I will be teaching high school physical education and Pepper will be teaching 7th grade humanities at the American International School, Chennai. Chennai? You might know it from the name it had prior to 1996 – Madras.
We’re bummed to be leaving behind some good friends here in Mongolia. Some are leaving anyway so that makes it a little easier. Also, leaving students will be tough. This was my first teaching job. I’m certain to have a special place in my memories of the many students that have made the job worth it.
Chennai is along the southeastern coast of the country. The weather is, well, a lot different than Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia or Petersburg, Alaska. I collected some of the weather information and made graphs to show the change we’ll be going through.
So I can expect less rain than Petersburg every month other than November, when the low temperature is going to be about 70 degrees. It will be hot. A peer told me I’d need two or three changes of clothes every day as a PE teacher. I could be teaching swimming in an outdoor pool in January. That’s a little shift from right now, where some classes are doing ice skating in PE in March.
Our summer will be very short this year. We’ll be leaving Mongolia on about the 20th of June and need to be headed to India on the 23rd of July. We have a lot of things to try and cram into that month. I will be taking tests to certify as a PE teacher. We’ll both be visiting family. We’ll spend only two weeks in Petersburg. The first business will be going through our storage building to collect the things we want to ship to India. We both have resources that will be nice to have there. We’re thinking this will be a longer employment term too. Somewhere between the two years we’re contracted for and five years (which is when Jordan will graduate from high school).
We’re pretty excited about the new positions. The benefits package is comforting. The salary is nice (although we turned town a more lucrative job) and coupled with a lower cost of living than Mongolia or Alaska, our money will go much further. I used Numbero to compare cost of living for Ulaanbaatar and Chennai.
We’re anticipating an almost $25,000 increase (total – for the two of us) between increased pay, lower cost of living, and expenses that will be covered (like annual return flight home) that were not last year. However, the school takes out (but also matches) 12% of our salary for retirement.
We have a substantial moving expense to work with too… 20 times more than we had when moving to Mongolia. So we’re thinking of the things that we’d really like to have available. We’ll probably bring a sewing machine. I’d definitely like to have more tools there than I have here (although it sounds like the school’s maintenance department handles problems with housing). Pepper wants a puzzle table so she doesn’t have to clear her puzzle when we have company. We’ll probably bring more items to decorate our new home as well. Things like fitted bed sheets, deodorant, and other oddities can be difficult to get there so we will be stocking up on items like that.
I really want an electric composter. With fruit and vegetables very affordable we’ll end up with ample waste and with the great weather we’d love to grow some of our own plants. Of course, the local food will be pretty good. Unfortunately, cheese is going to be expensive there!
We’re really excited about the future. We have a lot of work to do for our visa application and other documentation. We’re trying to ration our excitement since we won’t be there until late July.