|Map of the Carribean|
When it came to university studies a logical choice for me was to apply to the International Development program at the University of Guelph as my first choice. I was so excited about the opportunities that the degree would offer me and was sure I would get in. I had participated in every kind of social/political activity and I had been even been awarded a National Citizenship Award at 16. I was the real deal, how could they not want me? So when I got a thin envelop from Guelph saying that I had not been accepted I was devastated. Back then when someone said no I thought that was the end of the discussion, so I closed that door.
For our family this journey started February of 2012 when the entire family went to Costa Rica and stayed in a local village rather than at a resort. It made us realize that there are incredible learning opportunities to be found in immersing yourself in a culture. And a window opened.
We began to plan financially to take a leave of absence, we called it "The three year plan". The plan had to be three years out because we needed to take our boys out of school in a non-critical year of their education, and yet ensure they would not be so young that they did not remember the experience.
Those who have taken courses with me at CFB Trenton would know that my screen saver in the classroom scrolled across during breaks reading "Three Year Plan". I did this intentionally because I wanted people to hold me accountable to my big idea. It was important for it to be a real plan not just a wouldn't it be nice plan. At the start of this year I stopped surrounding myself in my office with policy documents and business plans and created a cork board filled with images of the types of places we wanted to be. And in the middle of all those images the Latin phrase "Aude aliquid dignum" Dare Something Worthy.
We have dared something worthy; to contribute more fully, to engage more broadly and to be global not just local citizens. We are taking this adventure and we hope you will come with us. We will be blogging and our boys (aged 10 & 12) will as well. Hopefully it serves to inspire you to do something worthy of who you have the capacity to be. If you are already on that path or are thinking about volunteering with Cuso or VSO hopefully it helps provides you with insight into a volunteer placement and into following your dreams.
Cuso takes a pay it forward approach, where volunteers who are going overseas assist in raising funds to help send the next group of volunteers. As a registered charity the Canadian government has partnered with Cuso and donates $9.00 for every $1.00 donated, which means when you donate to Cuso every dollar donated becomes $10.00 If you would like to help us send volunteers to help alleviate poverty please follow this link.