We’re About to Embark On Another BuildOn Adventure!

For a while now I’ve had this nagging feeling in my stomach whenever I think of this blog and have realized that it feels similar to feelings of failure. Now that we’re so close to our Senegal BuildOn trip, leaving the day after Christmas, I’m painfully aware that we haven’t made any updates to our Blog since we completed our Nepal BuildOn trip. The goal had been to keep up with our family travel blog and continue to chronicle our travels and adventures. But we didn’t, which is where the feeling of failure comes from!

However, just recently something dawned on me as I’ve looked back over the last three years since Nepal, which thank goodness has made me feel a little bit better. Maybe we didn’t write down and share details of all of the places we have visited in the last few years, but we have lived and accomplished A LOT during that time! And I think actually making those trips happen and being present for those experiences may be more of an accomplishment than taking the time to Blog about the memories. There have been so many great memories…trips that included visiting family in Northern Ireland and being mesmerized by the Scottish Highlands, spending last new year with our London Friends at the “Cottage”, spending time with family over Thanksgiving in Cancun, and a 25th wedding anniversary trip for Desmond and Roxy to visit the Great Wall (a major bucket list item!) and rural China. 

Great Wall Anniversary

The last 6 months have been even more full for us as a family as Roxy left her long-time job and soon after decided to start her own Marketing Consulting business and Desmond shifted the focus of his Photography business to do more Corporate and Brand photography vs. weddings. With Evan as a Senior in High School and Ella an 8th Grader, both kids (and parents) have been doing many school tours and applications, which has not been an easy feat. But thank goodness we’re just about done with all the applications!

And now as we are less than a week away from heading to Dakar, Senegal to embark on our 2nd BuildOn adventure, we’re just very grateful for having the opportunity to partner with BuildOn again to build a school in a rural village to help break the cycle of illiteracy and poverty.

In fact, we just received more information about the village we will be going to, in order to break ground on the school! The village of Diokoul currently has one temporary classroom (pictured below), which is not suitable for learning and is holding back the village’s 41 students (21 boys and 20 girls) from receiving a proper education. One teacher is trying to teach in this tiny classroom made from sticks and grass. The nearest proper school is a 2 km walk from the village.

Senegal village
The West African coastal country of Senegal is home to more than 15 million people with more than 47% of the population living below the poverty line and more than 48% unable to read and write. The village of Diokoul is a community of approximately 442 people located in the Fatick region. Most are subsistence farmers who rear livestock and grow corn, hibiscus, millet, peanuts and beans.
Senegal map
We can’t wait to be in Diokoul where we will be living with and working alongside the locals, starting the construction of their new school. Once we leave, the villagers will continue to build and finish the school in partnership with local BuildOn teams, and we will get to see photos of the completed school!
We promise to be good about sharing our experiences in Senegal as we did in Nepal, because we want to make sure that the many people who have generously contributed to funding this school can share those experiences as well. We are incredibly grateful for all of the support and will have you all with us in spirit. 
Here’s to many more adventures in 2020!

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