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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Participant Introduction

Oh my goodness!  I’m leaving for Nepal in a week!  I’m at the stage where I’m less excited and more nervous.  This means I’ll be leaving my family and going out on my own for the first time since I got married and had kids.  I’ve loved being a stay-at-home mom, but with my fourth, and youngest, a junior in high school, it’s time to begin my next chapter in life.  One where I’m known first as ‘Mika,’ not just ‘so-and-so’s mom.’  In a way, I’m like my two oldest kids, who have graduated from college and are searching to find their place in the world:  what next?  The possibilities are exciting as well as overwhelming.  That said, there’s a lot I’ll take with me on this journey to my empty-nest stage of life:  my newfound enjoyment of gardening and effort at small-scale permaculture (it’s kind of like building a mini ecosystem here at home–my kitchen scraps go to the chickens, who make both eggs and fertilizer for me), biking adventures with my husband, sewing, reading good historical fiction, volunteering at our arboretum and the Euphrates Institute (dedicated towards peace-building and cross-cultural understanding).

I look forward to meeting you all and to new adventures in Nepal!