Stonetown or Bust!

By Kayleigh Lillethun NKULA FANS!! We’ve made it to Zanzibar! We’ve been here for about two weeks now and I think that we still love it just as much as we did when we first arrived. We started our Zanzibari adventure with our cultural immersion/homestay in Stonetown! Stonetown is full of tourists from all over the world (including us). It has a very different vibe than anywhere else that we… Read More

Lions, Mambas, and Illness, Oh My!

By Mary Dudley Berry Hello to all of our fans out there! As our time at Ohana Amani came to an end, the group experienced a few changes in our dynamic. We sadly said goodbye to one of our members, and happily welcomed a new temporary member. Jenny, the Executive Director of Carpe Diem, joined our group to experience the day-to-day adventures and challenges of a group semester. It seems… Read More

Peace Between Those Who Breathe Together

By Morgan Kromer Peace between those who breathe together, Ohana Amani, Peace within, Peace throughout. We helped to make a class in trees, Chainsaws rolling, Branches falling, Learninng center, Welcome space. Others helped out in the garden, Pulling weeds, Turning compost, Raspberries snacked, Orchards tended. Afternoons were filled with growth, Quiet moments, Laughter present, Some reflection, Our stories. Our day of silence was a struggle, Not for most, But for… Read More

Fox’s Farm in Mufindi

A fierce game of badminton at the Fox’s Farm in Mufindi.Maytal enjoying the lush landscape in Mufindi.Kiara got muddy playing soccer in the rain with some boys at the children’s village in Mufindi.Hanging out with Mr. Fox, a British man who founded the NGO we worked with in Mufindi.There were really cute dogs.Saying good bye to the kids and house mamas of Mufindi.The group Read More

Success Starts From Within

By Kiara D. Chavez, Tosca, Mary Dudley, and Maytal Hola mis quieridos amigos, Last week we finished staying at the Munfindi Children’s Home. It was amazing to experience bonding with the children and learning about the large presence of HIV/AIDS in the region. Tosca, Rachel and I even got the opportunity to play soccer in the rain with the older boys, best believe we were soaked by the end. While… Read More

Practicing Positive Thinking

By Rebecca Klane Halfway through. Never before have I had such a mix of awe that it has already been six weeks and frustration that we will not experience the comforts of home for another six. Time has passed quickly but it still seems like there is such a long way to go. Though not logical, this juxtaposition between positive and negative mindsets matches up well with the mixture of… Read More

Host Family Livin’

Kayleigh and Kiara relaxing on the top of a waterfall after a long hike near our Swahili School.Group photo with our teacher from Swahili school.Prepping to make pizza for our host families in Morogoro.The proud chefs.Kiara, Elle, and Tosca with their host parents.Maytal and Kayleigh with their host dad.Always waiting for a bus! (Mafinga, Tanzania)Mary Dudley learning the art of whacking beans with Read More

Habari gani ndugu?

By Maytal Agasi Habari gani ndugu? Tunajifunza Kiswahili Morogoro. Tunasema Kiswahili kidogo. Hali ya hewa ni joto na mvua. Tunafurahia kunywa chai ya moto. Tumekula mikate mingi. Miti na maua ni mizuri. How are you friend? We are learning swahili in Morogoro. We only speak a little Swahili. The weather is hot and rainy . We like to drink hot tea at tea time. We eat a lot of bread.… Read More

Hiking & Volunteering in Southern Rwanda: A Photo Story

Meeting with the director of WeAct, an organization that provides health services and entrepreneurship opportunities for women infected with HIV/AIDS in Kigali, Rwanda.Meeting with the ladies of the sewing cooperative in Kigali.Freshly picked coffee beans at the Huye Mountain Coffee Farm.Tosca learns how to roast coffee beans the old fashioned way in Huye, Southern Rwanda.Morgan enjoying the view after a hike at the Huye Mountain Coffee Read More

New Week, New Country

By Tosca van Oostrum and Maytal Agasi Last week we were in Rwanda and experienced a lot of emotions that we wanted to share with you. Apprehensive for crossing our very first land border. Thankful for better infrastructure in Rwanda. Frustrated with the language barrier. Clean due to the supposedly “free” laundry service. Intune with the nature that surrounds us (even the bugs). Shocked by the personal stories of the… Read More

Lake Bunyonyi: A Photo Story

Beginning the Lake Bunyonyi Canoe Trek.Mana Bena’s on Lake Bunyonyi.Maytal learning how to shoot a bow and arrow from the B’twa people.Peter and Morgan doing headstands at the top of the mountain we climbed during our trek.View of the coast of Lake Bunyonyi.Learning how to make woven bracelets on Lake Bunyonyi.Read More

Trekking Lake Bunyonyi

By Jason Tyler Hey! Hoping this finds everyone back home doing well! We’ve had an eventful past few days at SNEC and Lake Bunyonyi. We arrived at SNEC, a school for special needs students in Uganda, on March first. While there we volunteered in the classrooms doing activities with the students and helped rebuild a veranda around a classroom building. It was a lot of hard work but our group… Read More

Volunteering at SNEC: A Photo Story

Dressed up to visit the Gaddafi Mosque in Kampala.Buying produce in the fruit market in Kabale. Exploring the hills near the Special Needs Education Center outside of Kabale.Goofing around outside of SNEC.Kiara contemplating the hills of southern Uganda.Saying goodbye on our last morning at SNEC.The veranda that we helped build at SNEC. It’s not done yet, but our local carpenter friend Silas is finishing the Read More

A Warm Introduction

By Ellie and Maytal Hi family and friends! Nkula 2018 wanted to start by introducing ourselves so that you have a better idea of who you will be reading about over the next three months! Tosca – Known by the Ugandans as Jesca Vancostrum, the professional bird spotter and rhino ranger, represents Europe. She’s passionate about discovering new animals, especially black mambas and cobras. Kayleigh – A true Portlandian, Kayleigh… Read More

Before we begin…

By Overseas Educators Pete and Rachel Jambo! Rachel and Pete here at the Carpe Diem HQ in Portland! In just a few short days, we will be hopping on a plane to San Francisco (2 hours), then to Dubai (16 hours!), and finally to Entebbe (5 more hours!). We’ve been scheming and planning away here for the past week, and we are eager to meet you all and begin our… Read More

Coda: Bear & Wolf

By Bear and Wolf Bear & Wolf were friends. Bear preferred blueberries, Wolf had a proclivity for meats and they both liked falafel.* Bear was powerfully strong and Wolf was built for speed. Although Wolf roamed the Northeast and Bear denned in the South, both found themselves in a coffee shop in Portland late one summer afternoon in August. Both agreed that Portland was most peculiar. To wit: they observed… Read More


By Overseas Educators Matt and Michelle The dala dala bounced down the sandy dirt road heading from Matemwe to Stonetown. We were crammed and complete; facing one another on the modified truckbed, small mountains of gear between us. Our journey was in Its final stages and scanning the sun soaked faces around us, happiness and appreciation welled within. It was a sense of contentment born from challenge. The words of… Read More

The Faces of Nkula

Photos and Story by Elle Nicholson 82 days at sea (well it felt like we were at sea). All trapped together on the boat of adventure going over every large or small wave. These past three months have been nothing less then full of love, laughter, and the occasional hatred of all being crammed up sleeping in the same room. We have crawled around Lake Bunyonyi, drowned in sweat at… Read More