One month ago, I left my friends, family, and most of my belongings to move to Saipan — a tiny island between the Pacific ocean and the Philippine sea. Never in a million years would I have predicted the events of the past month.

I had a great plan when I graduated — go to Saipan and get some experience, then come back to the United States and work my way towards getting to France. I know, I’m 22, things would change; there would be some bumps along the road.

I left for Saipan on July 20th, 2015. When I arrived, things were good and things were rough. But I was adjusting. Then 10 days after I landed, typhoon Soudelor ravaged the island (Saipan after Soudelor). I was in shock, my co-workers were in shock, the islanders were in shock. It was the worst typhoon in 30 years, people said.

The school suffered significant damage — both structurally and cosmetically — so we all pitched in to help where we could. At the end of the first week, my principal and vice principal pulled me into a classroom where we talked about a few options…such as if this was really the best time to start an ESL program.

With the knowledge that the program I had been hired to start might not happen and they would send me home, I started putting in a few applications for jobs back home and abroad. Long story short, within 1 week of that conversation, I lost my job, was offered a new one in China, failed my French MTEL, and made plans to go to Texas while I figured things out.

On July 20th, I had a ten year plan. It’s August 20th and I barely have a 1 week plan. I am emotionally drained, mentally exhausted, and physically stretched by my living conditions. Am I okay? Yes. Am I happy? Not right now. But in the midst of disaster and tragedy, when life is spiraling out of my control, God is present and in control of the future.


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