Without Borders...

Abby and Sara have been best friends since they met in the dorms at Colorado State University in 2002. Each year since then, they have been on at least one trip together, with the last few years consisting of backpacking travels through Europe.

In 2010, they decided to put their desire to see the world towards a more constructive cause. Instead of taking an adventurous vacation, they chose to visit Tanzania and volunteer with Light in Africa for five weeks.

This winter, they are going back to Light in Africa to volunteer for another five weeks, and can't wait to see how much "their" kids have grown!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Hakuna Matata - What a Wonderful Phrase"

As a welcome to Abby’s and my blog – we each wanted to give a quick personal introduction as to why we are going to work at the Light in Africa orphanage this fall.

Abby has given her perspective and reasons for this decision recently, and now, I am going to attempt to bare my soul (which anyone who knows me well, realizes how terrible I am at it, so please bare with me).

As Abby details below – this whole little volunteering in Africa thing is her fault, errr idea. I’ve always wanted to do something a little more important with my life than having a good time, and traveling the world is high up on my priority list, so this little trip seemed like the perfect option. Plus, I’m way too chicken to do anything like this on my own, so traveling with my favorite person to a new place is a no brainer for me.

To be very simple about my life adage, I believe in having fun - plain and simple. Luckily I have been very blessed to have a great family and friends who generally are right on board with this train of thought. So, in the language of my soon to be temporary home, I believe in the life motto of "hakuna matata" (for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of watching the Lion King, “hakuna matata” is Swahili for "no worries").

It could be because of this “no worries” mentality I generally have, that I feel it is so important to help those who have nothing but worries, and have no opportunity to change their life. I have been fortunate enough to have a life that is for the most part easy and trouble free, and it is probably because of its ease and lack of real pain, that I feel giving back to those who have absolutely nothing, and no one, is so important to me.

So, with all this in mind, we have each taken on the challenge of getting ourselves to Tanzania, and raising $1500 to hand to Light in Africa on our arrival. Our goal is for this blog to be your opportunity to take this journey with us, meet the people we meet, and understand the experience as we go through it.

Love and thanks,


Monday, July 5, 2010

What is this? What are these two up to now?

Hi Family and Friends and whoever may have happened upon this blog,

As most of you know, I have been blessed with having not only a great support network including families and friends, not to mention a wonderful best friend, Sara. We met nearly 8 years ago in a shared dormitory bathroom at CSU. Despite a ocean in between us for 4 years, we have remained the best of friends and even taken a trip together in Europe for the past three. This year, we have decided to invest our time and efforts to a better cause and volunteer with an organization called Light in Africa in Tanzania. This blog is devoted to this experience - from our way there, our time there, and our experience after the fact.

Why? might you ask that I decided to embark on a volunteer journey? That is something I have been asking myself and can clearly remember one clear moment. At home in Colorado, visiting my family, I was talking a walk - to Starbucks of course - and couldn't shut the thoughts up in my head - Will I get a good job? Was doing my masters abroad going to pay off? Where will I end up? - then it dawned upon me for some reason - on this walk to Starbucks - that I am extremely lucky for everything and everyone I have. Although nearly nothing in my life has worked out according to my original plan, it has all worked out and quite well, for that matter. So why all these worries about material, frivolous STUFF? I'd been so worried about getting a late start in my career, so worried if I made the right decisions, that I had forgot how lucky I really was. I wanted - needed - a wake up call.

That's how I came to the idea of going to Africa - there on that walk. Why Africa? Well now I can say because of the dire need, because of the expected 43 million orphans on the continent, because of the 30,000 children that die each day in sub-Saharan Africa, however, this FACTS were unbeknownst to me at the time. Something drew me to Africa - something drew me to give back. Maybe it was my recognition of how lucky I was - lucky to have great parents and a great support systems, let alone running water, food or modern medicine. So it was set in my head, I was going to Africa.

The next day, I reunited with Sara and told her of my plans. She teared up, said how much she missed me, and was onboard from the start. We found Light in Africa, an orphanage in Kilimanjaro, through friends of mine, who had volunteered there before. We applied, and were accepted. Now, you're nearly up to speed on how this came about and please stay tuned for more information on the organization, our way there, fundraising efforts, and most of all, the experiences we encounter in Tanzania.

Thanks for the constant love and support,