Teacher, Native of Warren, Sees the World One Class at a Time | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo Submitted Wendy Marvin, from Warren, poses with student Wayan Adi in October 2019 at the Yayasan Widya Guna Learning Center for Students with Special Needs in Gianyar, Indonesia.

Even after breaking her back in China and unearthing a body in Indonesia, Wendy Marvin has always looked forward to the next trip.

“My mother said I caught the travel bug when I was three days old when they took me from my birthplace, Glen Burnie, MD, and returned to live in Warren, after my father was discharged from the army. “ said Marvin.

“All I wanted was to travel. I wanted to get in the car and go somewhere and see something ”, she said in a video chat last week from Poland – the country of Europe, not the village of Mahoning County.

“One of my first ‘dreams’ that I remember was going to Paris. We took vacations and road trips all of my childhood. As an adult and with my partner, Tom Craciun, we traveled a lot, and it was with him that I went abroad for the first time.

Currently, 1980 High School graduate Warren G. Harding teaches Business English in Warsaw.

“I spent the summer on the Bulgarian Black Sea working in a language camp for young people before spending about three weeks traveling to Egypt and Morocco”, said Marvin.

Marvin draws inspiration from the adventures of an ever-growing list of countries visited for a book she hopes to someday write.

“The sunrises and sunsets at Mount Everest base camp were pretty amazing. Seeing the pyramids is overwhelming. Of course, I visited Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca… Being in London for Queen Mum’s funeral… the Terracotta Army and the Great Wall of China, every trip to Vietnam… Stonehenge… ”

In China, a car struck her scooter, overturning the scooter on it. She had a seven-hour operation for a broken back.

The patient is responsible for bedding, food, bathing and anything beyond medical care in China, Marvin said. “The lady who hit me must have brought me care and food. Usually family members do. But she was alone.

During one of her two trips to Bali, her hosts, Koming and Ketut, invited her to participate in a “ngaga” Where “awakening of the dead” cremation ceremony, which takes place in the community once every three years.

“I have to help her unearth her mother’s body, exhume her, wash the bones in floral water and coconut water, wrap her up … I was holding the head of the woman who had died during that the family washed the bones. “

Marvin said it was an honor to be included in the Hindu ceremony.

“Living with a family, in my opinion, is the best way to see a country and learn about its culture”, said Marvin. “Once you meet people across the world, we’re all the same deep down. We all want the same things.


Marvin attended Laird Avenue Elementary School and East Junior High School before graduating from Warren G. Harding High School.

Memories of Warren’s growth include “Friday night football, parades, biking everywhere, Packard pool, People’s Dairy, The Triangle Inn – it was practically in my backyard, the bowling alley – the lobster tank at 422, Mr. R’s, my school days … the summer gardening program – once a week a bus would pick us up and we would go to the garden … There was so much to do.

In 1980, Marvin landed a part-time job at Warren’s YMCA as an aerobics instructor.

“I was there for 34 years” she said. “I worked in many areas, starting with aerobics, then when they added the Nautilus equipment, I was a Nautilus instructor. I eventually started working at the Member Services front desk and became a full time employee.

“I finally moved upstairs to the offices and was assistant / secretary in the accounting department, then secretary to the director and finally became an associate director.

“I have also taught water aerobics, lunchtime fitness, abs class, kids gymnastics, etc., over the years.” she said. “Basically, I’ve worked pretty much every area of ​​the YMCA over the years. “


It was time to go.

“There is always this turning point” said Marvin. “My partner and I had broken up (after 27 years). I no longer liked my job that I loved. I needed to get out of there; I needed to do something.

“The more I traveled, the more I knew I wanted to spend long periods of time living and immersing myself in another culture. she said. “I enrolled online at the University of Miami in Florida and got my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. When I was done, I took time off from the YMCA – I ended up making it permanent – after going through an interview and getting a job in Paris, France. I was in Paris from August 2014 to February 2015, came back to the United States and knew I had to go back somewhere abroad.

“I took another TEFL course with a school in Beijing, China, after accepting an internship as a teacher in China. What was a six-month stay turned into four years.

“After China I spent several months working in a school for children with special needs in Bali, Indonesia, and from there I came to Poland with many trips in between. “

She said she believed she had visited 40 countries, as well as a few territories, such as Puerto Rico, Aruba (Netherlands), Hong Kong and Tibet (China).

“The greatest day and memory of my life happened in Warren, Ohio, not some remote place,” said Wendy Marvin. “It was January 9, 2020, the day my brother opened the Robins Theater. I am from Bali. It took me 53 hours to get home due to some issues.

His brother, engineer Mark Marvin and his company Downtown Development Group bought the dormant Robins Theater in downtown Warren in 2017 and restored it as close as possible to its flagship 1923 state.

“I can’t think of anything that will surpass this night for me,” said Wendy Marvin. “Well, maybe if I meet the Dalai Lama if I go to India, but…”

Where will she go next?

“The list is endless” said Marvin. “I signed up for a group called Work Away. I hope I can spend a month in India and a month in Kenya or Tanzania volunteering at a school, (then) return to Egypt to see the Valley of the Kings.

“I want to see the Northern Lights from Norway, Finland or Sweden. I went to Moscow but I want to go to St. Petersburg. I would like to go back to China just to visit. I’ve never been to South America so maybe someday to add continent # 5. “


For those who wish to explore the world, Marvin has a simple answer:

“You have to stop looking for excuses to explain why you can’t do it” she said. “There are ways to do it. Do your research and don’t look for excuses.

For her, it was about aligning with organizations that provide English teachers. Knowing the other language is not always necessary and often clients prefer that the teacher not know the mother tongue. This requires students to have English immersion. They either learn it, or they can’t communicate.

Or, if you prefer, travel with her via her Facebook page or her website, “Deep in the Rabbit Hole: My Adventures in the Middle Kingdom and Beyond” at https://wendyjmarvin.com.

Marvin’s travel blog includes stories such as “This time I let a stranger bathe me – my experience in a Moroccan hammam”, “Wendy Eat World (with all due respect to Jimmy Eat World)” and “You are never too old to make a story worth telling in your life.”

“I like to tell stories” she said. “My website / blog is my way of recording my trip and hopefully putting it in a book someday. “

It will probably happen on the road.

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