making up classes, assisting in training instructors, and teaching classes myself.
Suffice it to say, my goal was survival until Christmas break. Most weekends in November, and for much of the December break, I was ill. Over the break, we moved again, as the landlord was continuing to make sudden and strange decisions. An already low number of staff became lower in January, when four staff members, for various reasons, no longer worked at the Academy. This meant that I took on more responsibility, again, and foreseeing this as a difficulty, I suspended my teachers ed studies for a year.
In February, both myself and my co-worker / housemate became seriously ill - I ended up diagnosed with a double lung infection and was prescribed bed rest for a week. Instead of receiving support from my supervisors, I was pressured into returning to work early, asked to take on still more responsibilities, and ended up with worsening health.
At this point, the director of the Liebenzell Mission of Canada and I made the difficult decision that this was no longer a healthy environment for me, and that I needed to return to Canada to be properly diagnosed and recuperate.
So, in March, one year ago, I flew back to Canada. My health continued to deteriorate, and it quickly became clear that there was more going on than a residual lung infection. In July, I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition, which is thankfully relatively easy to treat, once it has been stabilized - which is what my doctors and I have been focused on since my diagnosis.
Of course, I have been up to more than just visiting the doctor, and there are exciting plans being made for the future... but I am going to make you wait for those until my next post!
Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.