Pleased to Meet You: An Introduction

IN addition to explaining a couple of details about my blog, I also want to use this introduction to let you know a little about myself and my purpose.

I struggled with starting my blog because I felt enormous pressure to decide on the perfect title.  I knew that I wanted it to be descriptive but also symbolic of my goals for these posts.  Fortunately, one evening while reading current Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s memoir entitled This Child Will be Great, I read the following sentences:

“In truth, I stand with a foot in each world.  I represent both the good and the bad of our society.  I represent both those who were given opportunities and advantages because of their background and those who were denied those very things because of who they were and from whence they came.”

These lines spoke to me for a variety of reasons.  

As a bi-racial woman, they spoke to my lack of an absolute cultural identity–something with which I would venture to guess most, if not all, bi-racial individuals struggle.  I think it is serendipitously this lack of belonging that continually fed my interest in various cultures, taught me how to adapt to different social situations, and helped me be more empathetic toward and accepting of others.

Also, as a teacher of twelve years, these lines made me think of my students, and how I truly believe that each of them–no matter their background or current circumstances–deserves a quality education and a strong foundation for whatever life they choose to build for themselves.  This philosophy is what ultimately made me decide to leave my teaching career in the U.S. and work toward a dream I have had my entire adult life.  It is my mission to empower young people in developing countries by affording them access to unique learning opportunities (STEM education, project-based learning, to name a couple) that are not only tailored to their practical needs but also potentially to their individual interests.

Finally, the phrase “a foot in each world” inspired–in equal measure–lighthearted and pragmatic musings of the adventurous and challenging life I will lead as the wife of a foreign service officer.  This also relates to the play on words in my subtitle: “Life, Love, Education, and Adventure from Post to Post.”  We will be assigned to a new post in the developing world every two to four years.  As I complete an M.Ed. in Global Studies in Education this year, my goal is to combine my experience as an educator and humanitarian to become an agent for improvement in the local education opportunities wherever we are posted.

Our first post is Liberia, a nation struggling to recover from a fifteen-year civil war. (I am sure this helps to explain my reason for reading the aforementioned memoir!)  My fiance has been there for a year and a half, and I will join him once we are married this summer.  He has done his very best to try to adequately prepare me for the culture shock of living in a developing country, and he often comments on how unwavering my optimism is about this life we are about to embark upon together.  I can only say that everything in my heart and bones is telling me that I am headed exactly where I am supposed to be.

In the photo above is a bracelet my sister gave me when I told her about my plans.  It has been a constant source of encouragement, and I am determined to use my life to lift up as many people as possible.  A lot is going to change for me over the next few months.  Too much to write about here, actually.  I will save those details for subsequent blog posts.  Until next time!

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