From Dina, the school of home contributor, who wishes she too were more crunchy than not:
I've always wanted to travel the world. See new places, experience other cultures, taste exotic foods. Scratch the exotic foods thing...frog legs and jellied eyeballs just aren't my thing. So far I've seen much of America's beauty coast to coast, a few major cities in my adopted homeland of Canada, and a strip of beach in Cancun, Mexico. The latter was viewed and enjoyed more often from the bedroom than not. Somehow or another, the arrival of our firstborn came nine months to the day of our wedding. :}
Now, with four kids in tow, the airlines have grounded us. It used to be my husband and I could each bring two pieces of carry-on luggage but now it's reduced to one and we just can't choose between which kids to send back into cargo.
So, this year I've resorted to bringing the world to my family.
Recently my family became acquainted with the ambassador of Malaysia
and were guests in their home on a few occasions. Sampling their foods,
learning about their heritage, and being met at the front door by the
king and queen really helped us acclimate to another culture. One thing I
did notice though, the king and queen just stood there and stared, real
silent like. Almost like they were but a photograph...
We met a woman in August who was preparing to move to Vietnam to teach and minister God's love to the children there. The kids and I are partnering with her to be her contact liaison to the rest of those supporting her. Having a personal connection to a place really heightens everyone's interest in learning as much as we can about it.
Not lucky enough to have stared down the queen of Malaysia or shared coffee with a missionary? Here are a few ways you and your family can welcome the world to your doorsteps:
1. Have an international dinner night at your house. Recently I hosted 12 friends and neighbors for an Indian night complete with butter chicken, biryani, and chickpea masala. Afterwards, we watched a Bollywood film which shed an amazing amount of light on the culture and it's people.
2. Read Ali's African Adventures at the dinner table. Ali is a pediatric nurse aboard the world's largest charity ship that drops anchor in West Africa to minister free medical care to the people there. Reading about the lives and challenges of people another world away has given my family a broader understanding of the needs of others and, by comparison, of our own wealth and privileges. Ali and her husband are now traveling around the world for six months so you can catch a ride on an elephant or ostrich (click here, you won't be disappointed!) or swim along with hippos through the lens of her stories. Currently, she is in India representing the needs of children to the many who read her blog.
3. Partner with Voices of the Martyrs and venture, if you dare, into the jungles of Colombia to deliver God's word to drug lords and paramilitary troops. Learn together about the topography and natural beauty of this country while working to make parachutes that will deliver radios and books to revolutionaries below.
4. Interview business owners and employees of the shops you frequent most. My husband's hair lady is from Iran and he has learned tons about this country through her stories and her flight for freedom. Our favorite pizza place is owned by a man with a ton of history from his own motherland and we hope to interview him while scouting out the secret to his delicious sauce.
5. Already a globetrotter? The world seem too small for you? Why not
undertake a study of another world, Heaven, with your family? Starting
by asking my kids what they already knew about heaven, which according
to my son is a big circle way, way up in the sky, I used this book as a
reference to challenge them with and answer their many questions. Seeing
as this world is not my (forever) home, I think it's not such a bad
idea to start studying my TripTix on my future destination. I've already
booked a flight on a pterodactyl and my son has King David in his
basketball team line-up. With these kind of all-inclusive benefits, I'd encourage you to confirm your name on heaven's log book asap.
6. Pack your bags and go somewhere! Sure, money's always a problem but after being married for ten years, don't I deserve a trip out of my own continent? Sorry, this one may be more about me than you but I need all the help I can get trying to convince my husband to take me to India, his land of origin, and Malaysia (this time, to see if I can't get a personal visit with my longtime friend, the queen!) for our upcoming anniversary. Donations are accepted.
a student of life, learning daily through the unconditional love of her God, her husband, and her four children. drinking lots of hot Egyptian licorice tea to keep her warm as, for now, she only dreams of travel to warmer climates. Read more from Dina at A Worthy Life.