[My school is on spring break, so my stories of school and kids are on break too. In lieu of my daily stories of life as a teacher, I've blogged today about life as a mother]
About a month ago, my daughter told me that she was looking into volunteering in another country and experiencing a different culture. My first reaction, as her mother, was to ask way too many questions about safety and details and all that parent stuff. But, she had done her do diligence and checked everything out, even contacting prior volunteers in the organization to see how their experience went. I quickly informed her that she had my full support and jumped in to help her with preparing for her six week adventure.
Sure enough, she is currently living in Costa Rica volunteering in an orphanage. What a positive thing to do in your life! She's young, she's courageous, and is open to new people, experiences, and cultures.
I went to Chicago last weekend to help her organize and prepare for her travels. We purchased some international texting on her phone but planned to communicate mainly by email. Early on Easter Sunday, I dropped her off at O'Hare for her flight and watched her backpack disappear into the lit terminal. I'd be lying if I said I didn't fight back some tears as I drove off and began my five hour drive back to Michigan. I was proud of her and excited for her and wanted her to have a wonderful time. In all honesty, I was even a bit jealous, thinking back to a time in my life when I could have/should have done something so daring!
Through our conversations, I know that she is out of her comfort zone. She doesn't speak Spanish. She's never worked around little children. She has only previously been outside the U.S. to Mexico, Turks & Caicos, and Canada, all with her family. She arrived in a foreign country alone and had to find the "meeting spot" and a stranger with her name on a sign to drive her to the volunteer center for orientation. She doesn't have her high heels, her girly dresses, her hair dryer, or many of the other comforts she's used to. It's new foods, new people from around the world, a new home, and even a new mom.
Before she left, she started a blog to document her six week journey. It's a good read; I highly recommend it!
Read her blog:Stephanie's Blog
I'm going to have to step it up on my blog. She's giving me a run for my money.