Our son, Gil, is coming home for a few days before he leaves for
Thailand to take a training course for teaching English as a second language. He is then guaranteed placement for the several months of teaching he needs to do to get certification. While teaching, he will get a small salary and housing allowance, but it is not a permanent position. After that he hopes to find a position either there, in Indonesia, or some other country.
Most people who do this are fresh out of college and looking for adventure before settling down back in the States. He is not. At 42, he is at the top age limit for the program. Although he is looking for adventure, he is also looking for a fresh start in life. He does not want to come back and settle down here, rather he would like to find a new life there.
He has been to Indonesia twice before. As a high school student he did a year as an exchange student, and went again as a college student. Both times he went as a somewhat rich young American with money in his pocket, supporting organizations, and a life to return to.
This time, he has limited means and has gotten rid of all of his possessions. He has given me enough to buy his return ticket and provide a little cash to start again if he comes back, but that is only because he has to show he has the means to leave Indonesia if he wants a visa to go there. Although both of our names are on an account, I am holding it for him. We have an agreement that he cannot have it unless he needs it to come back.
My mixed emotions are that I'm happy for him because he is giving this dream a shot. I want him to be very successful in this adventure. But if he is, I may not see him again for years and that makes me sad. But except for a few summers, we have not lived in the same city since he left for college 24 years ago. Our visits have been infrequent, although I always knew that he could get on a plane and be home in a few hours.
At least with Skype, blogs, email, and Facebook we will be able to stay in touch. And if he is successful and makes a new life, we might just take a trip there for a visit.
I guess I have to remember Evelyn's ending line on her blog:
"Don't wish on a star - Reach for one."
Good luck Gil,
if you catch a star, hold on tight.