Going to Turkmenistan is not without its challenges. I'll be isolated from family and friends for long stretches of time, without many of the comforts of home or even the culture that I'm just finally getting settled into. However, two sacrifices stand out to me as being particularly difficult, and I had to think long and hard about giving them up for service in Turkmenistan. The first of these is my fledgling facial hair.
One of the new things I tried this summer was to grow a beard. It was moderately successful, and I really like the goatee look on me, as I finally start to look closer to my age, instead of like I belong in my local high school. It may have just been minor chin fuzz, but I liked it.
Alas facial hair is seen as inappropriate for teachers in Turkmenistan, and it had to go.
However, before I shaved it completely off, I decided to experiment a little. I shaved off the mustache, to see if I could rock the soul patch for a couple of days.
The answer is no, I can't. I just look Amish.
So I took the plunge, and took the rest of it off.
While I'm a little sad to lose it, I toughed up, faced forward, and prepared to teach in Turkmenistan.
Goodbye facial hair. Hello Peace Corps.
However, one of the biggest sacrifices has to be giving up on seeing James Cameron's Avatar in theaters. James Cameron is pretty much my favorite director of all time, but the only one of his movies I've ever been able to see in the theater is Titanic (and I'm more a fan of his science fiction films). Avatar is supposed to be in mindblowing 3D as well, and the film looks amazing:
But in the end, life changing world helping service experiences DO outweigh having my mind completely blown and seeing what looks to be my new favorite movie ever, and I'll just wait for someone to mail it to me on DVD (hint hint).