I have several friends who have done (or are doing) missionary work in other countries all over the world, and I have always been fascinated. There are many reasons I have thought that it was a fine and noble endeavor, but not something I could really see for myself. (Taking a vow of poverty and living in an African or Latin American country for an undefined amount of time, perhaps never to return to life in the States is a huge commitment/sacrifice.) I have posted before about the fact that I am admittedly a material girl who loves her creature comforts.
However, I have always loved teaching people. I have always loved languages and words. (I have actually read a few dictionaries and several volumes of several encyclopedias. Just because I went through this phase when I was between 13 and 15 when I wanted to know everything! Dating myself, but it was before the Internet was like it is today.) I grew up in a home where there were always books and my parents encouraged me to study everything that interested me including the Bible.
I've always wanted to combine my love of teaching (and learning) with my wanderlust and gypsy ways and appetite for adventure. I have thought of going to a foreign country for an extended volunteer vacation of anywhere from 3 - 18 months. I have toyed with the idea of doing this since I was about 15. I've lost sight of the goal very many times in my adult life, but I feel like now is the perfect time to revisit it.
I would definitely need to rearrange my finances and tie up some other loose ends, so I am at least a year away from being able to make it happen, but it is certainly a goal worth working toward. And, although this is not my main reason for doing it, I believe what Renea said: That I will meet the man for me while living the life I want.
I always wondered what I would do with my hair if I did leave the country for more than a couple of weeks. Even when I was a teenager I thought about this. Depending on where I chose to go, I knew that trying to get a relaxer or find someone experienced in styling black hair would be difficult or nearly impossible. That was when I first started to look into alternatives to relaxers and thermal straightening. That was when I decided I would learn what my hair did naturally, while I still had access to knowledgeable stylists and various products.
Now that I have Sisterlocks and have read about the success that many women have had maintaining their own, I am completely confident that once I learn to retighten, I can go anywhere in the world and not worry about what to do with my hair!
Aya suggested that I learn how to install SLs so that I could take the trade with me wherever I go. Aya: Don't think it didn't already cross my mind! I am sure that as my SLs grow and mature they will inspire more compliments and curiosity. If I am in another part of the world and I am maintaining them myself and someone asks: Who does your hair? What are they? or Where can I get them done?, I would hate to have to tell them that I got them done in the states. I maintain them myself and there is no one in the area who can offer the service. I would love to tell them that I maintain my own and I do new Sisterlocks installations.
From all I have read, though it is possible to make your money back (from the cost of the class) you will never get rich doing it and may just squeak by and break even depending on where you're located, so...while it is something to think about, with all of my other long-standing and more immediate goals, that is definitely on the back burner. But I really might do it someday.
And I know you've got to be thinking: So....are you going to a third world country to help the poor, or are you going to an affluent European or Asian country to help yourself?
Umm...Can't I do both? I do, however, need to decide which to pursue first.
I'll keep you posted!