Thursday, November 26

Home for the Holidays

It's cold here.
I can't sleep past 4am.
I'm improving, yesterday it was 3am.
I miss the beach.
No more room service? Sad.
I miss paradise.

Today, I'm grateful to be back on American soil,
Hanging out with my sisters,
Just in time for the holiday!

Friday, November 20

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

"When we understand that God offers us opportunities for blessings, and blesses us through our own adversities, and the adversities of others, we can understand why He has commanded us again and again, to thank the Lord they God in all things" - Elder Oaks

In the spirit of thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It simply makes life worth living.

I love the holiday season, even if hot, humid, sunny weather has tricked me from believing it really is just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 17


I wish we used military time - then I wouldn't have to quickly do the math when someone shouts from across the room, "It's at 15 hundred". Got it, 3 o' clock, right? Well, that's easy. What about 21 hundred? See, then it gets more complicated. And yes, I have to use my fingers.  

I wish we used the metric system. 
Then I'd understand when someone says it's 27 degrees outside, 
what that actually means. 
Then, when I'd ask someone how much farther to go, 
and they respond with "90 kilometers",
 I'd know that it meant another hour. 
Then, when I ever so proudly ran 3.5 kilometers in 20 minutes, 
I would have known that it didn't actually mean 3.5 miles.
 I'm a genius, not super fast!
Then, when I'm using a 5 kilogram weight, 
I would know I've been lifting 11 pounds. 
Boy, I must be so strong! 
The metric system, it seriously throws me off. 
If listening to people speak kiswahili wasn't enough to confuse me, 
try adding in numbers whose meanings are not what I've always known. 

Did you know we (as in America) are only one of three countries who think we're too cool for school?
Come on America, let's be like everyone else for a change.
Teach me the metric system!
Better yet, teach me the metric system, and then let's convert!
It would sure make being in every other country, 
besides Burma, Liberia, and America a whole lot easier. 

Just one more wish,
I wish the sun rising over the ocean would arouse me from my sleep every morning.

Monday, November 16

Never Make a Promise You Can't Keep

In my quest to be more frugal with my money,
I promised myself that this weeks lunch
Would consist of the cheapest item off of the menu.
I rushed over the the Embassy, starving, and ready to eat.
After glancing, double glancing, then staring at the menu,
I was no longer starving, or ready to eat,
But, a promise is a promise, even if it's only to myself.
So, I ordered the cheapest thing,
Thinking, maybe this time it will be better?
The first time I tried liver it was my cat's food.
Today, it was my lunch.
The verdict: I've tasted, I've tried, I've given it a fair chance,
And I never need to do it again.

Sunday, November 15

Wake Me in the Morning

I'm not high maintenance, at least I don't think so.
But sometimes, I really wish I was,
And didn't always agree with most things that come my way.
With that preface, let's recapture my recent adventures.
You're lucky I'm even alive to do the recapturing!

Luxury tent style.
And sleeping with the lions.
Don't be fooled, that's not the luxury part.
I'm not really sure what is?
Maybe that my "tent" had an actual toilet, shower, bed, and electricity in it?
That's just a guess though.
I still prefer my 5 star hotel room.
But like I said, I'm not high maintenance.

A loud crack startles me from my deep slumber.
Heart starts racing.
Phew, just some elephants.
Try to fall back to sleep.
Unfortunately, I drank a small, miniscule amount of water
Just before closing my eyes the first time.
And of course, nature calls at the wrong moment.
But I don't move, too afraid the wrong sound
Could make for some unhappy visitors.
So, I lay there.
Starting to get uncomfortable.
But finally fall back to sleep.

Chomping ensues.
A loud roar follows.
Now footsteps.
They're getting closer.
Right outside my tent now.
And silence falls upon the outside world.
Heart races even faster.
Nature calls even harder.
What do to? What to do? What to do?
I lay motionless,
And just listen to what I can't see,
While nature keeps calling and calling and calling,
And heart keeps racing and racing and racing.
I debate with myself the following options.
Get up and relieve myself=lions hear me and attack, my life is over.
Keep holding it and hope the lions leave=uncomfortable for a few more minutes.

Still holding it,
Still uncomfortable,
Still hearing lions,
Still wondering,
What to do? What to do? What to do?
Still uncomfortable?
Nope, now painful.

Without going into too many more details,
Let's just say I wish I owned depends
And wore them to bed last night.
Instead, I came up with another option,
While fervently praying that, although I wasn't going to church today,
God would let me live through the night,
Lions, uncomfortable/painful feelings, and all.
And wah la, I survived a far from ideal night
Of sleeping with the lions,
Where only a piece of canvas
Shielded my life.

I'm lucky, I could have been one of them:

Lions and Elephants and Giraffes, Oh MY!

Remember the song, I'm Going on a Bear Hunt?

Well, here's me "going on a bear hunt"
Looking for anything my eyes could spot.

I wasn't going to be picky,
Although, I did have high hopes of finding the lions
who rudely kept me awake the night before.

Here is a little peak at some of our discoveries...

Rumor has it, trunks up equals good luck


Spotted at last, the early morning intruder

Friday, November 13


Leave behind a world that’s comfortable, one where everything you need and desire is readily accessible to you.

Leave behind a world that’s made living easy. A world that forgets what it’s like to go without. Without paved roads. Electricity. Running water. Hot water. Clean clothes. New clothes. A cover over your head. An actual home. An easy way of living.

Leave behind a world that you call home. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a brief moment, and tell me what you learn?

Tell me that you learned what manual labor really means.

Tell me that you witnessed actual true, hard work.

Tell me that you’ll never take your life—although not always ideal—for granted.

Tell me that your definition of hard has been skewed until now.

Tell me that it’s great to be American, but it’s great to see the world.

Then, let’s talk.

Let’s talk about how we American’s need to get out more often.
We don’t have it all. We claim we do. But we have nothing more than heads held high and noses pointed to the sky, because we think we are who everyone else wants to be.

Looking outside of a world that I’ve always know. Outside of a world that makes me feel comfortable. And outside of a place I’ve called home all my life, I see people who are genuine. Kind. Giving. Thoughtful. And most importantly, happy. They may have far less than I do, and far less than I ever will, but they have something more than I think most American’s will ever have.

They “make do, or do without”. And believe it or not, they’re happy. The genuine, the real, the true happy that comes from within.

This is not me bashing on America, because we all know that I long for that rich land, that free country, those glorious plains. This is me realizing that, although we think we, as the American people, need to do so much good for other countries (and we do, we could all use a helping hand), but this is me hoping that maybe one day our heads will be level with our neighboring countries, our eyes on the same playing field, and we’ll welcome what WE, the American people, can actually learn from another country. Another culture. And another way of living. I long for this world to learn from each other. To get outside our comfort zones and experience, explore, and expand our minds, to all the world has to offer.

If nothing more than a take home message to myself, it’s that life is beautiful wherever I go. That someone out there is dealing with something far more difficult than I am or ever will. That the trials in my life are merely trivial. That no matter who I am, where I live, what career path I choose or don’t choose, that no matter what mistakes I’ve made, no matter how ungrateful or stubborn I may be at times, God loves all his children the same. Whether you live in Africa, Asia, or America, His love is infinite. His love is eternal. And he loves us all the same. Now, if only the world could grasp that concept, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, than we’d be in business.

A word to the wise: get out, travel, see the world, let your eyes be opened, and your personal world be changed for the better.

Wednesday, November 11


I never paid particular attention to Veteran's Day before moving to the east coast. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for all the men and women out there who have served our country, and served it well. However, I just thought it was one of those days that the calendar composers thought they had to include, but no one paid particular attention to,
kind of like flag day.
Don't be fooled and call me unpatriotic for that,
growing up in Utah just shielded me from understanding it's significance.
Move me to the east coast. Land me a job working for the government.
And give me a day off in the middle of the week in honor of our Veteran's, and I'll quickly understand the value and importance behind this blessed day.
"A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace
and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'"
a.k.a. Veteran's Day.
Thanks Pres Wilson.
God bless our military Veteran's
and a day off in the middle of the week to be spent at the beach!


Sunday, November 8

A Sneak Peak at Heaven Part 2

My co-worker {female} and I just enjoyed what some may deem, a romantic getaway.
Minus the men.
So, the romanticism wasn't entirely there, but we envisioned it anyway.
Maybe some day...

Candlelit dinner on the beach. Sipping fresh squeezed mango juice. A stroll through the markets of Stonetown. Canopy styled beds. "His" and "Her" bathrooms. Cottage house. Being pampered at the spa. Swimming in the Indian Ocean. Sunrise walk on the beach. Dhow sailing through the water. Ocean breeze in my hair. Snorkeling. Deluxe breakfasts. All the fresh fruit you can imagine. The sounds of the ocean to lull me to sleep at night. Basking in the sun. Soaking up God's handiwork. Whatever I did to deserve such bliss, beauty, and a good life, I hope I keep it up. Weekends like this need to happen more often.
With or without the men...


Meet me at the beach from now until forever, please!

Wednesday, November 4

A Sneak Peak at Heaven Part 1

The simple things in life that make me smile, 
and being at the beach is one of them. 

This was last weekends beach trip, 
they say this weekends will only be better,
Stay tuned...

One of the boats we had to take 

To get here

Fresh fish and chips anyone?
{My bad attempt at making a fish face}