Be Our Guest: Breaking Out of the Bubble, from ShaCarol6:00 AM
Today I've asked one of my dearest and oldest friends to post and share her story. ShaCarol is trying to raise money to go to Belize to work with people who are deaf and hard of hearing. But, why read what I have to say, when ShaCarol herself has prepared something so wonderful for you?
I’m ShaCarol. Emily, as usual, is being an amazing friend and sharing some space on her blog for my behalf. So I do hope I entertain you all with my ramblings and insight. Emily and I have been friends ever since the 8th grade, yeah, I think that’s right. I don’t quite remember exactly how we became friends, but then again, that’s how all of the best friendships start. Emily says it started with me telling her my name and her constantly forgetting it. Hm. Anyway…about eleven years later and we’re still Emizzle and ShaCizzle. Farther apart, but closer in heart. Hey, I just made that up. I’m pretty good at this writing thing.
Anyway, I thought before I get into the meat of this post, it would be helpful to really explain my background and connection with Emily.
Emily knows me really well. She knows how I often like to ‘play it safe.’ She knows how shy I am. She knows how I like to stay in my comfort zone and appreciate the familiar. And she knows when I do stick a foot out of my bubble—it’s a pretty big deal. The bubble I’ve wanted to pop lately is my inspiration to travel. I have never been out of the country and recently I’ve had an opportunity present itself to me. But of course, like most things, not without a price.
Let me rewind.
You see, I’m a graduate student. Last spring, one of my professors mentioned a trip she had taken and how she would really like to see me join in the next year as I may be able to help students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
There I go again, jumping ahead of myself. Rewind. You see, I’m a teacher. To be specific, I teach students with hearing loss. Usually, right about now, I get a resounding, “Woah! You know sign language?” Yes, I do. However, in actuality, many of my students use listening and spoken language. You’d be here for days reading if I went in detail, but if you’re puzzled by what I’m saying, take a look at THIS. But this is kind of irrelevant….the point is I teach deaf kids and it’s a pretty awesome gig.
Because of my background in deaf education, this professor of mine really encouraged me to join her group on their next trip. Her thoughts were that I may be able to provide some educational insights to this community where their deaf and hard of hearing children virtually have no language whatsoever.
What an amazing and rewarding opportunity, am I right?
I love and adore my students here in NC. But being able to work with students in a different country is just an experience I can’t pass up and that would inevitably benefit me as a teacher and my current students. I would be changing them. They would be changing me. It would be beautiful to experience that transaction. I’ve heard about the benefits of traveling and I can only imagine how tremendous time spent with these students could be, but I’ll never know until I leave my bubble.
This trip I have so ambiguously hinted at is to Belize. Yes, Central America. So, actually, not too far away. A 7 hour flight. It will be the 2nd week of March, the 10th-15th. The group that regularly goes is called 4 the World. 4 the World writes it best in on their website: “We collaborate with communities across the globe by empowering them to identify and solve their most pressing health and educational needs.”
At first I thought, there’s no way I can miss an entire week of work to do this. Nah. I’ll try and see if the leader can set something up over the summer (which would be a long shot).
In October, I even met up with the leader to get some more details about the program and what we would be doing. I expressed my hesitancy about missing work, but that little voice in the back of my head kept nudging me. It was my desperation to break out of the mold and seize the opportunity NOW instead of letting it pass by again…and again…and again. As Emily would say, “No day but today.”
All this to say, I’ve decided to step out of the bubble.
I’ve been trying to fundraise for this trip to Belize. However, I’ve realized I’m quite awful at talking up things. I have received a few donations so far, but not yet enough to commit to the trip.
This brings me to my personal request. For all of you that have been so kind to take the time to read, or skim, through this, please click the attached link and consider making a donation. If you can’t make a donation, that’s okay, I still love you.
There are other ways you can support my endeavor. You can forward this blog post to a friend or two…or ten. You can tweet out the attached link to your friends. You can say a prayer, or two, or ten that I am able to meet my goal. You can pray for my safety in traveling. You can pray for the wisdom and courage to lead these children and educate them. You could send me an e-mail with some uplifting words of encouragement to get me through this process.
I would like to reach my goal of $1350 by Jan 1st.
With your help, I am excited to seize the opportunity presented and step out of my bubble. With Emily’s help, I’ll be sure to post again and let you all know how my journey to the outside of the bubble goes.
Want to help my dearest friend with her goal? Follow this LINK, share it, and help her break out of her shell and help those in need in Belize.