If you think of the year abroad as a metaphorical game of snakes and ladders, it would seem that I’ve stumbled down a huge snake all the way back to square one. About 10 days before I was supposed to leave for my teaching placement in Toluca, I received a disconcertingly casual email from the coordinator of the school informing me that the placement had been cancelled due to an “unstable staff situation” and my future host family pulling out (the very previous day they had sent me a touching email about how they were looking forward to welcoming me as part of their family… #🐍).
Luckily I was down in Southampton at the time, so I basically ran to Avenue Campus to look for a lecturer who could hopefully help me sort this mess out. Fortunately I found Paty who helped me figure out what I would do.The next few days consisted of numerous emails and phone calls back and forth with basically the whole Spanish department; various ideas were thrown in the mix: Scrap Mexico and study with Erasmus in Spain? Teach in Spain (Irina had been sent a last minute vacancy)? Or try to reorganise Mexico?
A veritable roller coaster of emotions later, I can finally confirm (touch wood) that I am indeed still going to Mexico, but not to Toluca as originally planned and hoped, but instead to Mexico City, the capital. I had chosen Toluca because I wanted to be close to the centre of the country, but away from the pollution, traffic and “danger” associated with Mexico City, however now I am feeling a lot more positive about this change of fate. It’s just frustrating how I was so well prepared for Toluca – I had already been researching since the winter which clubs I would join, local places I wanted to visit on weekends and I’d joined all the relevant Facebook pages. Now it feels like I’m back at square one, and with less than a week until my flight I’ve got a lot of research to catch up on, let alone resubmit my risk assessment and tweak my YARP. Wish me luck! 🤞