31 December 2015

remembering our year 2015.

Whoa! It's the end of our second year in Tanzania! We've had some great times and some not-so-great times in 2015. We've laughed, we've cried... Most importantly, we've retained our sanity. Thanks for sticking with us on the journey.

So yet again, it's time to say "Kwaheri!" to 2015 and see what 2016 has in store for us. First, check out the second annual ROY (Remembering Our Year) below. Then, let's guess: how many snakes will we find in our house next year? Plus you can take a trip down memory lane and look back at ROY 2014.

Michael's Work 

Michael continues to rock it out at Education for Better Living Organization (EBLI, for short), where he teaches business and entrepreneurship to young Tanzanian mothers. This year, he's been focusing a lot of his energy on savings and loaning groups for the young women he teaches. He also built a website and a Facebook page, attracting more attention to the great work his organization does, and been there to celebrate when his young mothers succeed.

Ashley's Work

Since December 2015, Ashley has been working as the co-coordinator of the LULU Project, a program dedicated to young women between the ages of 14 and 20. Women from all over the city of Mwanza join local groups in their neighborhood, learning about life skills, healthy relationships, entrepreneurship, and handcrafts. Like Michael, Ashley dances alongside her young LULU members who stay with the program for a year.

Michael & Ashley 

We teamed up to launch the Joint Scholarship Fund for the young women involved in both of our ministries. We also continued to spend as much time as we can with the adorable kids in our neighborhood.


For the first time since leaving the U.S. of A., we headed on back to see family and friends. We were also lucky enough to travel through Europe. Coming back, we had some thoughts about how Tanzania and the States differ, and why Michael cried while buying almonds at Target.

But we also continued our travels in Tanzania, including climbing to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 5,895 meters or 19,341 feet above sea level! It was a wonderful chance to escape from the noise and pollution of urban life and enjoy the peace and beauty of nature. (Though it did make Ashley demand a beach vacation for our next holiday.) It was also a good opportunity for Michael work on his photography skills (see more photos here).

Not Fun Stuff

Of course, Tanzania couldn't let us get through 2015 without a few serious tumbles. From snakes to multiple crashes of vehicles, we managed to get out of this year alive and unscathed.

Fun Stuff

Not to end on a down note, we saw some lovely things in our life in 2015 as well. We moved into a new house, named a Tanzanian child (no big deal!), and continued to watch Michael's hairstyles change with awe.

Wishing you and yours a lovely end to the holiday season and a very happy New Year!

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