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2015: The Year of StickK Challenges

In keeping with the FD spirit to regularly challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone, I have decided to make 2015 a year of monthly challenges. My 2014 #30×30 challenge for FD was so rewarding for many reasons, so I wanted to give myself something to work for as I count down the months to graduation next May. Added bonus: I’ve discovered that challenges help my sanity during the semesters!


I won’t cook it, but I’ll order it from Zanzibar

When I told my friend that I was going to Zanzibar yesterday, she asked if I meant the same Zanzibar from the Tenacious D song. I’ll leave out the title, as I know my mom is reading this blog, but the line from the song alludes to a far off place where the crooner would be willing to go to seduce a lady. For me as well, Zanzibar was a far off place I assumed I would never see…until it turned out to be a twenty minute jumper flight away from Dar es Salaam.

Building Houses with Hannah

It always amazes me the similarities I find among JSI people worldwide; I feel the same way frequently when I meet other Brunonians out in the world. There is a quality, a personality trait, I can’t quite put my finger on it–that I find in my fellow colleagues and former classmates. I am reminded how fortunate I am to have studied and work with such smart, passionate, fascinating, and driven people. JSI, for me, is a grown-up extension of my Brown experience, and as long as I have opportunities to travel like this, to get outside of my comfort zone, and see the work from new perspectives, I cannot see how I could ever leave this company.

You say “Mambo”, I say “Poa?”

While I am learning the ropes here in Tanzania, I am also trying to pick up a bit of Swahili . I received some coaching on my first day in the office, and have been trying my hand at it around the hotel today, during the national holiday, Eid. I am slowly getting the hang of it, though I am incredibly grateful that many of these initial greetings have standardized or expected responses (hence the title of this blog.) As I learn to navigate here, I am grateful to be able to be a bit of a parrot in my early attempts at speaking a new language. My goal is to have a few responses come more naturally by the time I leave.