I credit my father as the source of my motivation to find a teaching job overseas. When he was a young man in the 1930s, he did the same. He left his small town in the Midwest of the United States to teach science at Woodstock School in Mussoorie, India. As I heard the story, he made all the arrangements, including his passport and steamer ticket, before he told his parents that he was leaving. Then he was gone for three years, with extensive travel en route back home. I don’t know what his parents said when he told them his plans, but when I told Mom & Dad that I was going to the South Pacific, they said, “Oh, good. We’ll come visit you!” And they did!
After my third year there, my sister and her husband came to visit too. This photo shows my sister on the left and me on the right.
As for the choice I made of “what next,” it was to travel among the islands by yacht and cargo-passenger ship for a few months, and then visit Alaska before returning to live with my parents for a year. My plan was to earn college credits for a teaching credential in Alaska and move on to another adventure. It was then that I met my future husband. We were just friends in a Bible study group when I had an interview and a job offer to teach in the Arctic—an offer I happily accepted. In the weeks before my departure, however, our friendship grew and we were thinking seriously about marriage. Then I flew off to Alaska. By the grace of God, our love survived that distance (before email!), and two years later we were married in Kotzebue, Alaska. Over and over, I thank God for his faithfulness in the promise to be with me wherever I go.
“When we are living in our truest deepest selves we know how to care and connect.”