My name is Susan Rinker, Sue to my friends. I am 53 yrs old and have just accepted a 1 year volunteer position to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with WorldTeach. I will be leaving in 4 months to teach English in one of their public schools.
Written down, it’s a big number. It screams old. But I’m not old yet, at least I don’t think I am. Others may disagree of course, but let them. I’m 53 and heading off to pursue unrealized dreams and unfinished goals that I thought I had left behind in my 20’s. And it makes me happy and excited!
My children are considered adults now and beginning their own journeys, yet somehow I feel like I am deserting them. I have their blessings, although maybe they are just being nice. Mom won’t be there at their beck and call to help them out, however, I believe that it is a good thing. They will learn how to problem solve without my input, learn how to work things out and realize they too can do this thing I like to call “adulting”. Wasn’t that my job as a mom all along? To prepare my children to soar away from the nest and not look back. That’s a good thing, right? Maybe this is part of the empty nest syndrome I keep hearing about. They have been my whole life for the past 23 years, I am sad that my children are now adults.
I am both excited and nervous about this upcoming adventure. I will be leaving my family for one year to go to an island nation whose customs, language and food are different from what I am used to. Very different, according to what I have been reading. But I know I will be fine, and that I will adjust. After all I’ve done it before, as a Rotary Exchange student to Sweden when I was 16 years old and an Au-Pair in France when I was 20 years old. But never a change this great and certainly not at this age. I am 53 years old and heading off to the Marshall Islands, where I will adjust to sleeping on a thin mat on cement, taking bucket showers, and learning yet another language, Marshallese. Am very excited? Very!
Stay tuned for more information about WorldTeach, the Marshall Islands and all the preparations!