Monday, December 27, 2010

I am obsessed by camels. I have hundreds of photos of them from the many places I have seen them. I used to love moose and bears, but camels have them beat. They are such lovely creatures, and actually quite friendly. I'll start posting some of my camel pics here. I have even been camel riding twice!

My son David and his wife Sarah just came to visit me in Abu Dhabi for the first time during my Christmas break from school. It was lovely. I am holding the Mountain Ear newspaper from Conway, New Hampshire. The climate here in AD is quite a bit different from Northern New England! I love the weather! Every day is another beautiful summer's day. December in the Middle East is fantastic!

Life in Abu Dhabi is grand!!

I am enjoying my new job teaching music at Raha International School very much. It is a beautiful place to work. My job is somewhat challenging, but much less complicated than my previous teaching jobs in New Hampshire, USA.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Karen Minkkinen Page at World Village in Finland with first kantele

My first post

I am now spending the summer preparing for my new life. The only thing that will be the same about my life will be that I will be teaching music to young children. This is something I know how to do. I have had a lot of changes in my life during this past year to prepare me for this new teaching position.
I am moving from the picturesque White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire in the USA to the vivid and forward-looking modern city of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. My most recent teaching positions had me working with rural American children in North Conway, Freedom, and Sandwich, New Hampshire. I have been sort of a big fish in a little pond with abundant opportunities to direct and perform in musicals, concerts, recitals, in addition to my teaching duties in public schools. During the last nine years I became obsessed with professional development in music education that introduced me to other music teachers all over the USA and all over the whole world. I am most comfortable using the Orff Schulwerk approach to teaching music and this has allowed me to meet fascinating music people at workshops, conventions, and most of all, at the International World Village in Finland. In 2007 I began studying for my master's degree in music education at Boston University and graduated from there in the fall of 2009. This degree gave me the confidence to look for a new student population and locale. I began applying to organizations that assist teachers in finding posts at overseas international schools. I have long wanted to live in Finland where I have dual nationality, but I could not quite figure out how to find a job there. As soon as I went to my first job fair, I was hooked on the idea of teaching internationally. That is how I found myself moving to Abu Dhabi.
Kaarina (my Finnish nickname)