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Watermelon is Life: Invaluable Lessons from Teaching English Abroad (Do U English Book 2)

Watermelon is Life: Invaluable Lessons from Teaching English Abroad (Do U English Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Wes Weston

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Product Description

Product Description


Namibia is a country of intrigue and mystique. Many of the country’s regions are economically deprived, but rich with culture and tradition. For one year, Wes Weston lives and teaches out in the rural countryside. Water and electricity are intermittent, donkeys and livestock roam the school grounds, and the pace of life is almost at a standstill. But Weston learns invaluable lessons in this new environment, ultimately discovering that perhaps one person can’t change the world, but the world can certainly change one person.

Watermelon is Life is a lighthearted and humorous travelogue of a volunteer teacher in rural Namibia. It is the second book in the Do U English series, chronicling the educational misadventures of Wes Weston. Follow along with the extraordinary journey, as Weston attempts to teach the world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3994 KB
  • Print Length: 231 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Wes Weston (9 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HK877I8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #269,637 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Wes Weston is a nomadic individual. He has trouble staying in one place, which is probably why all of his possessions can fit into his backpack. Wes has traveled to over 40 countries around the world, and he has likely worn socks with sandals in most of them. Wes has spent nearly a decade living and working abroad, working in such exotic destination as Costa Rica, South Korea, Namibia, the Dominican Republic, and Berkeley, California. He has learned much from his travel experiences, including that he should have signed up for a frequent flyer account years ago.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and inspiring read 25 April 2014
By Wayfarer Wander - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wes Weston's writes with a genuine voice of his experiences living, volunteering, and teaching English in Namibia. I found this book refreshing and inspiring. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in glimpsing new perspectives and widening possibilities of places, people, and paths in the world we all live in. Those who have experienced living abroad and teaching English may relate to this book personally, while those who desire to move abroad and teach English may find this book particularly interesting.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars funny and inspiring 13 Jan 2014
By Ioana - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Teachers want to change the world, everybody knows that. This book is a refreshing reminder that it can be done, and that in the process, they can get forever transformed as well.

Saying that this book is a great read for anyone who would like to volunteer or teach abroad only scratches the surface. I also found it extremely valuable for educators who may have become jaded with time and perhaps forgot how to be passionate and compassionate while teaching.

The author manages to be light-hearted, funny and witty, all while keeping the reader inspired. Good job, Mr. Wes.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable reading 2 Jun 2014
By Linda Caruthers - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read Wes Weston's book about his teaching experiences in Korea and enjoyed it immensely, so also purchased this one about Namibia. The book provides great insights into the people and culture of Namibia, a country I may never visit but now know a little bit about vicariously through his experiences. A very entertaining read that I highly recommend to teachers and armchair travelers alike.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous and enjoyable 13 July 2014
By Anisa Ali - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wes Weston's book describes his year as a volunteer teacher in rural Namibia. He uses funny anecdotes of his interactions with the students and his adjustments to the rural village to give the reader a feel for the experience he had. I have never been to Namibia--or anywhere in Africa that matter--but I felt like I got a really good idea of what it was like for him to live and teach in his village. His book is also full of great advice for teachers--as a former teacher, I often found myself thinking how his advice could apply to my own teaching. This book is a very enjoyable read and easy to relate to, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone teaching abroad :)
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like reflecting with the author over a drink sometime 6 July 2014
By Good Day Sir - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I’ve never had an extended “teaching abroad” experience myself, though I know several who have. I love just hearing their stories of the culture shock, challenge, and humanity they’ve encountered.

The book Watermelon is Life by Wes Weston is like having one of these discussions with the author over a drink sometime. It’s even better, perhaps– in book form, the author’s had the time to sort and thoroughly reflect upon his stories.

Wes spent a year teaching English in Namibia, and he covers everything I’d hoped he would in the span of about 200 pages, divided into a series of pithy anecdotes combining personal experience with research-based context.

Even for someone like me who hasn’t taught English, it was really interesting to read his examples of the most common linguistic mistakes his learners would make. Things like confusing the words “lend” and “borrow” because they were the same word in the native language, or how they wrote using SMS language (“doing gr8 2day”) on tests.

He also gives the humorous example of an assignment to write a 200-word article about a day at the market, and receiving papers full of filler sentences in the form of prayers wishing for God to help them write this assignment for 175 words, followed by two short sentences of relevance at the very end.

Other humorous highlights include:

* The dilemma of the teaching staff: should they buy their engaged colleague a goat or a washing machine for her wedding present? Debate ensues.
* The reliable wordiness of the principal, causing the parents-and-teachers assembly to last literally all day.
* An account of a staggeringly nonsensical speaker at the school award ceremony who shifts from rambling about Hitler to a made-up story about Bill Gates to a generic parable about a lion.

The book has its balanced share of research and reflection, too:

* He details the vast income inequality in Namibia, which leaves many poor and without access to basic needs and opportunities.
* He compares the Namibian cultural perception of time and punctuality to the American one.
* He honestly confesses how hard it was to keep pushing the students to improve, when some of them had given up already.
* He mentions the ongoing debate about aid effectiveness, and wonders how we readers, from such priviliged backgrounds, can truly best help those with fewer opportunities (like his learners).

A particularly interesting section to me was when he reflected on the unfortunate endangerment of native languages around the world, as well as the possibility of his role in teaching a common language to the detriment of Oshikwanyama, the native language in the region where he lived.

I have a worry in the back of my mind at all times about travel stories– that they’re more for the benefit of the person going on the trip and that the trip’s actual effectiveness is questionable. And I don’t think that healthy skepticism should ever go away.

But then also think of all the benefits if travelers effectively share their honest accounts with others. A more personal touch to a call to charity would be one, and the always-important reminder to think about cultures and experiences outside our comfort zone would be another.

But even more important would be the stirring of political energy to support international aid, the UN Millennium Development Goals, and a more equitable global economy.

That’s all big, world-scale stuff. And I’m no expert on any of it. But as far as I can tell, real changes happen person-by-person, and start with honest and insightful accounts.

In the end, that’s exactly what this was. Throughout the book, each moment is dissected for its maximum possible humor and insight. An enjoyable, and even inspiring, book!
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