Since retiring from a life of public service and lots of great times helping people climb the American social ladder I've decided to make a way to travel abroad and enjoy the weather and people in other lands. I thought the process would be enjoyable and fun. Little did I know it would be just like every other planning and project management challenge I'd faced all my working life. I'd been fortunate to have had friends from grad school who conducted student trips abroad and been included in one of those trips to southern India. My partner and I spent three weeks traveling to Chennai, Pune, Ponditcherry, and Mumbai. In another instance I traveled to Seoul, Korea with the Sun Young Moon Church's Ambassadors For Peace. My most recent trip gave me a chance to try out one of my ideas for using my photography to help pay for my travels. On this trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic I traded the work of photographing an organizations social project for room and board with one of my undergrad classmates. His organization, Dominican Republic Sports and Education Academy, did a joint project with Caribbean branch of Major League Baseball(MLB) and a social service organization in Boca Chica. The MLB Director of Operations was recruited to read to a class of poor children in the local area. The images I shot were used in an online newsletter and in a local print publication. Since that experience I've been involved in AmeriCorp with the American Red Cross in Philadelphia, PA. You might wonder how that involvement relates to my goal. Well the field of disaster response is becoming more and more prominent as the world goes through the new challenges bought on by climate change. Knowing what to do in a disaster and being affiliated with a worldwide disaster organization enhances one's usefulness in a way that is recognized worldwide. Now that I'm finishing the 2nd year of my AmeriCorp experience and having gained over $11,000 in education stipends I'm now at the point where I can put together an overseas volunteer learning experience that will allow me to live in another country for as long as 15 weeks. I'm still thinking through how I can use my writing and photography skills, along with my teaching and academic credentials, to fashion a live abroad platform that will sustain me in the world at large. I figure I've just about got enough financial support, including my pension and social security, to make a good start at remaking myself as a world traveler. The one thing I know I've got to do is learn a second language. I'll share how I use social media to make contacts in foreign places and develop insights into the real life of people living in a foreign country.
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