Today I packed all my belongings into 2 large suitcases, a carryon, and a back pack. I find it refreshing to quickly account for everything I own.
The first time we made an international move, each task seemed significant and overwhelming. At that time, I was emotionally preparing to leave my home state of 25 years for a place I had only seen a picture of. The hardest part was giving my family hugs and stepping onto the plane. The weight of that moment felt like that was the last time I would ever see them. It now seems a little dramatic because 24 hours later I stepped off the final flight and called my parents. It didn’t matter that I was halfway around the world, they were in my iPad joining me on the journey. The world became a lot smaller that day. The significance of that first step is not lost on me. So often, it’s the fear of the first step that paralyzes us and prevents us from living in to who we are and what we can be.
The first step is no longer as daunting as it once was as I am confident there will be another step behind it. In fact, I find myself overjoyed anticipating what possibilities lie ahead. So here we are again preparing to move to our third island—- the island nation of Mauritius. A place we have only seen in photos and watched a few YouTube videos on. And oh the excitement!
Let me share a little more about the journey to this moment.
Jason and I spent the better part of 2020-2021 getting our teaching certifications. This is something we have been considering for several years and with the onset of COVID-19, the timing was ideal. We were both in the same online Cohort of about 9 other students from all over the world and we spent every Saturday with them for 9 months meeting via Zoom. It was a fantastic experience learning the similarities and differences in teaching styles and cultural influences.
When we first started this program we didn’t exactly have a plan. Jason was already working in a school here in Hawaii as a High School Counselor and I was a Community Association and Property Manager. We thought we might wait a few years before considering moving abroad again. But in true Huwe fashion, we threw out a few darts to see if anything stuck. We applied to several international schools and to Hawaii schools. One school, on a tiny island nation we’d never heard of called Mauritius, only had one position posted. Undeterred, Jason sent in both of our resumes and they responded. This began many months of communication, but it was becoming very clear that this school and island were going to be our next home. Although we were content with the idea of staying in Kona and had originally intended to make this our long term home, the vision, mission, and leadership of the Lighthouse school in Mauritius really tugged on us. We sent out notes to our prayer warriors and asked them to start praying on this one.
Late June was when all options came to a head and it was decision making time. We had received offers for Hawaii and for Mauritius, but Hawaii needed an immediate answer. It’s not my intent to put down the public schools in Hawaii; however, the short version is -- the system is broken. At the time, the Mauritius school was still finalizing our job descriptions. I would normally consider this a deterrent to accepting a job offer, but even without full job descriptions, our continued conversations with them made the choice clear and easy.
The decision to leave triggered what feels like the longest transition ever. In total, it will be about 8 months from when we started speaking with Lighthouse until we start in January. For comparison, It was about a 6 month transition when we moved to the Marshall Islands.
Today, we have a more clear picture of what we’ll be teaching. Jason will be teaching social studies - mostly middle school ages but could have a few high school — and some spiritual formation classes. I will be teaching high school business and college/career counseling. There will be a learning curve since the school uses Cambridge curriculum, so we will become familiar with British standards.
Over the next 6 weeks we’ll be visiting friends and family in Colorado Springs and Kansas City. We are so grateful for the time we will get to spend there before departing for our 2-3 year commitment in Mauritius. Give us a shout if you want to connect! We are scheduled to leave for Mauritius on December 20th.
With the few possessions we have left to our name, I'm continually reminded how little we actually need to live. I'm also reminded that we are now temporarily car-less, jobless, and homeless. The love and kindness from friends and family as we are transitioning has been so wonderful and we are incredibly grateful! We will definitely miss Hawaii and are thankful for our time there, but are excited to step into the uncertainty that is our next phase of life.