By Mary Pannabecker Steiner
When did you graduate from P-G?
Tell me some special memories from growing up in (or between)Pandora and Bluffton. Teachers? Friends?
Oh goodness, I had some grand teachers - Kim Miller, Harlan Basinger,Tom Parker, Nancy Thomas. Very special people. Playing basketball with Ken Brooks and my classmates was such a large part of my life; I'll always carry those memories with me. Going to Louise Matthews' (childcare), being a part of First Mennonite Church's youth group, taking advantage of all the musical and theatrical events at the college - all good things. You sort of had two sets of friends -- Bluffton and P-G.
What was that like?
For the most part it was great. My Bluffton friends at church always welcomed me with open arms. We obviously couldn't talk about shared school experiences, but that never mattered. I think it was nice to have some diversity as well -- not seeing the same people ALL the time. It certainly made my basketball games against Bluffton fun.
You went to Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. When did you graduate and what was your major? What was the most important thing you learned in college?
Best experience? 2008 - BS in Liberal Arts. College was where I learned who I was. A lot of self-introspection. My cross cultural was definitely a highlight of my time at EMU, and of course all of the relationships I built.
I know you lived in Virginia for a few years after college. What did you do there? What made you decide to return home? What have you been doing since coming back -- working with your dad?
I spent a lot of time looking for a job. I did some babysitting, worked at Rosetta Stone for two weeks as a product tester, played a lot of sand volleyball, started a little garden and hung out with friends. I came home because I ran out of money. I've been helping both Mom and Dad; getting lots of projects done which feels good.
Okay, so now you're planning to leave home again...this time across the ocean to a whole different culture. What influenced that decision? Tell me what you'll be doing.
A lack of job and income influenced my decision. Also a desire for adventure and experiencing a new culture. I'll be going to South Korea to teach English to classes of elementary aged children.
Preparations involve: making sure I can fit most of my wardrobe into two 50 pound bags, soaking up time with friends, and so much paperwork. Having an adventurous spirit and an open mind also helps.
Did you spend some time studying abroad during college? How was that good prep for your current plans?
I spent three and a half months in the Middle East and it was absolutely amazing. Egypt, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, Greece Italy. A trip that has definitely changed my life. One of the most emotional roller coasters my soul has ever been on. My cross cultural gave me that confidence to be a world traveler. I know I can live and survive in another culture.
How does your family feel about this adventure?
Having an uncle who spent a long time in Central American and an aunt who grew up there, I imagine they're giving you some great support. They're excited for me and supportive of my decision, which feels great. My sister, Sara, is most definitely super excited for me. Oh, yeah, I think I've always had a big worldview. Chris and Carmen (aunt and uncle) are a big reason why. Everyone's so excited for me! Which is just a huge blessing.
Having grown up on a farm, did you ever wish you lived in town? Have you ever considered joining your dad on the farm?
Nope...never ever wanted to live in town. I am who I am because I was raised on a farm; wouldn't trade that for the world. Hmmm good question. I'm the sixth generation Moser to live on this farm so there's no way that I'll ever let it go outside of the family, but as far as actually farming? I have no idea.
You're also very active in your church. Have you ever considered seminary? Might that be a part of your future?
I did consider seminary for a few years in college, but it's not an option anymore. That's not where I am in my journey right now.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Good gracious I hate this question. I have no stinking idea; I'm not living my life with timelines or specific goals at this point. I'm not looking past South Korea.