Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2 Trips {Tuesday Topics Link Up}

I'm linking up with Lauren @ Life, Love, Lauren for a Tuesday Topic. My choice in 2 trips is very easy! My most memorable trips are to Australia my Sophomore year in College and Tanzania the summer after my Junior year in College. These trips are so memorable and filled my digital camera up with many photos! Lets go down memory lane and half way around the world to remember these once in a lifetime adventures!

Australia - May 2008

Beautiful scenery!
At Morningside College you are required to take a May term sometime during your four years there. My friends and I chose the most expensive May term that Morningside had to offer because we knew we wouldn't have the chance to go on a trip like this again! I went with my close friends Kendra, Bailey and Kelli Down Under to Cains (near the Great Barrier) and Sydney, Australia. I remember the day we packed our luggage onto the bus because it was on my birthday. We were headed on a 10 day adventure with about 30 other college students from Morningside. Our trip was jam packed with stuff to do each day and really was the best way to see the country because our itinerary was full. 

What we got to wake up to in Cains!

Bay and I in Cains, Australia
Enjoying drinks at the bar in our hotel.
One fun thing besides being in a beautiful country was that the drinking age is 18 there so since most of us weren't legal in the US we could get a feel of being a legal "adult" by buying fancy alcoholic drinks. We sure did take advantage of that ;)

Kendra and I after the boat tour.
Aborigine face paint with Bay and Kendra
I can't even explain to you in detail all the places we went just because it would be such a long post but we spent several days in Cains, stayed a few nights in a rain forest, then took a small plane to Sydney. In order to get the credit for the class we had to talk to local businesses while we were there and also did research of various tourist attractions prior to our flight. I really like knowing about a place before I visit it so that was something that was no problem.

Kelli and I - Roomies!
Holding the squishy sea caterpillar at the Great Barrier
There was no language barrier of course so that was nice! We all fell in love with their Australian accents while we were down there. The people are so nice and so funny! We got to feed kangaroos while we were there and even held a Koala. Unfortunately Kelli got bit by the Koala!! Surprising huh?? I guess the Koala was sick of all the photos and cuddling.
The Barrier reef is so breathtaking! There were tons of fish with colors as vast as the rainbow and the coral was quite the site! We went snorkeling all day and even went on a guided tour farther from our boat which was awesome!
Swimming in ice cold water on on of our hikes

Kelli and I in downtown Sydney
Tasting the local food - I think one was crocodile

Visiting the 2000 Summer Olympics location

Us girls with the Sydney Opera House in the background

At the famous Bondi Beach
Bay and I trying out surfing at Bondi

The whole Morningside Gang
The group that we went with made the trip even that much more memorable.
"Did you say Didgeridoo?!?!"

Tanzania, Africa - Summer 2009

Wilson our awesome Tour Guide / Brother to STEMM
I can't believe I am writing about both of these long trips in one post but it is great to have an excuse to document them and share them with you! This is a trip I have wrote about before because it was changed my life and my outlook on life so much! I had always wanted to go to a third world country like Africa on a mission trip and when I had the opportunity to go in college and get nursing experience I knew that God was pushing me to go. I listened and I have never ever had any doubts! This trip opened my eyes to extreme poverty, gave me a new found hope in this world and made me realize that even if you have so little, you still have so much to praise God about! I went with an organization called STEMM (Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries) that was founded by an orthopedic surgeon who has gone to Tanzania over 20 times. You can hear more about my trip by reading this post.

My favorite picture of the Trip. Little girl at The Plaster House
 The Plaster House is a place children go after they have surgery. They can't go back to their mud huts with casts on so the Plaster House is a place to go in between surgery and home. Dr. Meyer assessed kids there that were planning on having surgery and he would try to do as many surgeries as possible on his 3 week stay there.

Breaking ground for the STEMM Children's village - a new orphanage

Breathtaking Mount Kilimanjaro - Tallest freestanding mountain in the world

Amanda Sarah and I ready for surgery!

Their smiles are just the best :)
Had to bring the baby along! Sleeping quarters under the radishes
On the trip we helped in several orphanages. One of which was called Huruma Orphanage and the little girls I met there just melted my heart. "Huruma" means Compassion in Swahili and after returning from Tanzania I had the word Huruma tattooed on my foot with a cross.

The whole gang on the safari
Children of Tanzania
Beautiful Whitness at Huruma Orphanage
 I was also able to scrub in on orthopedic surgeries (weird because now I am an orthopedic nurse!) When I was in surgery the power went out and we had to just wait and pray for several minutes waiting for the electricity to come back on. We also did HIV/AIDS education in 2 schools there and were able to take in the beautiful sights on an Africa safari for 3 days!

Amazing picture of elephant reflection!



I picked up on a little Swahili while I was there and mama Gayle (our trip coordinator) taught us a lot of phrases. My favorite is Bwana Yesu Asifiwe which means Praise the Lord! These wonderful people sing their hearts out for the Lord and I have never felt so close to God or so moved by the Holy Spirit as I have while in Tanzania!


  1. so good to see those pics again!!! miss you! -Sarah

    1. Asante Sana Sarah! Yes it was fun to look back at all the wonderful memories! I want to go back! Hoping to next summer (fingers crossed)

  2. I went to Tanzania in 2009 too and it was the best decision I ever made! The safaris were unbelievable!

    1. It is a beautiful country filled with wonderful people. And yes the safaris was unbelievable. Did you see any male lions? We only saw females but I loved all the elephants and giraffes!

  3. What amazing trips!
    Australia is on my bucket list. If we are ever so lucky to go I'm going to be asking you all sorts of questions as to what to see and do!

    1. yes ask away when you decide to go! It is worth the long plane trip ;)


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