(Photo thanks to Hazel & Pine)

Earlier this month, Laren and I celebrated two years of life in East Africa. As I finally stop to reflect on the milestone, I can’t help but feel really sentimental and thankful for all this past year has meant to us.

If I’m being honest, it was one of the harder years of my life. The initial excitement and newness that took place during our first year of life abroad started fading, and the hardships of life here really started setting in.

Yet, with new challenges also came newfound confidence, and I felt myself becoming a stronger, more independent and intelligent adventurer, learning from my mistakes and finding answers for myself. Petty things that really bothered me in year one, like the electricity going out, no cable TV, an internet speed that has nothing “speedy” about it, local foods, and foreign tongues — all became things I could tolerate and flow with so much more gracefully. New friendships became so much deeper and richer. And Laren and I’s thirst for adventures, and our longing to travel to new places throughout Uganda and East Africa, only became stronger. We settled more and more into our home, into our daily life, passions, and routines. We found ourselves truly adapted — and with a zest for life.

Thank you, Uganda, for two amazing years — for challenging me, growing me, stretching me, and for giving and teaching me so much.

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“A list of random and unrelated things to remember:

Time heals.

Mountain winds sound exactly like ocean waves.

You are worth everything now.

Walls can be destroyed.

The sun always rises (and is always beautiful).

Children know the answers.

There is music in everything.

Logic doesn’t produce magic.

Somewhere, somebody loves you.

You don’t need to choose mediocre when fire exists.

The moon orchestrates our nights and tides.

Trees can grow through rock.

Your heart expands when it’s broken.

You should do it now.”

–Victorica Erickson

Year One of life in East Africa is right here.


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