by Matt Colville
twenties, I travelled some. A couple of summer stints working on Hamilton
Island in Australia. Two surf trips to Indonesia. A month in the USA. Two
extended trips chasing girls around the European Union.
always wanted to live in Europe. And despite the joy of my partner getting
pregnant three years ago, it triggered a small nervous breakdown, as I thought
my dream was fading.
months of searching, my wife − who has taught in Europe before − gained a job
in a small international school, in a tiny village in southern Germany. We
swapped roles, and now I’m at home with our son. And by and large, it is great.
But there have been many challenges along the way.
by Mary J. Breen
Mary J. Breen was a member of CUSO, a Canadian volunteer organization similar to the Peace Corps, in Binatang, Sarawak, Malaysia from 1966-68.
In front of my prefab teacher’s house at the school, pink
and blue morning glories curled up the wooden handrail and spread out over the
landing. Even though this door was seldom used, I would regularly take a
cleaver and chop away those lovely flowers. Of course, in the steamy heat of
Sarawak, the vines would be back within days, and I’d start chopping again.
Perhaps I wanted to instill some order on my world, or perhaps I was obeying
some primeval urge to keep the jungle at bay.
course my children are going to grow up speaking German!” I don’t remember how
often I spoke words to that effect to friends and family I left behind in
Germany when I moved to the U.S. for college. That move marked the second time
I had left my home country, as I had already spent my middle school years in
America, and uttering these words seemed to reassure those left behind that my
native language would remain a part of me – at least theoretically.