Here is a little bit of the back story as to how and why we are heading to Nepal.
We finished grad school and moved to Rochester, NY where we locked down and began (finally) our non-student lives. Dave started a three year residency program at the University of Rochester in Internal Medicine, he was kind of, sort of a real doctor. Or at least doing the work of a real doctor.I was studying for the bar and eventually working as an attorney. We bought a great house in a great neighborhood. We joined a church and a small group. We were making money, we bought meat. We planted an urban garden and had our favorite take out restaurants. We had another kid, who in addition to our son brought our grand total to 2.5. We drove a minivan and I was a couple steps away from being a full blown American soccer mom. (though Dave tells me I was never in real danger of that, but I always worry).
Anyway we had arrived or whatever. It would simply be the next step to find jobs after residency and permanently settle down. The problem was we were bored and restless. The way we described it to each other was that it felt as if we were living someone else’s dream. We had been really blessed and had a great thing going on, but it just didn’t seem like we were at the point of ‘The rest of our lives’.
I have this affliction that I think I acquired from being a student for so long, but every 3 or 4 years I just get this sense that something different should happen. I know I will have to get over it eventually but for now it has served me well, preparing me for moving on in different circumstances. The urge to move along kicked in at about the same time as we discovered we really weren’t interested in living in the same place and working jobs forever.
We met in our undergraduate intercultural studies program, so it wasn’t an entirely new idea for either Dave or I that way may live abroad at some point. As we talked about moving on after residency, the possibility came up again. Great idea right? but the logistics were a little baffling. Did we try to find jobs abroad? Did we join a non-profit? Did we apply to government jobs? Could we join a mission agency? And that was just the how to get to another country part. This whole train of thought had a long line of box-cars; is there one agency that could take both of us? Do we want to live somewhere else long-term? How would we support ourselves? How about our kids? Were there schools? Would we have to homeschool (gulp)?
Dave stumbled across the Post-Residency program while surfing the interwebs and immediately fell in love it with. To him it really seemed perfect. It was a part mission/part medical program, two years to start with the possibility of extending, partially funded for the first two years, and lots of locations to choose from.
I was not so assured that this was quite the thing. There was no specific career role for me with this program, partially funded still meant we would have to raise support, and there was no specific schooling provision made for children, which could mean (gulp) homeschooling.
The application deadline was coming up quick so with some prayer and some scrambling we threw an application together and kept checking out other stuff that we didn’t have to apply to so quickly. Oddly enough we were asked for an interview and took a weekend to travel to the interview location. We still hadn’t decided this was for us, so the interview was as much for us to check the thing out as it was for them to check us out.
The interview did not go well. Apparently our narrow vision of what we thought we would do in another country did not coincide with what one is actually expected to do in another country. “Oh, so you only work with adults? Well you will probably have to do pediatrics too and probably deliver babies.” “A Christian lawyer huh? Could you negotiate land disputes? or maybe homeschool?
We left the interview pretty disappointed, we told ourselves it was because they didn’t understand what we wanted to do abroad. The real reason I think we stunk at the interview is that we just really had no idea of what it actually takes to work in another country. The interviewers knew and were trying to find out if we actually had the flexibility, creativity, patience and realistic expectations to function in another country.
Apparently we do, or they thought we had the potential to, because we were accepted into the program!
So that is how we decided to go abroad and got hooked up with the Post-Residency Program. I’m recognizing I have the propensity for long blog posts so I will post about the actual Nepal bit another time.