Stories are Meant to be Told

Mind Mirrors started off as a small project, giving voice to agents of change, regardless of field or study. With professional commitments stretching me out, this space has been through a silence phase. However, it is Spring and so another entry is coming to open up reflections and possible discussions.

As an educator, I have worked in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Packing, unpacking, adapting, re-adapting is an essential part of my life. Over the years, I have met many other professionals, who like me, whether growing up in different environments or working in foreign countries, have shared many of their wonderful stories with me.

My next visitor is an example of how one learns, adapts, re-adapts to changes – both in landscapes and educational management. With a vision to share and stories to tell, Mark Curcher is an exceptional case of talent, inspiration and vision.

Currently, Mark is the Director for 21st Century Educators – A Passion for Learning , an educational program offered by TAMK, in Finland.

As an educator and educational leader, Mark also has much to share as someone who has travelled the world in pursuit of the best practices for educational change.

Let me offer you a taster:

What if by Mark Curcher

From lands of sand and sun, Mark now lives in a land of trees and never ending Summer days. Join us here as we find out more about what it takes to be a successful expat, global educator and educational innovator.

Because, after all, stories are meant to be told.

THE STAVES WINTER TREES from Karni and Saul on Vimeo.

 

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R is for Rabi

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
Friedrich Nietzsch

Katmandu is not particularly known for its night-time views. If anything at all, it would be for its hushed darkness and crying crows. The conversation that follows shares,  not only the educational sounds of Nepal, but also the sounds you may hear in certain quarters of this sprawling capital.

I was privileged enough to have first met Ravi at his office in Katmandu, before visiting other regions of Nepal. Still brimming with the energy of a happy academic year which had just ended, I listened quietly to Ravi. However, at that moment in time, I still did not have the necessary points of reference to fully understand him. Problems were meant to be solved. Solutions were always at hand. There were always options to introduce. Or so I thought.

Some issues did puzzle me; but I had not seen enough nor experienced enough, first hand to fully understand.

On returning to Katmandu, Ravi graciously agreed to do an interview with me. I tried linking up online, so to save him time and the distance to my location. However, there were technical  glitches and in the end, we recorded our talk. Even to sit and talk a while, was a challenge – we had to walk about, looking for a quiet location where we would not be disturbed and where the recording would have good sound quality.

In the end, we sat outside, besides a swimming pool. You may here other sounds of life surrounding us; they are sounds of life.

Rabi Karmacharya, was born and raised in his native Nepal. Having won the opportunity to join a youth meeting in Canada was the beginning of a new way of life for him. He later took his degrees in the USA and shortly after graduating from his master’s, he got a job in Silicon Valley.

Living in the fast lane, earning well, holding a dream job in the world’s most sought location for high tech, would be sufficient for any young professional, anywhere in the world.  Rabi used his time perfecting his tech skills, loved what he did, but as he looked beyond his shoulders and observed how his peers were living, something struck him: was he going to spend the rest of his life working hard in order to buy a bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger, better whatever?

It was at that point in time that he looked deep inside himself and decided to return to Nepal. Life had to have more substance, more meaning to him.

And so Rabi began another chapter in his life. Against everyone’s opinion, he set up a tech company which became successful in a short span of time. At the height of his company’s success, again Rabi was left hollow, still restless, still looking for meanings.

He left the company and gave the managing position to another Nepalese who, having completed his degree,  had returned from the States. Already one can see how Rabi is a mover and shaker when it comes to social change, for in Nepal (or in many other places for that matter), one does not easily step down from a CEO position to pass it on to another who can continue implementing change.

Vision, belief and energy are words easily related to  Rabi. Having experienced education both in Nepal and in the USA, he decided to open another company. A different kind of company.

OLE Nepal is an organisation focused on education and technology. Not any kind of NGO, but one which refuses to pay bribes to officials in order to get things done. No simple task in Nepal. From teacher training to implementing ICT in Education – in a nation where roads are scarce, electricity regularly rationed and teachers absent, OLE Nepal has come a long way, opening centres and projects throughout the whole country.

Rabi – Mind Mirrors

Thank you Rabi for your time, insights and sharing your passion of quality and change in society  education!

If you would like to know more about Rabi’s work and contribution towards Change, visit the

Open Learning Exchange of Nepal.

Eastern Promise

East, West, North, South. Where does one begin the journey?

Foreign lights beckon me, spices delight me. Rapid rivers entice me, sandy beaches with lazy coconut trees will always seduce me. So where does one begin?

More significantly, how does one make sense of all the directions, all the journeys, all the fading maps and postcards?

Maps. My body is a map of lands I love –  fields I have cycled in,  jungles I have crawled through, rivers I have drafted on, mountains I have looked down from.

The travel is easy. The lights are bright.  Recapturing the journey is more complex. Maps and destinies entwine, fiction blends with memory.

And so I stop and review a map. Just a random map of destiny. What is this thing, this map of destiny? A direction. A desire. Destiny is a mirage one impulsively runs towards, skipping, sliding, gliding.

Destiny awaits, whether one wishes it or not, regardless if prepared or with another preferred destination.  

Come. Come sit by me.

Let us sit by the water for the day is still young. Let us sit and through the weaving of our words, re-shape our destinies, hoping that glimmers of sense shine through all we have been through. Through the maps, the torn postcards, the lost stamps.

What changes does destiny bring us? What voices do the young now have? What will their destinies be?

My next guest is a young teacher from Canada who now lives in Korea.

Matthew Michael is an EFL teacher in Seoul, South Korea. He is currently working towards his Master of Education in Leading and Managing Educational Organisations.  Matt has been teaching for 9 years. He taught in Japan 4 years and has been teaching in Korea for the past 5 years.

He and his wife hope to continue in the field of EFL, but are still trying to determine what role they will play in their future goals.

Home is now Korea. As a Canadian-born professional, this transition has been challenging. Deciding to live permanently in another culture is a life-altering experience and requires particular coping skills that a visitor or expat may not require.

Matt enjoys gaming and curates a successful site on Scoop.it, Everything Gaming. He also loves travelling and watching sports.