Hello Friends & Family:

Welcome to my actual website… finally! After living in the world of Tumblr and Wordpress for some time (if you want to read old posts, click here), I decided to finally invest in a real website. In addition to wanting to take more artistic control, I created this site as an incentive to write and share more. In an attempt to ease myself into the writing process, I created a “One Sentence A Day” online-diary, where I will post a short blurb everyday as a way to share & track the adventures I have, the blessings I receive and the lessons I learn.

As I start this digital journey, I look forward to the challenge this will be. If you have been following me in the past, you're probably forecasting this site to be off the radar in the next couple of months. Knowing my track record with blogs and such, that would be an accurate thought on your part. But, with this new start, I am determined to break that habit in a fun and manageable way. As I begin this blog, bare with me! I’m gonna start out small and see how it goes. My overall focus for this space is to share ideas, address questions you have about life/Africa/everything else, and write about my experiences; partially so I can actually keep track of life’s daily joys but also to remember and track all the amazing things God does for me.

Speaking of that, I have some exciting news… (drumroll please)

On Monday, I was awarded the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) which means this summer I will be fully funded by the US State Department to travel to Arusha, Tanzania and study the Swahili Language! Seriously, I am still in shock myself.

Back in November of 2015, I applied to the scholarship on whim and didn’t expect too much as the scholarship is offered nationally. Additionally, as I was academically researching on Wikipedia (you know it), the rumored acceptance rate was about 10%. As school went on as usual I didn’t think to much about it but was attempting to exhaust all of my options to get me back to Africa. If you haven’t met me yet, I’m Taylor King and I’m obsessed with Africa. So, there’s that! Anyway, after applying for everything under the sun, I waited.

Then, in March, I got an email from CLS saying in the subject head, “We are pleased to inform you…” and I prematurely freaked out during my class. Unbeknownst to me, once I actually clicked on the link the rest of the email said, “… to inform you that you have been chosen as an alternate for the CLS Swahili Program.” As sweet as it was to be an alternate, the uncertainty of it all was extremely sour. On top of that, a couple weeks earlier I had received alternate status for an RA (Resident Assistant) position for my school which, when combined, made me feel pretty lousy to be honest. Fortunately, I have the most supportive parents who reassured me that, “I was not an alternate daughter.” I love you guys,

Long story short, as I accepted my “alternate-ness” I continued to apply for as many scholarship as I could, to make a to trip Africa possible. Application after application, I applied until I couldn’t reword the same essays anymore. Then, about a month ago, I put together a spreadsheet and made an extremely detailed proposal to give to my parents to explain how I would fund the Swahili Study Abroad program in Zanzibar through the UO (if you're interested, check it out here). After many persuasive phone calls with them, my hard work paid off and they gave me the OK. Fast forward to Monday. After committing to the UO program, putting a deposit down and coming to terms with the situation, I got an email from CLS.

God had other plans for me.

“Dear Taylor King, Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you that you have been promoted from alternate to finalist for the CLS Swahili Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program.”

Mind blown would be an appropriate expression. After contemplating for days and asking the opinions of family and even professors, I was at peace with accepting the insane gift laid in front of me.

The CLS Program is funded through the US Department of State and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It supports 13 “critical languages” including but not limited to: Hindi, Indonesian, Chinese, Arabic and more. This year will be a special year for the program because it will be its 10th year of existence and luckily for me, it will be the 1st year that they are offering Swahili. For 8 weeks this summer, I will be intensively studying Swahili alongside roughly 25 other graduate/undergraduate participants in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha. Having never visited Tanzania before, I am extremely excited and eager to see the unique characteristics of the people and culture!

I am looking forward to bringing you, my friends and family, on this adventure with me. The Lord has been so gracious to me by continually enabling me to visit a region I am extremely passionate about. Asante sane Yesu (Thank you Jesus)!

Although this went a little (a lot) longer than I expected, a long post seems right for the kick off.

Thank you to everyone who has empowered and supported me thus far.

Upendo mwingi (much love),


Arusha, Tanzania with Mt. Meru in the background.