I am an Aussie living in Rawalpindi, Pakistan with my husband, three children and alongside a huge extended Pakistani family.
Getting to this point in my life is a long story that starts in 1997 when within the space of 2 months, I sold my house in Sydney, quit my cushy job and yuppy lifestyle, and for nothing more than a yearning and spiritual pull, set off around the world. I travelled through India, Nepal, Egypt, Turkey, and Iran, learning all the while about the religion and spirituality of the places I passed through.
My last stop before heading back to India for a Buddhism course in Dharamsala was Pakistan, but I never got any further. I fell in love with the mad colour, pace and life of this place within minutes of crossing the border from Iran. I had been looking for spirituality and this was the first place I had experienced that felt like God was everywhere. On every wall seemed to be Quranic Arabic, in every taxi seemed to be Allah’s name, in every home people seemed to be praying. The call to prayer was not the muted affair that I had experienced in Turkey, Egypt and even Iran. It was a joyous and usually out-of-tune shout of celebration from not just one but thousands of mosques simultaneously declaring the time to pray.
The man I was destined to marry was the manager of my hotel in Rawalpindi and became my teacher in spirituality along with his father. We married in a tiny (and not particularly popular) ceremony at his home about six months later, and although there was no compulsion, I became a Muslim shortly afterwards with my full heart. Three kids and about seven years of bouncing between Australia and Pakistan later, we made the decision to settle here permanently alongside his family.
Although life here is a challenge every day, I have a privileged position because I am both an outsider looking on and an insider living a Pakistani life (but never really fitting in anywhere!).
In 2011, after years of frustration at the education system here, I took my kids out of school and started home schooling. This launched us as a family into a whole new dimension of learning – from the kids being like battery chickens being fed rubbish and spitting it out again, to a new journey into learning for the love of it.
In parallel I work as an e-Learning consultant for a multinational company based in Dubai, and this too pushes and pulls at the traditional learning paradigm. It is action-based, systemic and applied learning… much like homeschooling! I also run my own freelance writing company made up of high quality young Pakistani writers and my role as mentor and leader is a huge source of inspiration.
I love learning, and this blog is my way of making sense of it and sharing our experiences here as a Pakistani homeschooling family.
Contact me at email@example.com