A Long-term Dream

January 9th, 2010

When I was in college I wanted to travel. And I did, a little.

I spent a few weeks one summer in El Salvador and I spent a month in London, doing part of my student teaching.

I seriously considered joining the Peace Corps. I called them, requested the information, even sort of settled on going to Papua New Guinea or El Salvador (I really enjoyed my time in El Salvador and at the time I knew enough spanish to survive.)

I would go to Perkins and sit for hours with a friend who would listen to me talk about wanting to travel, to see the world, to join the Peace Corps, to just do something with my life. And he would tell me to make sure I sent him a postcard from wherever I was. At the time, I was 99% sure it was what I wanted to do when I graduated. I wasn’t in a relationship, I had no desire to go to grad school and I knew that come graduation day, all my friends would be scattering all over theĀ  country so, why not?

But plans changed in an unexpectedly good way. That same friend is now my husband. We’ve got 2 kids, a house, a couple dogs. I’m a teacher and I love my job.

And 11 years later I stillĀ  can’t shake that need to travel, to experience living somewhere that is nothing like here. So I’ve come up with a plan. An exciting plan with a very real possibility of working out.

A couple weeks ago I noticed that AHOPE, an organization in Ethiopia that cares for children with HIV, is always looking for voluteers. They specifically request people who are social workers, nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, and teachers. A volutneer needs to there for a minimum of 6 weeks but can stay longer if they wish.

Guess which teacher wants to move her family to Ethiopia for a summer?

I don’t want to go this summer or even next summer. I want to wait until Milo and Lexi are older. If we are going to move them half way around the world for a summer, I want them to experience it, to remember it, to fully participate in the experience.

I’ve already contacted AHOPE to see if this is even a possibility and got a resounding “yes” so now, we just need to make things happen on our end. It will be a lot of work to make this happen, another reason why I’m not trying to plan the trip for anytime soon, but I really think this will happen.

I’ve also got a second plan that involves staying in Ethiopia for a year but we’ll just stick to the plan of going for a summer to see how that works out for us. Then I’ll start plotting a longer stay.

It’s exciting to think about. It’s scary to think about. It makes me happy that we will be able to take Milo back his birth country and Lexi will see probably the most important piece of her brother’s life. I want this to happen.

3 Responses to “A Long-term Dream”

  1. Cindy on January 10, 2010 1:11 am

    That would be incredible! I wish you lots of luck with your decision!

  2. nicole on January 10, 2010 3:59 pm

    I know someone who has similar dreams and is trying to get her husband to hurry up and finish his doctorate so we can move to Costa Rica for a while or maybe even Ethiopia if the job market fails. Let us know more about this journey. Very exciting and fun to dream about. Maybe our dreams could even overlap for a bit.

  3. abby on January 10, 2010 8:20 pm

    Nicole – we will keep you posted. And Ethiopia would be a much better adventure than Costa Rica.:)

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