We are going to Costa Rica! My daughters and I will live with a host family in a rural part of the country and I will teach English to 7th graders about to enter their first year of high school. The schools in the rural areas of Costa Rica are not as funded and rigorous as schools in the cities. By improving their English, these kids will have a better chance of graduating high school and finding a job.
I know Costa Rica will make a difference in our lives, and I hope to make a difference in the lives of the people we meet as well. I want to make friends, experience another way of life, another language, the land and the animals and the ocean. I want to help the students I work with to love English and to speak it with confidence.
Traveling to a Central American country and learning Spanish has been a dream of mine since I was 19 years old, when I went to the Dominican Republic with a group of college students to build a school. I'm so happy to be taking action toward my dream at last (25 years later!), and to be bringing my children with me. This action is directly related to the Life Brief I wrote for myself about 10 months ago. Check out this article by Bonnie Wan about the Life Brief, what it is, and how to write your own. I highly recommend making one.
I will keep writing... about the preparation, adventures, struggles, and joys of traveling with kids, exploring a foreign country, teaching English, learning Spanish, living with a rural host family, and more... including coming home and sharing new ideas and stories with my writing students here in Portland, Oregon.
Here's to taking action on dreams.
Sarah Pemberton is a teacher, a writer, and the founder of Write Now!. Sarah lives in Portland, Oregon with her two daughters.