So I have officially been in Rwanda for a year now, huzzah! It has been a dynamic year full of ups and downs. This year I have:


  • Moved to a new country
  • Tried and was slightly successful at learning a new language which is insanely difficult
  • Taught English to around 300 students
  • Lived with a host family for three months without electricity, water or English
  • Become adopted into said host family who loves and supports me always
  • Lived by myself for 9 months, long enough for me to realize that I hate living by myself
  • Met and fell in love with a pretty wonderful man
  • Watched more TV on my computer than I thought possible
  • Read 47 books
  • Learned the art of negotiating
  • Lost 20 pounds
  • Realized the wonder and revitalizing power of a hot shower
  • Learned how to cook a damn good red spaghetti sauce under the tutelage of Todd
  • Received so many wonderful care packages from family and friends. I swear my Mother can fit more into a flat rate box than I ever thought possible
  • Stopped worrying about expiration dates. Who says you need to refrigerate mayonnaise, cheese and leftovers when you can just smell it to ensure it’s not spoiled?
  •  Tasted my first passion fruit which led to a slight obsession
  • Had Hilary, my parents and Hannah all come and visit me in Rwanda!
  • Travelled to both Zanzibar and South Africa
  • Embraced pit latrines
  • Drank more Primus beer than I care to admit
  • Learned the behaviors of chickens from hours upon hours of watching them strut around the compound
  • Developed the biggest hatred for roosters
  • Felt for the first time that I understood what depression is and what it takes to pull me out of it
  • Learned to hand wash clothes
  • Understood what it feels like to be stared at ALL. THE. TIME.
  • Met 33 of the most wonderful people who came along with me on this crazy journey
  • Wrote too few blog posts, sorry!!
  • Seen who my true friends are back home, the ones who try their damndest to stay in touch no matter what
  • Tried to understand a culture that has such a heartbreaking past
  • Walked uncountable miles on red, dirt roads
  • Greeted thousands of people, one of my favorite aspects of Rwandan living. I no doubt will do this once I am home.
  • Missed Diet Dr. Pepper
  • Logged hours upon hours in sub-par busses on windy mountainous roads
  • Loved riding on motos
  • Started a youth empowerment club
  • Wrote a grant that will build a dual volleyball/ basketball court at my underfunded school (final approval hopefully coming this week, fingers crossed!)
  • Survived pre-service training, not an easy feat
  • Realized how little I need in order to be happy


No matter what happens next, I am so proud of myself for making it this far. I think that I have done some good work for others during this year. Life here can be difficult every day and because of that, I have become a stronger person. Thank you all for supporting me in many different ways this past year!!! Here’s to what’s next!


3 thoughts on “365

  1. Taylor, What you have done this past year is truly amazing. I know that I would not have lasted a month much less a year when I was your age. I love reading your posts and always look forward to the next one. Keep doing what you are doing.

  2. I can easily and honestly say that I am really proud of you, Tay Tay…. especially seeing you grown in to a mature, intelligent, caring woman from the chubby lil’ “boof” sucker toddler you once were. Miss ya, kid. xoxoxkc

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