Monday, January 18, 2010


Chris says:

The story of how the Finks decided to go to Honduras...(part 1?)

Both Kristen and I have been abroad and loved the experience! Kristen has spent time traveling with her family in addition to spending an entire semester in London during her undergraduate studies. I have travelled with my family outside the country as well (though not as much as Kristen) and I spent a couple awesome weeks in France during high school.

I can't speak for Kristen, but from my perspective (specifically with France) - it wasn't just a vacation. It was really a great cultural experience. I loved getting out of Paris and heading east towards Germany to our family stay location (Besancon). Don't get me wrong, I completely enjoyed being in Paris with all the history, architecture and food - but it was a little too much like any other big city in the States. So, heading east and having a week or so family stay with a terrific family was very, very cool. Like I said, it wasn't just a vacation - but a real (although brief) glimpse into the French.....and what makes them was a chance to see how we (as humans) are the same and different all at the same time.

Enough of that rant - I guess what I'm getting to is that I think both Kristen and I enjoy learning about and immersing ourselves in a different culture than that of Southeast/Central Iowa. It's not that we don't like Iowa - in fact I think it's the complete opposite. We love (?) Iowa.....maybe not all parts (long cold winters?), but there is definitely some fondness for "home". And that's how it should be. For me, this interest in living/working someplace else is all about - Experiencing Life. That means lots of things to me, and may (and probably will) be an entirely different post.

So, I guess that's the mindset from my perspective when we got married. As Kristen worked through her Master's program we had a number of talks about what the next few years would look like. Knowing that we were leasing an apartment, and our only real responsibility was our dog - it seemed that there wasn't a whole lot to tie us down to the Des Moines area when Kristen graduated (family not withstanding of course). I work for a global company (Principal, you're awesome!) that has a history of being a great place to work and before Kristen's graduate studies, I had actually interviewed for a couple of positions abroad.

When Kristen student taught, one of her teachers had actually taught with her husband in Africa. Through this student teaching experience, we learned about the University of Northern Iowa's abroad fair. I guess its a pretty big deal for international schools. Each year, hundreds of schools post open positions for this fair. Interested teachers can register for this fair (for a fee of course), post their resumes and begin the interview process. Kristen did this for the 2010 fair. She was able to apply to a number of positions in many different countries including India, Taiwan, Egypt, Mexico, Argentina, Honduras, and the U.A.E. After about a week or so of applying, she received a call from the director of the Discovery School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This kind of surprised the heck out of us - we weren't actually anticipating a whole lot until we were actually physically present at the UNI fair. In any case, this phone call turned out to be a phone interview of sorts. A few weeks later after a number of emails back and forth, the position was offered to Kristen.

Then the real work began.....

I had breached the subject of this international experience thing with my team lead and we were working on figuring out what the heck that would mean to my position, etc. Kristen and I had 10 days to figure out if we wanted to accept this position in Honduras or take a chance that something else might come along at the fair. Keep in mind PFG hadn't officially given me the 'OK' that they would be good with me working remotely. In the end though, Kristen and I did a lot of talking....and I did a lot of work with my team leader and others at Principal.....and it really came down to #1) there is no reason why PFG/Chris can't make this work and #2) Why the heck not - we're 26 now....and its an opportunity to do something that not too many people get the opportunity to do.

Alright, enough for now. Happy MLK Day everyone......I like days off!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice, do what comes to your heart, trust in your instincts, PFG is possibly the best employer in the united states, but if you don't take this opportunity you will regret it for the rest of your lives, or 12/21/12 so get going!!


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