1. How long will you be in Lithuania?
Short answer: at least two years. Long answer: we aren't entirely sure yet, but we hope that a two-year initial commitment will provide us with the information and experience we'll need to fully answer that.
Since before Alisha and I even met, we both had felt a call or deep-seeded longing to serve others abroad. The idea of traveling the world and leaving it a better place for our having been there has shaped the decisions and direction of our marriage from the start. We have both seized opportunities to journey abroad and locally to prepare.
We also plan on visiting friends and family next summer while school is out.
So, to start, we are committing to two years. We also have the option of staying longer. This is something we are hoping to feel out this next year.
2. What will happen to your band, The Ragamuffin Stampede?
The Ragamuffin Stampede has always had a pretty fluid approach to its lineup, with a tradition of being "joined by other ragamuffins as needed."
So I am very excited that the group has elected to continue after Alisha and I leave. I love the idea of starting something that can exist beyond its creator and it will be exciting to see how the group grows and develops without us.
It should also be noted that Alisha and I fully intend to continue using music and art to build bridges while in Lithuania.
3. What are you looking forward to the most?
There are little things that we are looking forward to (Josh - trying all kinds of new condiments; Alisha - accessorizing winter outfits) and there are anxious to learn (Josh - language classes; Alisha - will the cat we are inheriting be friendly?), but the big things that excite us cannot really be ordered.
We are excited about the relationships we are going to build. We are excited about starting a new chapter in our marriage. From a career standpoint, we are excited about the breath of fresh air that will come from working for the same cause at the same level. We are excited about applying what we've learned while living in the Valley of the Sun to a new context.
We are working on putting together information and support packets to give to friends and family. We'll put together a mailing list soon for anyone who would like one.