My phone pinged its ‘message’ tone (craftily stolen from the postman in Don’t Be a Menace..) alerting me to an email. Expecting another update from the Trainline pointing out how amazingly expensive it would be to visit my family, or Travelodge highlighting that they are the only hotel chain I can afford, I sighed and checked the inbox. Instead of these, I found an email from one of the schools I’d applied to at ten to midnight two days before saying that they were very interested in taking my application further and would I like to set up a Skype interview?
Now I’d never used Skype before, but on that Thursday I had two interviews – the first with Mwanza, the second with Valencia. I hastily tidied the section of room behind me that could be viewed by the camera and waited for the bing to let me know they were calling. To be honest, I needn’t have bothered ‘cleaning’ as the connection was crackling and I sounded like a robot so we had to scrap the video and then the phone conversation and just resort to land lines instead. The interview with Valencia was a bit more successful with a stop start video thing going on, but when I was asked if I would accept the job I tentatively said yes, thinking I’d really rather go to Africa.
Thinking back, the bad line may have been a result of the triple storm that hit Newcastle that night, our entrance hall was quite flooded but I’m on the third floor so all good. I would hear from both on Friday, so I had to keep myself busy. I bought a book and finished it that day – Private London if you’re interested – I went for Jack Daniels shrimp for the first time in about 4 years and I sat in the bath, avoiding my phone. When I decided I would venture out, influenced highly by the shrivelling of my feet I found the message – ‘you came across extremely well and we would like to offer you the job’ from the Tanzanian school.
I can’t deny it, I actually gave a smallish squeal and then my feet did what my younger brother refers to as ‘happy feet’. I did want to accept straight away but thought I should probably ring my mum first to warn her that I was leaving the continent for two years and would she like to look after some of my stuff please? So I emailed back ‘yes please’, probably a fraction more elegant, but not much, and started sending out over excited text messages.