I recently experienced culture stress. The situation: the purchase of a new refrigerator and the fact that it took two weeks for it to be delivered, which meant two weeks of storing my food at my neighbors’ house and two weeks of rearranging my schedule to be available on days the refrigerator might be delivered. This ordeal led me to think about culture shock, ...

The first day I met "Karla," she was sitting at a table in a class I was substituting. Her eyes were big and fearful of this strange American teacher who had just walked in.

Because IDEAS works in over 13 countries to restore hope in marginalized communities, we’ve seen a few airports. . . and we’ve eaten at a few airport restaurants!

The first time I walked into JinXiNanFang Hospital I was eight weeks pregnant.

Leaving the land of the familiar sounds like traveling to me. Stepping into the unknown, the foreign. Leaving the known, the familiar.

Most of China's population live in large, modern cities full of skyscrapers, newly built highways, and modern technology. But in the rural villages of central and western China life is very different.

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.