By Colin M. Prenger ’11 & Rohan Keith Andresen ’12
Every year faculty and teachers leave the Brophy community to continue their personal journeys, but a unique occurrence this year is the trio of Brophy teachers who are moving to foreign countries.
Garner family moves to Africa
This summer Mr. Fred Garner and his family will move to Nairobi, Kenya, where he will be teaching Spanish under a three-year contract at an American school.
The Garner family will live next to the Rosslyn Academy, where his kids will attend school with many other international students from around the globe.
Roots of this idea stemmed from when the Garners adopted two boys (on two separate occasions) from Ethiopia. Their travels to Africa sparked their interest to possibly move there.
Mr. Garner looked at schools in Ethiopia as options, but did not like the schools there as much as he did in Nairobi.
“I liked it immediately,” Mr. Garner said about the Rosslyn Academy.
The biggest factor, according to Mr. Garner, in choosing the Rosslyn Academy is that it is a Christian school.
“I’ve been involved with the Jesuits long enough that, to me, faith goes one in one with education, and it’s hard for me to separate the two anymore,” he said.
Mr. Garner said he is content with the teacher he has become over the years.
“It is because of Brophy … that helped me develop into a better teacher,” he said.
Mr. Garner said leaving Brophy will be difficult and bittersweet.
He said he will miss interacting with Brophy students because it is a brotherhood, and he believes students can’t find it anywhere else.
However, he will not miss the horseplay and looks forward to a co-ed change because he said boys tend to behave better when they are around girls.
What will Mr. Garner miss most about American culture?
“Being able to get a good burger. King Corn aside, I love my burger,” Mr. Garner said.
The Garner family has been discussing the move to Africa for the past year and “the main reason was to get the kids used to the idea.” They expect the move to be the most difficult for their 11 year old daughter.
“I know once we get there it’s going to be good, but it’s hard for our kids to imagine any other place that could feel like home,” Mr. Garner said.
“Everything just gets magnified,” Mr. Garner said commenting on the transition between two cultures. “But I think that the rewards that we are going to reap by being there as a family are also going to be magnified.”
The Nelsons take to Middle East
Mr. Mike Nelson ’96 and Mrs. Sabina Nelson are moving overseas to make their new home in Dubai of the United Arab Emirates.
The motives drawing the Nelson family, including their three-year-old son, are multifaceted; however, the main factor is that they would like to experience something new.
“Mike and I have always enjoyed international travel and we want our son to experience new places and cultures,” Mrs. Nelson said. “I think some of the most memorable experiences that my parents gave to me growing up were trips to different countries.”
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson have made an adventurous and spontaneous outline for the next chapters of their lives. According to Mrs. Nelson, their plan—as of now—is to “try a new country every few years.”
The Nelsons are also considering the high peaks of Switzerland and the bustling streets of Singapore.
The Nelsons plan to have a life very similar to the one here, just with an ethnic and cultural twist.
Mr. and Mrs. Nelson will teach at a co-ed, international school that educates kindergarten through twelfth grade.
There they will teach art and physics, respectively; the same subjects they taught at Brophy.
Their son will also attend the school they plan to work at, which is 75 percent North Americans, according to Mrs. Nelson.
Mr. Nelson is concerned about the tension in the Middle East, but said that the “U.A.E. has been free from issue, but things can/could change.”