Sunday, August 17, 2014

Catalyst Challenge Preview: Big Adventure Awaits!

One thing I have already discovered through developing the Brave Project is that challenges and adventures come in all shapes and sizes. And some require more advance planning than others. 

As I developed my Catalyst grant portion of the Brave Project, I discovered that most of the challenges I wanted to undertake cost very little, but rather focus on overcoming fears, stretching into new experiences, or taking time to focus on developing new knowledge and skills outside my comfort zone.

So I fired up a search engine and got busy looking for options that would honor the Brave challenge aspect of the project, yet also celebrate the gift of the Catalyst grant to pursue an opportunity I would not have considered without it.

And I found one!  A great big, wonderful, awesome, sometimes scary, amazing one!

I'll be traveling 12,000 miles (one way) from home to Ubud, Bali in Indonesia to teach technology skills and English from mid-February to mid-March of next year. While I'll be volunteer teaching Monday-Thursday each week, I have the weekends to explore the island, enjoy the beautiful landscape and jump into as many of these recommended experiences in Bali as possible.  I will be staying near Ubud (pronounced Uh bood, I believe), which is the cultural capital of the island.

I'm really excited to experience a new culture and hopefully be able to have some positive impact on the other teachers, volunteers and students there. While I know that traveling alone and being away from home that long will have its challenges, I am really looking forward to volunteering in Bali. But I am stressed about getting there, for reasons I will mention in another post. In truth, this will be the only thing on the list that causes more anxiety than the singing class. But this is the Brave Project, right?  Right? 

While the trip is a long time off, I wanted to share information about it now for several reasons. Some of you have incredible travel expertise, and might have information I should know now to help have a great experience. Some of you have health or medical expertise, and might be aware of issues I should know about. Some of you are experts at teaching English as a second language to young children and could steer me toward resources. Some of you pray a lot, and I would appreciate if you add this trip to your list. Some of you will see me over the next few months and may wonder why I seem a bit distracted. Now you know.  :) Some of you might have some great ideas for how I could connect students and teachers there with students and teachers here, and we can get the details arranged in advance. Some of you might just appreciate some time to settle into the idea that I'll be away from home or the office for a while so we can plan for the time I'll be away.

There have been a lot of details to work out, with many more to come. I'm especially grateful for Toby and the leadership team at ESU 6 who are not only allowing me to take on this experience during the school year, but encouraging it.  

I've tried to put together a collection of questions and answers about the trip to help explain the project and why I'm doing it, and I'll post that soon.  If you have questions, please let me know, and I'll add your question and my answer to the post. 

As you can see, there is a lot "you need to know" about
preparing to travel to Bali!
The trip is several months away, so I am trying not to worry about it right now. (Some of you who have been working through this planning stage with me for the past many weeks are probably rolling your eyes now because you know I started out worrying about this approximately 34 times each day as I was finalizing the details, but I have tapered down to just a couple of texts about rabid monkeys and exploding planes over the past couple of weeks.)

I hope that starting the Torch Singer 101 class soon will distract me from thinking about this trip for a while! (In between immunizations to prevent Typhoid fever, Rabies, Japanese encephalitis, Hepatitis A & B, and Tetanus and Pertussis that is!)


  1. What???? Of course you are!!!!!!!!! I love it, SOOO amazing.

  2. I wanna go with you...oh, shucks, my passport has expired! GO...and take in every moment!

  3. What a once in a lifetime chance to touch another part of the world!! Sounds so fun and scary all at the same time! Praying for you!