A Whole New World is Coming My Way!

Ever since I was about eight years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I would make my own lesson plans for my imaginary class with my mom's old homeschool curriculum! As I grew up, my passion for children grew and grew. I babysat, worked in Sunday School, and was always holding or taking care of kids.

A year after I finished high school I went on my first missions trip to Bogota, Colombia, and that's when everything started to click for me. That trip opened my eyes to the world around me, as we interacted with and taught the Colombian children we were working with. My heart grew for the children of the world. And it grew even more as I went on my second missions trip to Togo, West Africa, about three years later. I knew that I would one day teach around the world.

Well, that day is coming! Sooner than I could ever expect! The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of an in-depth application and essays, emails, and a Skype interview. All the work paid off, as I was invited to teach at Hope International School in Moshi, Tanzania! I am so very excited for this new page that is turning. The crazy part is that I am leaving on August 20th for a ten-month teaching school year in Moshi! It will be a very challenging and adventurous endeavor, but I know it'll be rewarding.

So, basically, I am going there to teach, in a volunteer position. The organization I'm with pays for all of my basic living expenses: my plane tickets there and back, my visa, a monthly food stipend for myself and the other single women teachers I'll be living with, a house for me and the other women teachers to live in that is fully furnished, transportation to and from school, filtered water, etc.

So, while living in this amazing country, I'll be teaching at Hope! I'm not sure which grade I'm teaching yet, but it will be very similar to teaching in America. The heads of the school are from the U.S., and went over to start the organization called Global Effect in 2008. The school is a Christian school where we will teach the regular subjects, as well as encourage the students' relationships with Christ. The classroom sizes are a bit smaller than those in the US, around 12 students. It will be my first year teaching, and I couldn't be more excited to spend it in Tanzania!

This will be the longest period of time I will have been overseas, and it'll be difficult at times, but I know it'll be so worth it. I am trying to prepare and get myself ready, though packing for a whole year will be odd! I am  GIDDY about this whole new adventure, and I'm excited to see where this will take me!

The city of Moshi is about 190,000 people, and it is right on the border, near Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro! It's on the safer side, which is good. I am also excited for the expeditions we will go on, and the aspects of living in a different country. My heart is SO happy!

God is so good, and He has just been guiding me this whole journey so far. I feel this is the path He is leading me in, and it feels so amazing! This past Sunday, as I was (not so) patiently awaiting the email, we were singing at church, "Have Your Way!" and I truly felt that if I were to get this job, it was the Lord's plan.

So, I hope you'll come along on this journey with me! My blog will be getting back to my teaching roots, as well as my love of traveling! I am trying to get a few posts scheduled for the interim, as I probably won't have wifi for a few days in between, and of course starting the school year! We have our teacher training on the 25th, and students come September 1st!

Please keep me in your prayers as this will be the biggest transition of my life so far! It's going to be tough leaving my family and friends, and moving into the unknown. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Pray for my safety, traveling mercies, and health
- Pray for me as I begin this awesome journey of teaching, so I may be the most effective teacher I can be
- Pray for me as I begin life in the city of Moshi - smooth transitions, good relationships with my roommates, etc.
- Pray for peace as I leave all I know.

I can't wait for this adventure, and am so excited for what is to come! Bare with me as I make this transition. It'll definitely be life-changing! Here is something really cool that I realized after I got the job. I haven't decorated my bedroom much, as it's just been a transition time for me. But the two things I did put up in my room are these two wall hangings. It's amazing how God gives us little glimmers of His goodness through the smallest things!

Also, make sure you're following me on social media, as I will be updating on the way! Tanzania, here I come!!!

Much Love, Allie

Disappointing Products #2

Hello lovelies! Hope you're having a fantastic day! Today I am sharing some products I have tried recently and haven't liked. They have disappointed me in some way or another, and I'm here to talk about it! I do these videos to help save you time and money - so you don't have to be disappointed by them either!

I have a couple of hair products and handful of makeup products to share - a conditioner, leave-in conditioner, foundation, bronzers, eye shadow, lip lacquer, and mascara. Let me know if you have used anything I talk about, and if you love it! These are my personal opinions, and I'm not trying to bash any of these products. They just didn't work out for me.

Comment below with any tips for me to love these products, or your most recent disappointment! I love reading your recommendations!

Much Love, Allie

White Water Rafting, Gondola Rides to Brunch, and More!

Hey everyone! Today I'm officially back into the swing of things! My vacation with my family to Colorado was fantastic! We were there for about 5 days and had the perfect mix of outings and relaxing time. If you haven't been here for a while, you probably don't know, but my grandpa and his brother own a condo in Frisco, CO (in between Dillon, Silverthorne, Keystone, etc.) up in the mountains, and all the extended families take turns vacationing there throughout the year. It's a great place to go, relax, and be able to do fun things in the mountains! We have a big back deck in the condo that faces some huge mountains, and it just makes you feel at peace! So that is where we went this time around, and here's a little bit more about what we did!

We spent our first day in the mountains walking about a mile into the town of Frisco, and having coffee on Main Street. Before that, my parents and brother went on a morning bike ride and I enjoyed the gorgeous mountain views! We went to a cute little restaurant in Frisco for dinner, called The 5th Avenue Grill!

The next day was Sunday, and we went to church and then headed up to Vail for brunch up on the mountainside! The only way to get there? Gondola-style! Here is my dad and brother Peter on the way up!

There were amazing views up on top, and it was so lush and green!

We had a delicious gourmet brunch up at Game Creek in Vail, and stopped for a few pictures before the trek down the mountain. Me, my mom, and Peter are loving it up there!
Peter and I are glad to have a little vacation in CO!
And the lovebirds!
Once we got back down to the ski village of Vail (made to look like something in the Swiss Alps), we walked around for a bit. It's gorgeous, summer AND winter!

This was the day of The World Cup final, so Peter had to take a moment to check on the biggest game of the year in his favorite sport!

Colorado has had a mild summer like we have here in Nebraska, and they also had a late snow. That means the flowers and plants all were looking so green and beautiful! I love this arrangement of colors...
The next day, we went on our most memorable adventure of the trip, white water rafting!!

This was my first time rafting! Unfortunately, it was just the three of us, as my dad has a shoulder injury he didn't want to mess up more. Here we are, getting prepped with our safety measures!
And off we go! We rafted down the Blue River, and it was THE most beautiful day to do so!

The first two thirds of our trip was pretty mild. We were able to get a hang of how to paddle, and how it feels being on the raft. Our guide was awesome too! Very knowledgeable and basically did 90% of the work!
We rafted with a father-daughter pair and of course our guide! It was really fun, and I definitely recommend it!

The most intense parts of the rapids were a level 3, which is about half-way through the levels. It was SO much fun! There were dips and jumps and lots of waves! We definitely got wet, which I was totally ok with!

All in all, I would white water raft again! I don't know if I could do any higher of a level, as once the more intense rapids came, I put down my paddle just to hang on, as I have some balance issues. But we were in a GORGEOUS area, with a perfect day, and it was just amazing! If you haven't rafted before, I think it's something everyone should at least try!

Rafting was definitely the highlight of the trip for me. Once we got dry and home, the other three went on a hike, while I worked on some applications to teach. The next day, the boys biked Vail Pass, which was a long and hard bike trail, as it's through the hills and  mountains! The only day we had any crazy weather was that day. It hailed and thunderstormed! But besides that, it was awesome! I went down to Main Street Frisco to the bookstore called The Next Page, and brought some Masala Chai tea home from the tea bar there!

Our trip is always too short, but it was very sweet. It was weird not having my brother Collin with us, as he is now a married man! He and his wife Keirstyn watched our dog Sophie while we were away! By the way, Sophie is doing much better now, and is back to her spunky self! Keirstyn instagrammed a picture of her during Sophie's stay:

Here's a picture of me with the backdrop of gorgeous mountain wildflowers! It was the perfect summer vacation!

What vacations or staycations are you taking this summer?! Where is your favorite summer vacation spot?!

Much Love, Allie