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Wats, Wadis and Waterfalls
A Canadian Woman's Travel and Teaching Experiences in the Middle East and Southeast Asia
by Monica Murphy

This book is for the over-fifty women out there who are retired or starting a new chapter in their lives. You may think it’s too hard, I’m too old, or how do you teach if you don’t know their language? First, there is excellent training available, and it has been proven that you CAN learn your whole life. Secondly, a lot of cultures respect their elders, and thirdly, most countries have a little English due to colonialism and speak a mixture of English and their own language. A lot of schools have local teaching assistants. When she was tutoring a Korean boy, his mother invited her to lunch, and she said, through a translator, that she was “Too old” at forty to learn English herself. Monica reacted because she was in her late forties at the time. She started teaching overseas at the age of fifty.

Monica Murphy photo

I grew up in Vancouver, Canada, a beautiful city with its beaches and mountains, and outdoor lifestyle, but I always wanted to travel and see more of this wide, wide world. When the opportunity came along to teach in China I grabbed it. My father was a former pilot and I think my wanderlust came from him. My first teaching experience was in China, and four years later I signed a contract for South Korea, and kept on teaching and travelling for the next eighteen years. Seven of those years were in Oman in the Arab world and four of them were in Cambodia in Southeast Asia. After almost 20 years of teaching in seven different countries, I returned to Canada, wealthy in experiences but not with the nest egg I had hoped for. I brought my Cambodian dog Milo with me, rescued from a life as a guard dog in the basement of the apartment I lived in. He loves running in the snow. I live in Prince George now, in the centre of BC and it’s a friendly place. I have some wonderful friends here.


Monica Murphy
Ginny Jaques

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