katedana.com

WorldTeach Feature

My article as a featured WorldTeach Alumni, originally appearing on their website http://www.worldteach.org in September 2015. All content ©2015 WorldTeach.org

WorldTeach Volunteers Alumni Network

WorldTeach thanks you deeply for your commitment to your students, for your service to our partner countries and organizations and for your dedication to international development through improved educational quality and access. You are amongst the over 7,000 volunteers who are the reason we exist as an organization and we hope that you forever feel a part of this special WorldTeach global community.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT SEPTEMBER 2015:

Meet Kate Dana, WorldTeach Colombia 2014

1) What year and program were you involved with for WorldTeach?

WorldTeach Colombia 2014 – placed in Barranquilla, Atlántico

2) What is one fun fact about yourself?

I was a member of an all-girls scooter club, San Francisco Scooter Girls, and owned two vintage Vespas, a 1964 VNB 125 and a 1978 P200, both of which I worked on mechanically and rode for miles through the hills of Napa Valley and Northern California, including 72 miles around Lake Tahoe

3) Where was your favorite place you traveled and why?

Isla San Andrés in Colombia, in the department (State) of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. This tiny, seahorse-shaped island, located near Nicaragua, is rich with white sand beaches, shallow clear blue waters and colorful coral reefs. I spent five days during my WorldTeach 2014 volunteer year on Isla San Andrés, mingling with the mix of Creole, English and Spanish speakers (most of Afro-Caribbean descent) dancing to rhythmic island music, eating delicious seafood and exploring this gorgeous, inspiring oasis.

4) What are you up to now?

I am an avid traveler and inspired writer with a focus on the Caribbean coast of South America, chronicling my life one adventure at a time on www.katedana.com. I was recently featured on Lillie Marshall’s Teaching Traveling website about my experiences in Colombia and with WorldTeach at http://www.teachingtraveling.com/2015/08/04/teach-abroad-colombia/. Currently, I live and work in Cartagena de Indias, Bolivár, teaching secondary-level English and Information Communications Technology with Aspaen Gimnasio Cartagena de Indias.

5) How did WorldTeach have an influence on what you do now?

WorldTeach was a gateway into this fantastic life in Colombia. Though I struggled in my first volunteer months, I found my own way, teaching and living abroad in a very unique culture. WorldTeach helped me prove to myself that persistence and patience often pay off, and that you don’t always need to fit in to a situation; sometimes it’s better to own it and make it yours. Finally, I learned that if you are determined to make something difficult become great, shifting your focus may eventually change a struggle into a dream come true.

Photo: Kate Dana in Guatapé, Antioquia Colombia, May 2015