Monday, May 30, 2011

Preparing to Peel Back the Layers

                On July 16th, after two days of flying and months of mental preparation I will arrive in Kosrae, Micronesia- a place that, until a couple of months ago I couldn’t even locate on a map. I will embark on an 11-month journey where, in the words of the dear Mrs. Adams, I will find out what I am made of. As I prepare for the mental, emotional, and physical challenges of teaching in a third world country I am excited to learn the culture, meet my students, fellow volunteers, and host family. I cannot wait to explore the beautiful island, learn how to snorkel, and see layers of stars. My good friend Neal said of his trip to Kenya, that as each day goes by the experience peels off layers and layers of the things we think we need to live and that this experience will change me and that no one is going to quite understand except others who have had a similar experience.  I can’t wait.
            But I am afraid, a little. This is huge commitment I have signed up for- but I know I wouldn’t have been accepted unless they truly thought I could handle it, and I know that I can. The wild dogs, different view of women, and limited access to medical attention do have me a tad worried. I am also nervous about teaching English as a second language and figuring out what types of activities and methods work best. However, tomorrow I begin my teaching observation hours and I am sure that will spark ideas and help me feel more confident. Selfishly, and perhaps most of all, I am afraid of the things I will miss out on here; my siblings growing ever so tall and become their own people, my parents, and my friends.
            Despite my fears and anxieties I am overwhelmingly optimistic and eager for this trip. I know it is going to have an irreplaceable impact on my life, and I hope in some way, as small as it may be, I can inspire my students to learn.