This site contains the archives of my travel blogs from 2010-2016.

I'm now blogging via Medium. For other life updates, including opportunities or requests to collaborate, visit my personal website.





This is a place where you can find updates about the organizations and people that I serve with in my community and around the world.

Teaching English in Nepal

I moved to Nepal in May 2012 and spent the summer before graduate school teaching English as a volunteer at a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas. Pema Chholing, at 500 years old, is one of the oldest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and home to nearly 30 monks and nuns. I was given a room in the monastery and taught 18 boys ages five to fourteen and seven older monks ages twenty-two to twenty-five. My three month sabbatical provided much-needed rest and the opportunity for reflection and renewal. Though I was the volunteer giving my time for the project, I left knowing that I had received far more than one person is capable of giving. The fellowship I shared with the Pema Chholing Monk Family (their name for themselves), the welcome I received from the tight-knit Sherpa community in Solukhumbu, and the pristine Himalayan environment created a magic that warmed my soul and brought joy to my every day in Nepal. RCDP is one of many organizations who send volunteers to orphanages, schools, health posts, and monasteries in Nepal.

Tutoring at African Leadership

I started volunteering with African Leadership in Spring 2010.  I immediately fell in love with all the joyful faces that came each afternoon for help with homework.  Each week was different; sometimes I would be lost in a high school chemistry book, trying to learn the material on the fly so I could turn around and teach it in more simple terms to a teen recently arrived from Rwanda who barely spoke English; other days it was repetition work -- I once did over 40 algebra problems with an eager 7th grader who just needed a bit of personal attention.  And then there are afternoons where little Emily, three years old from South Africa, won't leave my arms.  It is a joy to spend time with these kids and a privilege to aid in the transition to life in Nashville for those who have come to America seeking refuge from civil war, political unrest, genocide, and worse in their homelands.

Credits & Thanks

I have a lot of people to thank - people and organizations who, in acts of service and generosity to me, have provided resources to support me during my quest to discover the world and the many projects undertaken in that quest.

  • My current master's degree in Finland is sponsored by the Finnish government and numerous corporate and private donors to Aalto University. Public universities are free in Finland and the education is top-notch. Incredible!
  • My volunteer work in Nepal was sponsored by a student travel award from the Lumos Foundation in association with Belmont University.
  • Completing my BBA was made possible by private scholarships at Belmont University from Henry Horrell and Ann Carell. 
  • My internship and studies in Russia & Ukraine were sponsored in part by generous donations from The Benjamin A. Gilman Foundation & Belmont University Center for International Business
  • The Jackson Country Republican Women in southern Oregon contributed to my study trip to Belgium.

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