An American Abroad

Tunisia in September

Today I finalized a decision two months in the making. After my contract here in China is complete at the end of June, I will be moving to Sousse, Tunisia where I have accepted a position with AMIDEAST, an American NGO engaged in international education, training, and development throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

It was difficult to decide to leave China, where I have been so warmly welcomed by colleagues and the people of Yuxi. I am having a wonderful experience at Shane English Yuxi and recommend it highly to anyone considering teaching English abroad. It’s a well-run institution with high standards and a solid commitment to education. I’ve also made friends in the Yuxi community who have welcomed me into their homes and families and shown me aspects of China I never would have seen otherwise. I will be sorry to leave them. I look forward to my remaining 16 weeks here.

Nevertheless, I am eagerly anticipating my new home and job in Tunisia. I expect to be working in several capacities for AMIDEAST. One is teaching English to young people—something I’ve learned much about in my job here in China. Another is working with corporations and other organizations in Tunisia that want their employees to learn English with an emphasis on the concepts and terminology of their particular industries. I am especially excited about becoming involved in Access, a program funded by the U.S. State Department that provides free English instruction and American cultural exposure to promising Tunisian teenagers of modest means.

Sousse is the third-largest city in Tunisia and is located right on the Mediterranean coast.

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It attracts thousands of European visitors every year, drawn by the good beaches and turquoise seas. The medina there is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tunis, the ruins of Carthage, and a well-preserved Roman amphitheater are within daytripping distance.

When I say goodbye to my friends and colleagues here in China, I may do some further travel in Asia and then return to Toledo for a few weeks to see family and friends. I will then head for North Africa in order to start work there in September.


  1. Woo hoo! And the adventure continues. Good for you Jim. Enjoy each second! Hugs

  2. Fantastic! Adventure extended. How truly awesome for you and I imagine great stories and pictures will be told. Lucky us for said. Thank you for sharing your journey and perspective. Better than book club for me. Peace and hugs.

  3. We are both very happy for you. You have made us both feel very welcomed in China. This job sounds perfect for you and it’s by the beach too! JJ and Lu.

  4. Wendy Avina says:

    Felicidades Jim! Mucha Suerte!

  5. Bev Nathan says:

    What a fantastic new life you are creating for yourself! I love your courage, curiosity, and willingness to venture alone into the unknown. Thank you for including your friends in your adventures!

  6. I’ve neglected your blog and just now got caught up on all your adventures. Fabulous! Just as I was wondering how you would be able to bear coming back to Toledo at the end of your term, I see this new gig in Tunisia. Hope it’s as rewarding as the China one has been.


  7. cindy wexler says:

    Excellent – seems like a lovely place, with beaches, and a short hop to Italy as well. Look forward to reading of all your Mediterranean adventures! Thanks for keeping us all in the loop!

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