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I’m thrilled and scared to death to announce that I have the incredible privilege to travel with Compassion this May to Tanzania to see the work they are doing and meet some of the children and families in the community.

For those of you who know me and my nonpassporty, homebody, I hate airplanes and only travel if I can have a direct flight ways, this is shocking news.  It’s shocking to me.  I am still in shock. This is not something I ever dreamed of doing, this was something I was afraid that Shaun Groves would somehow, one day, for some random reason, find me and ask me to do and I can assure you I promptly told him “Absolutely not I am not flying halfway around the world, I am so sorry. NO” for about five weeks.  And last week I was in agony.  I had already told him NO.  Not for me.  Not me. Go Away. You should ask someone who actually wants to do this. Please don’t ever contact me again.  I am changing my phone number and email address. Never gonna happen.  No.

Castle Home Wear

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But, I simply could not stop thinking about Tanzania.  That was the agonizing part.  My dear husband put up with me talking about it nonstop.  He just smiled and encouraged me to not be afraid to take a risk but also not feel like I had to go.   I must have talked to my sister every day.  I cried. I was in misery, I curled up in the fetal position.  I couldn’t sleep. I shook {I’m shaking now}. I didn’t want to leave home.  I didn’t want to be away.  I hate travel.  I have never been away from my family for that long.  This is scary.  This is risky. What if I don’t do a good job writing?  What if they wish they hadn’t asked an introverted house blogger who writes about paint colors?

But all of those reasons piled together still didn’t seem like a good enough reason for me to say NO.  I didn’t like the reasons I was saying no.  And we talk about risk here and being afraid and I want to be a person that can Trust and not worry within that risk and fear.

If you were here last year you might remember me talking about the trip my sister took with Compassion and other bloggers to The Philipines.  Many of my (in)courage friends have gone in the past and for this trip, there are some amazing writers that I’m so honored to get to travel with, one of which is my dear friend, Maggie Whitley from Gussy Sews.


hand drawn chalkboard map via Dirtsa Studio

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Our family sponsors two boys through Compassion, both a direct result of following bloggers who have gone on trips and written about the people they’ve met and stories they saw.  Many times I’ve read what these travelers have written on their trip and felt like I myself had been there.

I have still have so many pressing questions that keep me up at night like::

what if I lose my passport?

what if I get falsely accused and imprisoned while in another country?

what if I forget how to drive after being gone for 10 days?

what if this is a fake Shaun Groves and the real one has been kidnapped and this fake person is going to kidnap us all?

what if I have to poo while I’m in Africa?

But really I am so scared. This is the scariest most out of my comfort zone solar system, most unlike me thing I’ve ever done in my life.  And I don’t want to do it without you.  I want you to come with me here through the magical power of the internet.

Will you?

Compassion Bloggers: Tanzania 2012


  1. It’s a scary thing to step out of your comfort zone but you’ll never regret it! Tanzania is AMAZING!! It’s a beautiful country with even more beautiful people. Everyone I met was so kind and helpful. Pick yourself up a copy of Lonely Planet’s Swahili Phrase book (this saved me when bartering, ordering food or just trying to show a cultural interest).
    The Phrase book doles out just enough helpful travel tips that I rarely used the larger destination-centered book but it couldn’t hurt to grab one of those too. If you’re not a great traveler, I highly recommend books on tape for the flights (yes they are long ones), Dramamine for the roads (they can be a little rough) and a sleep sack ( for the trip (it’s great in airports b/c no one can pick pocket you while your sleeping and great for safari (I’m sure you can guess why) I packed a large ziploc and just tossed it in when I got out of bed in the am that way I knew nothing would try to “cuddle” with me in the night ;)

    Best wishes and safe travels (you’ll have the time of your life!!

  2. eileen marie says

    You will fall in love with Tanzania & its people -it is the jewel of Africa. I was there this summer to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (“Kili”), and see the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater & much more! Arusha is lovely -we were able to volunteer at a school & orphanage run by the tour operator. But do be careful in Dar Es Salaam (Don’t let the peace-loving name fool you). If you get a chance, Zanzibar is just a short ferry ride, and its turquoise waters are unforgettable.
    (Make sure to get your immunizations well in advance!)
    It is wonderful that you are doing some good through this opportunity of a lifetime! We will be here to support you via the Interwebs every.step.of.the.way. You go girl! Get your Africa on!!

  3. Just had to comment here!
    So understand the feeling of being waay out of your comfort zone! God has a way of doing that, doesn’t he. I can vouch for Africa changing you. May be biased, since I am a South African from Cape Town. But there is something about Africa….
    Your writing has changed my outlook. From spending too much time seeing all my home’s many faults, I have embraced the wonderful, warm, stylishly shabby appeal it has…and i love it!
    Also, am also travelling across the seas soon. And the poo thing? Has crossed my mind.

  4. Just had to giggle a little bit. Guess you’re learning you can’t wrestle with God and expect to win!
    Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. You’re not responsible for doing a great job, just for being obedient to what you’re being called to do. God will do the rest. Speaking from experience here : )

  5. Aw that’s amazing! My boyfriend is in Nigeria at the moment and we were SO nervous before he left. He says it’s pretty easy going and all as long as you keep some rules in mind (don’t go out alone, don’t drive by yourself, do not take a taxi or public transport, never eat raw food, drink only bottled water you opened yourself, keep away from embassys, churches, mosques, large crowds – idk if these rules apply to Tanzania as well but he’s doing pretty good in Nigeria)

    :) Have a wonderful time!

  6. I have followed your blog for a long time now and you are so much like me! I just wanted to chime in on this. Here is a website (I’m thinking you’ve already memorized it-but just in case)

    To me, personally, it doesn’t seem too safe. I, in no way want to scare you, but if you are needing someone to put it in a “you really don’t HAVE to go” perspective–then I’m your girl. Yes, we are suppose to take risks in life, and yes, Jesus does watch over us–but God also gave us a brain and logic. After reading the crime stats and reading between the lines of the Muslim rule that’s over there– I wouldn’t go. I am a homebody as well–I homeschool two and have one in school. So we do a lot of “home.” And I am a creature of habit and comfort.

    With all due respect to the other people who are going on this trip–I respect them and pray for their safety. And yours, too–if you go. Dear, if you change your mind or really didn’t fully make it up before accepting–its okay to listen to reason and turn back. You have a husband and a brewd of boys that would certainly rest easier if you didn’t go.

    • oh, thank you for thinking of me, Julie, just now seeing this. I think it’s really wise to look at that site before traveling, thanks for linking. Also, for the record, now that I’ve been I can say that with a Compassion trip, you travel in vehicles that they provide through reputable and trusted people. We were never alone on a street or in a position that I felt unsafe. If my husband would have had any hesitancy, I would not have gone, I was looking for any out, so I would have LOVED it if he said he was worried about me going! He wasn’t and looking back, I’m SO thankful I went!

  7. After living in Mali, West Africa for 2 years I can promise you that visiting any part of Africa will change your perspective on life, and you will love it. I know you already went on this trip and came back, but I wanted to comment here to say that life is way too short to stay in our comfort zones. We will never truly live until we are living outside of our own ability and truly trusting a God who says that He will in fact take care of His child. Blessings!

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