i choose to stay.

Last year, I wrote a post about FOMO (read: the truth about fomo as a peace corps volunteer). I mentioned how being a Volunteer means missing out on birthdays and other significant milestones back home. But, there is one thing I left out.


Because the thought of death still makes me uncomfortable, although death is as natural as life.

On Sunday, February 11, my Gramps was placed in hospice care. He passed away early in the morning on Saturday, February 17, the day after my 31st birthday. He was 87 years old.

With only 3 months remaining of my service, I choose to stay in Namibia. This was not an easy decision to make.

Throughout the course of the week, my days were filled with what can only be described as signs from God. Signs of comfort and peace and understanding. This helped guide me through the grief of being away from home during such a significant time for my family.



I choose to stay.

Because I want to continue your legacy of service to others.
Because I want to remember your glances as if you already knew you were looking at me for the last time.
Because I want to remember your big white smile and gentle laugh.
Because I know you wanted me to remember your life and not your death.
Because no matter how far away I am in distance, you’ll always be in my heart.

Dedicating my Peace Corps Service to my Gramps
Cary Holland, Jr.
November 13, 1930 – February 17, 2018

❤ Krystal

blog it home 2017.


Forgive me. I have to get a little textbooky with you. But, just briefly. I mean, you could just skip over the beginning, but then you pose the risk of this post not making much sense.

Okay, you made it through the introduction, so just read the three points. Goal 3 is most pertinent to this post, but 1 and 2 are important as well. So, I guess after you read 3, go back and read 1 and 2. Now, read them in order. Perfect! It flows better that way.

Peace Corps Goals:

1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of all Americans.

The first two goals are what PCVs live and breathe day in and day out. They say being a PCV is a 24/7 job and that is certainly true. The last goal, commonly referred to as the Third Goal, is what Moving Wright Along is about- sharing the culture of Namibia with y’all back home and I hope you’re enjoying it.

Easier access to the internet changed the game in Third Goal communication. Never did I imagine while being 8,000-miles away from home I would still be able to connect with my friends and family back home and feel like, in some cases, I’ve never left.

The power of social media via Facebook, Instagram, WordPress (all my favorite platforms) has changed things.

Since 2013, Peace Corps has hosted the Blog it Home contest. Winners were then invited to Washington, D.C. for one week to promote the Third Goal in a series of intercultural presentations, professional development events, and other activities around the city.

Blog it Home has had over 1,000 PCVs participate since 2013. So, this year, with a fresh look, Peace Corps posts globally are hosting their own Blog it Home competitions. This means more bloggers, more winners, and more fantastic Third Goal stories!

But, no trip to D.C., but it’s still okay. :/

I have decided to enter Moving Wright Along into the running for Blog it Home in Namibia.

So, what I would love from you:


Okay, I lied.

Just keep on reading Moving Wright Along. After you read, comment. After you comment, share. Although winners are not chosen based on readership, I think it’s important that I am reaching my audience to promote cross-cultural understanding.

If you’re new here, check out some of my reader’s favorites:

And if you want, check out a few of my favorites:

My blog will be judged on the following criteria: Demonstrated commitment to increasing intercultural understanding (40%), cultural richness of blog (30%), quality of writing (15%), quality of media content (15%).

So, I need you, yes you, to continue to read and engage with me on all of my Moving Wright Along platforms.

I want to thank y’all for reading, sharing, liking and following my blog, Instagram, and Facebook page. I used to think when people from around the world read my blog, it was by sheer accident. I’m coming to terms with the fact that people across the globe actually subscribe to and read my blog, intentionally, and that’s pretty cool.

Follow Moving Wright Along, Peace Corps Namibia, and Peace Corps on Instagram: @movingwrightalong@peacecorpsnamibia, and  @peacecorps

Like Moving Wright Along and Peace Corps Namibia and  Peace Corps on Facebook

❤ Krystal

peace corps and long-distance relationships.

During the application process, Peace Corps inquires about relationship statuses of all applicants. And for obvious reasons, they are casting for the next MTV’s Real World. I mean, after half a century of Peace Corps volunteers, they know the toll distance can take on relationships.


Volunteers have extreme highs and lows throughout their 27 months of service and sometimes those ups-and-downs are difficult for someone on the “outside” to grasp. Romantic partners may worry from afar, but they still have no control over situations thousands of miles away.

I can’t tell you that a long-distance relationship is easy because it is not. I realize many things are out of my control (I think I need to write a blog post called: who is in control?). Some days the network is just down or the WiFi signal is only strong enough to connect in short phrases of “can you hear me?” or “what did you say?”

I originally wrote the post to give tips about navigating a long-distance relationship, but I realize there is no true answer across the board. But, I will tell you the two most important reasons why a long- distance relationship as worked for us.


“Big talk” and the tone was set early in our relationship. We’ve defined our relationship and what that entails during and after my service. Of course, openness includes honesty, trust, and patience. Since we’re able to discuss these things, I believe we’ve been able to build a stronger foundation.


Having support back home can make or break a volunteer’s service, IMO. I have been extremely fortunate to have a boyfriend who has supported my decision to continue on with Peace Corps and “accomplish the goals I set out to meet.” Peace Corps is important to him because it is important to me. Having a boyfriend who can provide sound advice especially when my emotions are whack has been beneficial for me. I won’t go into sappy deets.

Another bonus of our long-distance relationship is we don’t argue much. We realize the times we talk are valuable and there’s little time or energy to be upset with each other.

Welp, there you have it.

❤ Krystal



you’re invited to camp glow.

I’m writing to ask for your help with one of our main projects in Namibia.

We’re currently raising funds for Camp GLOW (Guys and Girls Leading Our World). It’s a leadership camp which focuses on gender equality and will take place in Windhoek at the end of August. We have 44 campers from all over the country, meaning youth from different tribes and cultures coming together (many of them seeing the capital for the first time) and exploring ways to set goals, break stereotypes, and become the leaders of Namibia’s tomorrow.

I’m sending Teopolina, a Grade 9 learner, to camp this year, so it’s consuming my every waking thought. Because of Peace Corps policy, I’m not allowed to post our fundraising link directly to Facebook. I know it’s summertime and you’re all really busy, but if you can give even $10, every little bit counts.

Follow this link:

https://donate.peacecorps.gov/donate/project/camp-glow-namibia-2017/ where you can find more information about Camp GLOW and how you can help.

If you can think of anyone else who would be able to make a contribution please send the link along to them.

I’m eternally grateful for any help you can give.

Thank you in advance!

❤ Krystal

red, braai, and blue.


I always look forward to holidays. It seems that once the 4th of the July hits each year, the final months of the year fly by. For many American expats, getting US holidays off of work is a rarity, unless the holidays are also observed in our host countries. In Namibia, shared observations of holidays include Good Friday, Easter, Christmas, New Years Eve and Day, to name a few. All other holidays are just days.


To make up for holidays missed, many times PCVs organize celebrations on weekends before or following the holiday. This year, Independence Day fell on a Tuesday, so to make-up, we held a braai the Saturday following in a town central to many Ovamboland volunteers.


A braai is in many ways similar to what Americans call a barbecue. And just how Americans use the word barbecue as a noun and a verb, the word braai is no different.


Photo from Krystal W.jpg

Yeah, Rachael and I braaied pizza. Mmm. Sweet Baby Ray’s!

One of Peace Corps goals is to share American culture with our host country- colleagues, family, and friends. Fortunately for us, most Namibian’s main food group is meat, so it didn’t take much convincing to involve locals.


Celebrating Independence Day abroad not only brings together PCVs, but also other expats as well. This year, many World Teach Volunteers joined the festivities as well as PCV’s colleagues, significant others, and friends.


Namibia celebrated 27 years of independence on March 21 of this year, while the United States celebrated 241 years. Being from a country almost 10 times “older” than Namibia, I’m reminded each day the amount of patience that should continue to go into the work I am doing.

During the 2016 holiday season, I started a tradition of using a tablecloth at special events in which everyone signs. Each year, I will hand embroider each person’s writing to remember all my friends and family who I have shared special occasions with during my service and even after. This will most likely be the last big celebration with the current group of volunteers. Group 42 will COS in later this year, and a new group of education volunteers will arrive in August.


Happy 4th, y’all!

❤ Krystal

11 years in the making.

I have never been known for having a good memory. My older brother would get upset with me when he would start reminiscing about good ole days, and I couldn’t remember the slightest details. He can recall Christmases from when we were in diapers, road trips across the country, and what pizza toppings were on a pizza during a family movie night in 1996. Even if I exhaustively jog my memory, I come up with nothing.

My freshman year of college, I took Intro to Public Speaking. This was a required class, but I enjoyed it because it served as a sort of therapy for me. During this time in college, my parent’s had recently divorced and I was going through physical therapy for my ACL tear. It was a rough time for me to say the least, so I found solace in writing down and presenting my thoughts (I’m sure I was a wreck), but I remember one thing clearly:

In this class, I decided I was going to bungee jump at Victoria Falls.

Okay, let me back up a little.

One of my classmates was Zambian. She gave a speech about a fear that she overcame. That fear was bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge. She described the fear, exhilaration, excitement, and adrenaline she experienced during her jump, and from that day on, I put bungee jumping at Victoria Falls on my bucket list.

One problem.


In 2006, I had no clue where Zambia was even at. Let alone Victoria Falls. Was it in South America? Or an island off of Australia? As I told you before in a previous post, I’ve never been a traveller, so putting something on my bucket list was okay. I mean, if it happened it happened, and if not, it was a stretch goal after all.

In the years following college, I can’t say I actively devised a plan to achieve this bucket list item aside from pinning it on my Pinterest. When I moved to Namibia, I realized Victoria Falls wasn’t too far away.

So, last month I  found myself in Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe and Zambia are neighboring countries) to run in Victoria Falls marathon (I only ran (walked/jogged) the 7.5k fun run). During my weekend, I realized, this was my opportunity to fulfil a dream over a decade in the making. As soon as I checked into Shoestrings Backpackers, I booked my ticket to jump at Shearwater Bungee in Victoria Falls.


On June 17, 2017, I was the 9th bungee jumper from Victoria Falls Bridge. All of the feelings my classmate described that day in 2006, were #allthefeels I experienced in my jump.



What bucket list items do you want to fulfil? Wanna bungee jump at Victoria Falls?

Come visit me! I don’t think I’ll jump again, but I’ll watch.

❤ Krystal