A Little History:
Our story begins in Pocatello, Idaho, circa 1972, when the lovely Debby Christensen agreed to a first, though fateful date with admirer, David Croshaw. Long story-short, he bade her follow him, and they went arm-in-arm to the Logan, Utah temple for establishment of an eternal family unit, Generation 1, on May 23 1973.

From their first blissful summer in Salt Lake City, educational pursuits took them to Provo/Orem, Utah, birthplace of Leslie and Rebecca, and to San Francisco/Oakland California, birthplace of Colin and Matt. Then, for establishment of livelihood, expansion of the tribe with Abby and Dana, and for raising/unifying of Generation 2, it was back to the roots in Pocatello for a rewarding sojourn.

In time, driven by a raging, but commonly shared sense of adventure and independence, one-by-one, Generation 2 escaped the homeland to distant regions of the country and the world, each ultimately developing their own tribal expansions by pairing with worthy mates and initiating Generation 3.

Now sensing fulfillment of their purpose in Pocatello, Generation 1 has also left those roots and transplanted to Cascade Idaho, from which base, they anticipate more abundant contact with The Posterity, Generations 2 and 3, in the future. That contact however, awaits fulfillment of a call to LDS missionary service in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, wherein they hope to help the state of the world by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

So now, including Generation 0 (Grandma and Grandpa Christensen) home base includes Yuma, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, Cascade, Idaho, Vancouver, BC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spokane, Washington, Boise, Idaho, Los Angeles, California, back to Boise, Idaho, and on and on (Generation 3+) to infinity.

Our Mission Statement:
This is the blog of our eternal family unit. Initiated years ago, it served well as a journal, but even more so, as an archive of our personal interaction. It was a gathering place, a confabulation instrument, a unifying force for four generations of widely dispersed and progressively prolific posterity, and their valued associates. Though it served these purposes well for many years, it eventually took a back seat to new-kids-on-the-block, Facebook, and Instagram, and was sadly forgotten.

We now move to resurrect this blog with an added functional purpose of archiving the missionary experiences of Generation 1, of their movements and activities as they participate with The Gathering of Israel in the land northward. In so doing, we hope that via their own comments and posts, this blog will again serve to gather and unify the posterity and their friends.

As in the past, that the young and vibrant may know the old and tired, that enduring bonds may be fostered and maintained, that experience and encouragement may be openly shared, that posterity may embrace truth, and that hearts may be knit together, we must resist detachment despite our geographic divergence. We shall do so here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Story time!

Hi family.  I just wanted to tell you all a story.  It's a little long, and most of you have probably already heard at least some of it, although not from me.  :o)  I wanted to wait for the ending so I could share it all.

You all know I've been on the prowl for an internship for the summer.  And you all know the market is ridiculous right now, and the odds of me finding one are pretty slim.  And forget about any kind of paycheck!  My whole class is all just trying to find people that will let us do a bunch of their work for free.  It begs the question: what do I like doing enough that I would do it for free, just to have the opportunity to do it?

School has helped me to focus my mind and find the answer to this question.  I am passionate about microfinance. It is the kind of work that I could be proud to stand behind, a cause that would get me out of bed every morning so I could help it to move forward.  Whether or not I actually need an advanced degree to work in this field, my MBA already feels worthwhile because it's helped me to figure this out. 

So.  AU has a search engine called CareerBeam to help us in our quest.  One feature I discovered is that you can look up a company, then connect to LinkedIn (Think Facebook, except for working professionals) and it will tell you the degrees of separation between you and someone who is affiliated with that company.  I looked up the microfinance org FINCA International, and learned that I knew someone directly who had worked there before.  I hadn't seen him in over a year, but at least I knew someone!

Two days later, I bumped into him at a party.  (This guy is married, and this was a singles ward party, which makes the fact that we crossed paths even more amazing.)  He was very willing to help me out, and suggested that I talk to a guy named Otso, because he also used to work with a different microfinance bank.  Interestingly enough, I had met Otso at Institute two days before.

I sought out Otso the next week, only to learn that he used to be the CEO of Yehu Microfinance, an organization based in Kenya.  Not only that, but he was still on the advisory board and still conducted interviews for internships.  We talked some more, and through his questions ("Have you ever been to a third world country?" "What were the conditions like - did you stay in nice hotels?") I realized that this wasn't a DC-based office job where I'd be doing good from afar.  It would be in Mombasa, Kenya, on the frontlines.  There would be some office work, but I would also get to actually be where everything is happening, to meet the people I'd be helping.  This is the exact setup I hoped for the chance to try (knowing that this summer would probably be my last window of opportunity) but I did not expect to find it. 

Otso asked me to send him my resume, and we'd get together and talk.  Even this aspect seems divinely guided, because my resume had just come out of a major overhaul that same morning, where everything my resume said was now intentionally geared toward attracting microfinance-related employment.

Needless to say, after our conversation, I was starry-eyed.  This option just made so much sense, and the way everything had fallen into place was just too perfect to be coincidence.  I felt so compelled to follow this to the end, and so sure that it was already a done deal.  To be honest, after that conversation with Otso, all other internship pursuits dropped off my radar.  I figured, why bother?  I already found it.  Even the way I talked about it was always "when I go to Kenya," not "if."  I haven't even considered being concerned about the location because clearly I'm supposed to go there, so I'll be taken care of.  And as mom pointed out, I'll be going through the temple just a little over a month before I leave, so I'll be extra-protected.  

To make a long story just a little longer, over the next few weeks I met with Otso again, then he directed me to some people in Orem who are in charge of the actual hiring.  After completing an application, sending several emails, and making a few phone calls, they confirmed today that I'm in.  I'm going to Kenya!

I love when the Lord uses timing to remind us He's aware of us, and to make sure we know we're moving in the right direction.  In this case, He seemed to want to make it painstakingly clear.  (He probably figured I'd be a little averse to the extra debt and would need the push.)  

So now you know the whole story.


David and Debby said...

Holy Crap. Dead Zebras Tour! You have to send us pictures from that one. And, I agree, Norway has always been more like Snoreway, or maybe Boreway. Kenya on the other hand is, well, it's Kenya. Congratulations! But, now will be a good time to start practicing your discipline to avoid germs, bugs, snkaes, and the like.

beckyV said...

Abby, you are so cool!! I know that this opportunity came to you because you have always lived your life with integrity. We need more people like you in the business world. It is definitely no conicidence... Congrats, you are awesome!!

Jason and Dana said...

Wooooooooooooo!!!! AWESOME!!!!! You are going to rock Africa! :) I love you!

David and Debby said...

i already told abby this, but i'll tell the rest of you. i also felt like the Lord was working all of this out for abby, because it fell into place so quickly. i was talking to kathleen hofman wednesday and mentioned that abby wanted to do an internship in kenya, and i told her i was actually quite certain it would work out, because it had all fallen into place so providentially. i didn't use that word, but i should have. can't wait to see those photos!!!!

Grandma & Grandpa said...

I am so thrilled for you! I would never have doubted that you would get what you so desired. What a team you and your Father in heaven!
Just think a refrigerator magnet from Kenya!!!!.
Congrats, Ab.

Leslie said...

Would this be a good summer to hike Kilimanjaro? Will you still be there in August? ;-) Let's plan it! We're always given what we need and/or what we deserve. It's going to be an amazing experience.

I'm so proud of you, Abba Dabba!

P.S. Do you have to pay your way there? Any salary or will this all be volunteer?

abbynormal said...

I would probably leave right before August. I've got to get back to the states and make a teeny bit of money to get me through the next school year. I feel like Kilimanjaro deserves a trip all its own. Maybe some day when I'm employed with a salary...

P.S. Yes, I have to pay my way there, and no, I don't get a salary. Paid internships have become ridiculously difficult to come by, and I definitely didn't expect to find one in this particular field.

Crystal said...

Woah, as one who had no idea, this takes me by complete surprise! You are seriously, one lucky- and well-travelled- girl! You will love Africa, especially the African children. They will love you too! Are you getting all your immunizations now? I suppose you must leave fairly soon.
It is really wonderful when we are allowed to almost physically see the hand of the Lord in our lives, it is trult amazing. I hope you love your internship and that it provides you with opportunities for a long, successful career. Oh! Please send good luck this way!

Jason and Dana said...

Congrats Abby, I'm very Jealous. I remember learining about Microfinance in school and trhough the church world news report between conference sessions one year. What an awesome oportunity. And a big heart to go and pay your way there too.
Good luck.