An Engineer in the Philippines and the UAE, Part 2

Part 1 was about Mike’s work in the Philippines, particularly his creating a bridge between the Filipino worker and modern technology—the CNC machine, which he calls the Swiss army knife of manufacturing. He advises using Filipino shops to build prototypes for new products.

By Part 2 Mike has moved on to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where he waxes enthusiastic on a number of things he’s come to admire about the place. We talked via Facebook Messenger or Skype while he was in Abu Dhabi and I was in the Philippines. Thanks to Mike for the photos.

Mike’s Read More

Bouncing around the Middle East, Part 3

I met Michele in Korea, when she was teaching English in Cheju Province and I was in Seoul. Recently I asked her for an interview about the time she taught in the Middle East. Part 1 deals with her experience in Kuwait and Part 2 in Oman. Part 3 comes from both a Skype interview and group letters she sent to her friends at the time. Much of her experience in the West Bank has to do with the difficulty of getting around, or as she says of one trip, “So, it was 6:45 p.m. and we were finally home. Read More

Bouncing around the Middle East, Part 2

I met Michele in Korea, when she was teaching English in Cheju Province and I was in Seoul. Recently I asked her for an interview about the time she taught in the Middle East, in Kuwait, Oman and the West Bank. Part 1 deals with her experience in Kuwait. Thanks to Michele for all the photos.

Michele’s story

In 2003 I went to Oman, which was totally different from Kuwait—certainly in Sohar. It was lush. I don’t know what they were growing on those farms, but it was just beautiful. Sohar was a little town on the coast, about a … Read More

Bouncing around the Middle East, Part 1

I met Michele in Korea when she was teaching English in Cheju Province and I was in Seoul. Recently I asked her for an interview about the time she taught in the Middle East, in Kuwait, Oman and the West Bank. This interview took place over Skype from me in the Philippines to Michele in Philadelpha. Thanks to Michele for all photos.

Michele’s story

My introduction to the Middle East was fraught with a lot of tension and uncertainty. In January of 2000 I accepted an offer to go to Kuwait City to teach at AMIDEAST, a nonprofit American … Read More

Toughing It Out, Part 1

This is a 2012 interview done over Skype, when I was in the Philippines and Sharon was in Indianapolis.

Sharon’s story

I started traveling in 2009. I taught in Singapore, China and Indonesia. Then in 2012 via a website I found a position through a recruiting company. The position was with a university preparatory program in Saudi Arabia. The company emailed me my airline ticket for flights from Los Vegas to Istanbul. I didn’t realize they hadn’t arranged for any visa documents. In Istanbul, Turkish Airlines employees helped me sort out my lack of  Saudi entry documents. I had to … Read More