NEW CASTLE —
“WHAT DID I DO?”
It didn’t take Relic long to second-guess his decision.
“As I was leaving the Adana airport after arriving, my first impression was what did I do?” he said. “A friend picked me up at the airport and took me through the old city, which is the area of Adana that has a very low socioeconomic status. The average they make a month is $300 or $400. I saw chickens walking on the street and cars not staying in their lane but driving in two lanes at the same time and sometimes not stopping at red lights. When I called home, I joked with my Grandpa Joe (Sanchez) and said he would fit in well here.”
Relic worked for a language school for the first four months.
“I left after I ate an undercooked chicken sandwich and the school failed to provide me proper health care,” he said. “I was extremely ill, resulting in three hospital visits and a ton of antibiotics.”
In May 2012, Relic met his current boss, Angela Matheson, a British national who owns a school in Mersin, Turkey. He worked for her school for several months and in September, began working at a private school in Adana, where Matheson is the head of the English department and where he is able to make more money than at a public school. Last year, he taught fifth-grade reading, writing and speaking and was named newcomer of the year on the teaching staff.
“This past year went well. The kids learned a lot in a short time,” Relic said. “This upcoming school year, as the kids move on to the sixth grade, I will continue with them.
“Some of the kids speak some English and some don’t speak any English at all. That is the challenge that I love, introducing English to a foreign student for the first time in their lives.”