WorldTeach summer alum, Gary Aitken shares some wisdom about teaching and living in a summer program.
I am a 65 year old guy who spent the summer of 2014 in Namibia in the WorldTeach summer program. It is one of the best things I ever did. I am writing this to convince you to brave the unknown, overcome your fears, and go ahead and volunteer.
Some compelling reasons:
1. It is one of the few things you will genuinely regret not doing when you are lying on your death bed. I mean that literally, and seriously. Think about that as you go to sleep tonight. What truly better way do you have to spend your summer?
2. There will never be a better time. You will have more obligations as each year passes – a job with only a few weeks vacation; marriage; kids; a house with mortgage payments; parents with failing health; debt to pay off... The list goes on and on.
3. A long time ago, I had an opportunity to spend a summer in South America helping set up the first computer center in Brazil. I didn't go, for a very poor reason; there was no good reason. If I had my life to live over, it is one of the few things I would change. On my death bed, it will be one of the few things I will regret.
4. You most likely have no good reason not to go; if you did, you wouldn't be waffling about it now. If you're waffling, it's anxiety; and that's a very good reason to go.
So... Do it. Do it now. If you don't, you probably never will. If you don't, you will regret it. If you do, it will be one of the most satisfying things you will ever do; it may change the direction of your life. At a minimum, it will give you a better world perspective and a better sense of your place, and your culture and civilization's place, in it. It will make you a better human being. Do it, have fun, and enjoy it. I wish I could go back this year for a whole year; I hope I can go back in the near future. If you would like to talk to me about my summer and experiences, I can be reached at:
406 793 5836
-Gary Aitken, WorldTeach Namibia Summer 2014
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