In Caracas, I met a culture where strangers are brought home and given a traditional dinner… week after week. So I entered casa after casa, eating in red, yellow, purple and orange kitchens. After months, it slowly dawned on me why their homes were painted with such bright colors. They paint with their souls. That’s how they live- colorfully… relationally… joyfully… That is who they are. It is who I have become.
I taught a year in Caracas, then returned to start a Hispanic church in Greenville, SC. However, a year later I returned to Caracas as director of the same international school. The besito called me back. I had given my heart to a Venezolana- Rossana Cabrera. That was almost 12 years ago, and as I write she has my heart even more.
To fast forward, we married seven years ago and moved to Charleston 3 years later (4 years ago). For the first 3 years in Charleston, I served as principle of an excellent school, Palmetto Christian Academy. Concurrently, I was studying my doctorate at Vanderbilt (traveling to Nashville for 54 weekends over 3 years). While principaling and studying, we had our first boy two years ago, Elliot Courage (I guess there was time for study breaks).
This past year I served as the director of international development in a software curriculum company, and we also had our second child, Risa (Risa means laughter in Spanish).
This past May proved to be a culmination and genesis point. I had finished an entire doctorate on education in urban contexts, had 9 years of school administration under my belt, and had worked for a year leveraging cutting edge technology to empower education in incredible ways. And while I have always wondered what I would do when I grew up, the question now stared me in the face…. Charleston Bilingual Academy?