Farewell Colombia!


I received some sad news today…

For the past few days, I’ve been dreading doing my shift on Cambly just because of the recent series of bad experiences that have been occurring on Cambly, from rude students to students that couldn’t give a shit about learning English. From my experience so far, its not common to get students who are actually really passionate about learning English, especially ones who you build a good connection with.

Therefore I was ecstatic when I received a request for tutoring from my Columbian student that I have been working with regularly. I noticed right off the bat that she appeared tired or fatigued or perhaps something was on her mind and bothering her. She mentioned that she had just gotten home from working late at the office and still needed to complete some work for the weekend. I tried to cheer her up and told her she needed to just relax and chill out for the weekend.

Then she broke the news

She appeared sad and didn’t look at the screen when her mouth opened up. Then she said “hmm…today is my last day on Cambly. Due to the drop in the Colombian Peso, I cannot afford to continue with Cambly”. She then looked at me with these sad eyes waiting for me to respond back. I didn’t know how to respond to that. I just looked at her, smiled and laughed, and said “I don’t know what to say”. She then asked me if I knew how she could continue learning English without paying for it. I suggested that she try duolingo and she said she already completed all of the lessons. I told her to try Youtube and she just laughed and shook her head.

At this point, I was debating inside of my mind whether or not I should offer her my skype Id. On the one hand, I was afraid of getting axed for soliciting students outside of Cambly because I’m in a tight financial situation myself right now but at the same time I felt really bad for her. After hesitating for a while, my conscience got the best of me. I asked her if she had Skype. She then said yah after not understanding what I was saying. I typed in my ID but I didn’t mention anything to her, hoping she got the hint as our video lessons are recorded and stored in their servers. I don’t think she got it though as she asked me how to pronounce my name.

I then told her she could try doing some freelance work online using Fiverr to help pay for her lessons. I tried to explain it to her, but she ended up thinking I was asking her to pay me $5 to tutor her. After a while I said “forget it”.

As I bid her farewell, I was overcome with these intense feelings of sadness or something. I don’t really know how to describe it but I just felt awful and bad. I think this is the same feelings people experience when they say farewell to loved ones at the airport departure gates. I used to think they were silly for crying over such trivial things but now I think I understand how they feel.

Damn, I’m still feeling this right now as I type this…

After our session was over, I sent her a message to a language exchange website that I’m a member of, hopefully she can find me on that site or find someone else that would be willing to help her out.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to take this. I had listened to a podcast by Sean Ogle from Location180 who suggested for someone who was just starting out and interested in having a location independent lifestyle to start a blog to develop the necessary skills to later freelance it. I thought maybe later on I could make some money off of affiliate marketing or something, and then maybe launch a Youtube channel or something. I was motivated to do this because of my current financial situation and because I never want to be like this ever again. At that time I was only thinking about me and not what benefits I could actually make to people’s lives around the world by helping them learn English. But after the experience from tonight, my whole outlook has changed. I need to stop being so selfish but instead look at providing value and enriching other people’s lives and making a difference. There are millions of people out there who’s lives could be drastically improved if only they had a better grasp of English. I don’t think anyone should be denied education just because of costs.

I’m now even more determined to learn these skill sets to become an entrepreneur and also an English teacher because I never want to see another student who is eager to learn English not be able to do this because of their financial situation. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to be able to accomplish this, but I’m going to try anyway!

How do you guys manage students departing? Tell us about it in the comments!


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