9.29.16 –  Off-island, En-route, In-between

I am sitting in the Paris airport watching all the people flow around me…transitioning from one world to another. Leaving the intense, sublime, problematical, heartfelt world of Algeria and returning to the fast-paced, familiar, autumn-colored world of America.

I love this part of traveling because it is in the moment living…however the point of this message is to say that, when I have recovered from this vortex, I will be paying more attention to posting jobs and answering e-mails. (My apologies if I have been slow to respond.) I will also write more about my library in Algiers…

Bon voyage, Sarah P.



News: August doldrums…

8.20.16 – Dear Readers,

As some of you already know, I have been away in Algeria helping to set up a new school library. Many people in the US questioned the wisdom of my traveling during this time of heightened anxiety.  Well, for me, it was wise, because it reaffirmed and reminded me of what I already know: the world is still a good place.  There will always be evil lurking in corners but the majority of people in every country I have been to (24!) just want to get along and get on with their lives.

I came away exhausted by all the work of helping open a new school compacted by the fact that many of the items to start the school came from the closed one in Tripoli. This meant re-living our 2011 evacuation from Libya which was tough at times but also good as it was both closure and a positive in that the new school is being built from the ruins of the other, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Library 1

The Library day 1…more about this later.

About Algiers: the old French architecture, the fresh fish, the azure Mediterranean…but best of all were the people.  My Arabic was all wrong (Gulf words) and my French non-existent but they were, always, charming and friendly. I saw young women in short sleeves strolling with women in hijab, all just getting on with their day.  Life is not easy there, unemployment is high, but there is a feeling of hope and happiness. Part of me wishes the government would issue more tourist visas so others could see this gem of a city, but, having grown up in Maine as well as having traveled to many places, it is my opinion that lots of tourism invades the culture and causes people to retreat rather than share what is precious about their home and their life.

Enough ranting…what I really want to let you know is that I am back and even more committed to helping other librarians travel. Having said that, you should know that the lack of posting jobs is also because much of the world is on holiday in August. Things will pick up again in September so if you a seeking an international position, hang in there until the fall.