When I returned home from my mission trip to Kenya, Africa, in the summer of 2006, I was content. I had accomplished one of my dreams, something that was on my list of things to do before I died. I’d volunteered in a third world country.
The fall of 2007, we hosted another (our third) German student for two weeks. The following summer, Val would be traveling to Germany to stay with that girl’s family. After the German girl went home the end of October, somehow we ended up with a foreign exchange student from Portugal for the rest of the school year. She became friends with a foreign exchange student from Taiwan, who became the girlfriend of my son’s best friend. Val was getting excited to go to Germany. My son Nick was making plans to volunteer in Ghana, Africa, with Engineers without Borders. His friend Josh was going to Taiwan to see his girlfriend.
The world was getting so much smaller. Within a year, I was getting major wanderlust.
First it started out with aimless web searches on my lunch hour. I would type “volunteer trips” to see what would pop up. One day, I typed in “mission trip Ghana”. The first site to come up was for Cross Cultural Solutions, so I checked it out. And every day at lunch, I checked it out some more.
Cross Cultural Solutions sends volunteers to countries all over the world. They didn’t just go to Ghana, Africa; they went to Tanzania, Morocco, India, China, Russia and even South America. I decided that I had kids or friends of kids who had been to Europe, Asia and Africa. South America seemed the place to go. Peru seemed the place to go.
What had I ever heard about Peru? Wasn’t that the country where the Incas had lived? That was about all I knew at the time. Tells you how much I learned in world geography.
Val in Germany