Women have been making a bang throughout the ages, but these five ladies have been inspiring me since I was a young child. They have helped shape my beliefs and outlook on life and the world around me. Helped me grow confidence despite of the trials and tribulations that have come my way.
Mandarin is one of the hardest languages I have tried to learn.
My favorite afternoons are those spent at Trinity Cafe where their mission is to restore a sense of dignity to the homeless & hungry while serving a nutritious meal. We faithfully treat all of God’s children with dignity, compassion, love, and respect.
I get great satisfaction out of serving meals to the men, women and children who walk through those doors. On multiple occasions I had to choke back tears when someone stops and shows their gratitude before giving their seat to someone else who needs it. The program at Trinity is filled with love and respect for all human beings and the energy is contagious. As a guest or a volunteer, everyone leaves feeling better about the state of humanity within one another and the world around them. Hope for the future is evident.
For years I have been serving tables of yuppies who treat you like scum and are overly needy without any manners. It is amazing that those who have nothing actually say please and thank you when asking for something. Gratitude goes a long way. I look forward to the days when I attend and am happy to put my serving skills to use. With the opportunity to sit at the table and host our guests and the opportunity to hustle around and grab meals during every visit, the system is amazing.
The Trinity Cafe experience is like nothing I have ever witnessed before. When you walk in, a gentleman asks you how many are in your party and directs you to a table accordingly; they try to seat families, friends or couples together.
There are twelve tables that seat six at a time with a nice centerpiece. Silverware comes neatly rolled and when you sit there is a drink ready for you. You are greeted by the host at that table who asks how your day has been with a smile. The server comes by and says hello. She asks if you would like to start with your salad or take everything at once.
You are served a salad or soup to start, a hearty entree and given a dessert as well. After your first cup of lemonade or tea you are allowed as much water as you would like. When you leave, your spot is quickly cleaned by the bussers and reset by the server who then lets the doorman know how many available seats the table has.
Are there more places like this across the world? I would like to know about all of them. If you know of one similar comment below with the link.
I’ve been asked a lot of questions lately about my current plans, most common: why China?
This is not an easily answered question as there are many factors involved in my decision. For one, Asia is a continent I have never stepped foot on and I have a goal of visiting every continent in my lifetime; this would bring me to my third. I live in North America and have traveled on two different occasions to Europe.
Experiencing life in a third world country would be a brand new experience as well and another factor. Aside from the aforementioned places, I’ve been on numerous family cruises to various islands in the Caribbean. These experiences were all luxury type vacations which is not what I am looking for at this time in my life. I would like to live in a place where I can experience a life with different challenges than my own. Where my services can be opening doors into the futures of those I encounter.
All the places I have lived for extended times have been either a democracy, monarch, or a combination of the two. I’ve never visited a communist country let alone lived in one for a year. I find this to be an intriguing factor in my adventure because I am learning what it is like to be a human all across our world.
During my college years, I took a few history classes with Dr. Parssinen who taught me a bit about Chinese history. There is a vast amount of it, but we focused on the Opium Wars for our Narcotic Drugs in Modern Society class. From the Opium Wars to the Silk Road and Marco Polo to the number of dynasties – it is all fascinating. Living on this side of the world will give me the opportunity to learn so much more.
So you see, there are a lot of things that draw me to China; the history, language, culture, political standings, and geographical location in Asia. Just like a cherry on top of the metaphorical sundae, China also pays well and holds teachers in high social regard.
There are so many things to consider while realizing my need to teach english in China. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and plan on homeschooling my own children until they reach high school. In fact, while abroad I will be studying for the GRE to apply to grad school when I return for my MFA in Creative Writing – which is what I need to become a college professor. I love the look in a person’s eyes when a concept clicks and they get that light that says they genuinely understand. It gets me fired up.
The thing about China is that I have never been to Asia or a communist country which poses completely different cultural norms and hopefully a huge shock. I’m ready for it and I need it. I yearn to make a difference in other human lives, this opportunity would definitely help bring that credo to life. The experiences of everything from Shanghai to the Himalayans makes me tingle inside. I want to know what life is like on the other side of the world.
What makes me nervous about China the most is that I’m a vegetarian and I don’t know any Chinese. Not even hello. I’m a pleasant individual overall so I think I will get along just fine and I plan on taking some kind of basic mandarin or something. Finding food I can eat to survive while I’m there is very frightening because I can’t say ‘I am a vegetarian, I do not eat meat. Dairy and eggs are okay.’
For a bit that was a deal breaker. Then I came to the realization that while living in the Netherlands I did most of my eating from a grocery store which meant visceral stimulation. As long as I can see it is a fruit or vegetable I am okay. I can cook rice and meals for myself at a lower expense as well.
Once that got me over the major hump, I stumbled upon a few youtube videos that shed some light on the experience for people who eat like me by people who eat like me. This one in particular I found exceptionally helpful:
So this is something I will be practicing for the next few months and am certain I will be referring back to once I get abroad. Now to think about how much I actually plan to bring with me and what to pack in. I was thinking of investing in a 60L pack or something and staying minimal. Perhaps a small checked bag for hygiene products to get me by the first few weeks and a picture or two of my family.
Good afternoon travelers! Have any of you taught english abroad? What countries have you worked in? What was it like? I’m very interested in participating in an opportunity of this nature and need some real information, not just some website that could or could not be a scam. I’m looking for people that have been through the TEFL course and interview process and have already taught abroad or are teaching abroad now. Is that you? Do you have any advice or suggestions?
I’m curious about the cost of the TEFL course, what countries are the best, and where you found the jobs that ultimately hired you. Also, how much money did you leave your home country with and how much did you return with? What kinds of things did you learn?
While driving around town today I couldn’t help but notice the amount of homeless on the streets. It hurts my heart to see so much pain. Recently I have been in pain myself as next week will be the anniversary of my father’s passing – again. Now I know everyone asks for money but I couldn’t help but think about how that can be ill spent so I decided to make some care packages. I had a jar of coins that were just waiting to be utilized so I found a purpose for them – and a great way to celebrate my father’s life. Eventually I decided to call it my You Are Worth It campaign.
You see my father taught me very young not to judge a man by his appearance or current lifestyle because you never know what they have been through. In fact, my father was homeless himself for the last ten years of his life which is why I feel such a strong calling to help those in similar situations. See my dad was an addict and anytime I would give him money he would buy something he shouldn’t with it so instead I would go buy him some clothes and food and personal hygiene items. I took this into consideration after I exchanged the coins and made my list.
With fifty dollars of what I like to call found money I went to the store and checked out the sales. I decided that I could easily make six nice packages with the deals I found and was impressed at how far I was able to spread my money.
Each item was carefully selected.
- Toothbrush – Hygiene
- Toothpaste – Hygiene
- bar soap – Hygiene
- 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner – Hygiene/Convenience
- Water – Hydration in Florida Summer is imperative
- Emergen-C – Staying healthy is key to finding a job
- Slim Jim – protein/snacks
- Kashi Granola Bars – protein/snacks
- Mott’s Gummy Snacks – Morale Booster
- Double Bubble – Oral Fixation (helps keep the mind occupied)
- Mints – Oral Fixation (helps minimize hunger)
Now my wheels were really turning and I thought it would be great if I could send out a little inspiration to each person, after all the ultimate goal is to change lives. As I was setting everything up in my office, I posted a picture to social media and got some great response. It was touching because this is an issue I am passionate about. It was also interesting because it made me wonder how many lives we could all touch together. I created these little index cards to go in each bag and be the slogan of the project:
My goal is to spread humanity and pay it forward by reminding everyone that You Are Worth It – no matter how bad the situation may be at the moment. Remind them that there are people out there that care about what becomes of them and give them the tools to succeed. The final product looks like this and will be handed out in my local community throughout the weekend:
Interested in paying it forward?
Here is what I suggest: Save your change to change the world. Think necessities. Nonperishable food only. NO MOUTHWASH OR SANITIZER(these often have small amounts of alcohol in them)
If you want to contribute but don’t have the time to go through the coin exchange, shopping and creation of the bags then shoot me a message. I’m glad to do all the hard work and hand out the bags, although it would be great to have people doing this all across the world. If enough people are interested I am thinking about creating a crowdfunding campaign or something so people could donate their spare change. Eventually I hope to make 100 bags a month but for now, 6 is a good start.
Also tag everything #YouAreWorthIt because every human life is worth it.