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…

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 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…

Pamoja Week: Year #3

Its difficult for me to believe that this is my third year at HOPAC, but, as this is my third week participating in the legendary “Pamoja Week,” it must be true. Pamoja Week is our celebration of unity at HOPAC. In many ways, it mirrors the American “Spirit Week.” Pamoja Week is the highlight of…

Teaching Like its Summer Camp

It occurred to me earlier this week that perhaps the reason I’ve been so tired this school year is not my class load, but the fact that I am teaching like its summer camp. Those of you who have ever been summer camp counselors know what I mean: the enthusiasm, energy, creativity, passion, and giving…

The Fifth First Week of School

Confused yet? I think I might be. Its a good thing this is my fifth year teaching. My schedule this year is 100% insane. Of course, I often enjoy what others deem insane, but this is crazy even for me. At HOPAC, primary (elementary), middle, and senior (high) school is all on one campus, but…