2013 Sauer Family Letter
Written January 6, 2014
Here’s what going on with the Sauer clan at the moment.
Alex got her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate last year, sold or gave away most of her life in Boulder, Colorado, then packed up the rest to temporarily store in our attic so she could head to Seoul, South Korea for a year to teach English. She loves it – loves the kids, loves exploring a new culture, and now realizes just how much she loves the art of teaching. Her commitment ends mid-August, but she is considering signing on for a second year so she can really settle into the culture and take advantage of the many travel destinations that are on that side of the world. While she has met several new people and has had lots of adventures in her new country, she has also learned that when you strip away all that is familiar – language, routines, food, people – you are left with you, thus you see yourself clearly and learn a great deal about who you really are. And so this experience is proving to be both an outer as well as an inner adventure. Proud-mama plug: check out her blog called Who Eats Better? where she shares her culture and food experiences in unique ways. So creative and fun!
Calvin is currently taking a class toward his computer-science degree at Purdue and working at The Envision Center doing virtual-reality computer programming. He has also joined the competitive cheerleading squad at Purdue and thus has shoulders the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger from hoisting girls up over his head for hours on end. Last time he connected, we also learned he was taking an Indian dance class so he could better participate in the dancing that takes place at many of his Indian friends’ parties – think Bollywood. He continues to create his own music and now has started recording it in a home studio. And as if all of that doesn’t make your head spin a bit, after a year filled with personal shifts and intense self-awareness, he has recognized a need to move outside of himself and into the world in a way that brings service and healing to others. Thus he has applied to volunteer in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with an organization whose mission is to build community and provide education to break the cycle of poverty. He will bring his expertise in computers, free-running, soccer, and math, but if you’ve been near him in the last month or so, you’d know that he also brings his eagerness to grow into the world outside of himself and see where he fits. At this writing, he’s hoping to head south in May so he is diligently learning Portuguese to prepare. And if all falls through with this plan, he intends to go back to a repeat internship at the Lincolc Labs at MIT in Boston. A little different than Brazil, but it wouldn’t be a normal day if Calvin didn’t keep us guessing.
Drew has reveled in his first months away from home at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY and loves the newfound independence. He also has worked his tail off and learned that all of the rumors are indeed true that culinary school is uber intense. His first visit home over the holidays was a treat for all of us – him ready to remember the comforts of home and us ready to hear every detail of his adventure. He did not disappoint as he is a true lover of people, adventures, and silliness of all kinds and loves to talk about it. He recently texted to tell us his first term was over and he had received kind and encouraging words from his very tough head chef, Chef Cerrone, who told him “You will go far in life and do great things.” After meeting with him and hearing this, Drew’s text to us read, “I’m tingling. It just got real!” While home, he fulfilled a two-year-long plan of getting his first tattoo – yes, a tattoo and yes, two years in the making with researching the process. It is a stunning piece of artwork created by a seasoned artist, Ricco Diamante. The image is a phoenix wrapping around his shoulder and upper arm grasping in his talons what else but cooking utensils – a knife, a whisk, and a spatula. For Drew, the phoenix represents openness to changes and shifts, and so this bold body art is a perpetual reminder to relish life’s challenges and flow with their outcome. I’ve never seen anyone come to a decision so deliberately and confidently.
Joel and I are loving our home, our neighborhood, our community, our families and friends, and each other. As empty nesters we treat dog Roxy like the golden child and intend to fully ruin her. We plan for the future setting goals for our careers and the like, yet at the same time, are grateful for things exactly as they are. Nearly daily, one of us reminds the other of this with ‘Life is good, isn’t it?’ We are traveling to South Korea at the end of February to see daughter, Alex. It is a little surreal in that it is only a short time away and yet all we have done is update our passports and buy plane tickets. Alex has taken care of the rest – lodging, sightseeing, eating, and dates with her new Korean friends. We just need to show up – very welcome for our first trip to Asia.
I hope your lives are as full of love and soulful transitions as ours. Have a wonderful 2014!