Writing my Transition Story

A perusal of any several of the thousands of blog posts written on expat transition—either incoming or outgoing—is sure to reveal at least one or two of the many horror stories that tend to grace many of these pages, replete with tales of driving on the wrong side of the road, overwhelming depression, and untold…

Young Life Camp 2017

I returned just three hours ago from The Highlands camp in Morogoro, where we took sixty-seven HOPAC high school students for the 2017 HOPAC Young Life Camp this weekend. Myself, three other full-time Young Life leaders, a program team from the Czech Republic and Poland, a speaker from Rwanda, nearly ten volunteer leaders, and a support…

GET INVOLVED: 2017 HOPAC Young Life Camp

One of my very favorite parts of every year here is Young Life camp. I’ve been involved in camp ministry for nearly 17 years now, and credit the time I spent at camp as a teen with a huge part of who I am as a Christian. This year, HOPAC’s Young Life Camp will be…

Airports & Aimless Thoughts

I’m in an airport for the tenth time in a month. My flight is delayed, so I’ve been sitting here for several hours surfing the web, and allowing my mind to wander aimlessly. Its nearly 1 a.m. and admittedly, I’m exhausted, so there’s not a lot of productive thought happening. [Three days later.] Obviously those…

Year 4: Week One

I am back in Tanzania for year four, and already through the first week of school. My class schedule is significantly lighter than last year, which was a pleasant surprise when I arrived on Thursday. I am still teaching English Literature for grades 10-12, Philosophy of Service and Research Paper Writing to grade 9, and…

(mis)Placed

One of the phrases frequently used to describe the missionary’s homecoming experience is “between two worlds.” It is very true that I often feel the tension that comes from being home, but not home, regardless of which city I’m in–Fort Wayne or Dar es Salaam. In both places, there are things that are familiar. In…

Compassion Visit: Singida

Early Sunday morning, I embarked on yet another adventure. This adventure wasn’t taken for adrenaline-related reasons, nor even for the desire to travel and explore new places. Instead, I planned a weekend trip to central Tanzania to visit two boys that I sponsor through Compassion International. [As a side note: I worked with Compassion International to…

I’m a Stayer

I just realized that this year, I’m a “stayer.” (For reference, check out this post from The Culture Blend that explains what it is to be a stayer, a goer, or a newbie in the constant transition of expat life). And the “friends leaving” phase has already started. Life here tends to be very transitory,…

SEW Week 2016 – Team DAIL

HOPAC’s 10th Annual Service Emphasis Week (SEW) – Team DAIL! DAIL is a Korean NGO that works in an impoverished community near HOPAC in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They run a foundational school for a number of the students in the community, where several of the twelfth grade HOPAC students volunteer throughout the year. For…

The ABC’s of Life in Dar es Salaam

Azam Ball Cones Azam is an enormous manufacturer of food products (and probably other things) in Tanzania. Juice, flour, milk(ish), you name it, and Azam probably produces it. However, the crowning achievement of Azam’s manufacturing genius is the ball cone. The Azam ball cone is simply a scoop of vanilla ice cream atop a cone and…

The Best Job Ever.

Yes. That’s right. I have the best job ever. Teaching at HOPAC is actually a lot of fun. My job is pretty awesome. I get to be mobbed by awesome primary students in the snack bar line. I get to wear crazy colors and celebrate togetherness with students and teachers of all ages. I get…