This time of year I’m reminded of how life springs forth from the dry and barren ground and from trees that appear to be dead, like they will never come back to life. This reality reminds me that new life is always preparing to emerge unexpectedly from whatever loss or death I'm experiencing.

"So, why should I join IDEAS?" I love this question. In fact, I never get tired of it because it is the exact question a possible volunteer or long-term Associate should be asking. 

Recently while in Jordan visiting some of our IDEAS Associates, I was reminded of practical ways to be a respectful guest while visiting or working in a country outside the U.S. Here are some travel tips that will make you a welcome guest.

There is loss in leaving, and adults come to know it quickly. Experienced overseas workers learn how to make immediate friendships, grieve good-byes, and move on to the next wave of arrivals. There is a cycle, and most of us are transient. You get used to it.

One evening, 17 years ago, I was out walking my dog, and I began processing my life. That particular evening, I started thinking about my calling and my future.