Our Big Project Revealed…

Greetings from Tanzania, East Africa!

This is the big project I mentioned a while back, packing up our home in Atlanta and getting relocated here in the beautiful Arusha area of Northern Tanzania. We are now here surrounded by mountains and unbelievable beauty and wonderful people. We’re getting settled in.

And WOW! Is this ever a big project!

It’s been real hard. We’ve had to say goodbye to friends and family with no real idea when we will see them again. We’ve had to let go of so many belongings that we’ve had for decades. Things that have sentimental value. So many times we’ve said, “But I’ve had this forever! I might need this someday.” We started a pile of things to take with us. The pile grew, and grew. By the time we were ready to start packing we realized we still had too much stuff. The song Bag Lady by Erykah Badu kept running through my head.

“Bag Lady, you gone miss your bus.
You can’t hurry up
Cause you got too much stuff”

Some days it seemed we would never finish purging and packing. It took longer than planned. It took the help of many people. It was one of the most stressful things we’ve ever been through. As the deadline for leaving got closer we had many waves of anxiety. We couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. Would we be EVER be done?!? Did we forget something important?

There was so much to learn, so much to do, so much to consider. My brain was foggy and overwhelmed. We ended up having to delay our departure by a week.

Through it all we kept our eyes on the prize. We accepted the hard times as a necessary part of the change, not a reason to stop. We imagined our new life. We talked about what it might be like. We kept researching and learning about living in the Motherland. We talked to others who had already made the change. We trusted the process and kept moving forward one step at a time.

We knew we MUST do this. We would not be deterred!


Here we are on the other side of this momentous change. We’re learning, growing, relaxing and discovering a new way of living. We’ve had to suspend our expectations and be willing to see things in a new way. In time we will establish a new routine. A new normal.

It was hard. Real hard. But through it all we knew where we wanted to get to. We pushed through. And we are here!

Making any big change is like that.

When you’re making big lifestyle changes, like changing how you eat, you have to let go in order to allow the new to come in.

You have to be ok with stepping forward into the unknown. Yes, have a vision of where you want to get to. But know that the road to getting there may take you to unexpected places.

You have to be willing to push through the hard times, the struggle, the fear. With each struggle and challenge you will develop the skills you need to succeed.

You have to keep learning and keep growing. To stay open to new possibilities and ways of thinking and doing. What seems strange and impossible now may someday become your new normal.

Some folks will be there with you to help. Others will try to convince you you’re crazy. It’s important to be in contact with folks who share your vision and can support your journey. They will affirm your commitment to your big change.

It will be hard.

But you can do this! I know you can. Keep your focus on where you are going. Never give up!

Can you relate? What are you pushing through as you move towards the lifestyle you desire? What changes are you making? Who is there to help and who is not? What are you doing to help you learn what you need to know? What are you doing to make sure you make it to the other side? Leave a comment, or email me and let me know!

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Helping my coaching clients go from vegan wanna-be to Unshakably Vegan! From meal-time boredom to loving what they eat. From self-sabotage to taking control. From tempted by all the wrong choices in their non-vegan world to making the right decisions. And from sick and tired to vibrant and healthy. Discover your personal recipe for success and abundant health! BE UNSHAKABLE!

31 Comments on “Our Big Project Revealed…

10/01/2016 at 7:33 pm

This is so awesome. My wife and I are looking to relocate to Kenya. I know this is not where you are located but we would still really appreciated any insight you have on such a move!

Ama Opare
10/10/2016 at 1:05 pm

Harlan this a good topic for a blog post. Look for that soon ????????

Andrew Dennis
08/07/2016 at 8:29 pm

I’m happy for you and your family and look forward to the day I can repatriate as well

Jabulani Phelago
07/28/2016 at 4:44 am

Thank you for sharing ….. its very interesting, please keep us posted. Maybe a blog will do . we really want to be part of your journey!!! pleasssse

Kadijah Ndoye
07/27/2016 at 7:34 am

Hi Ms. Opare,

Congratulations on your move to the continent. My name is Kadijah Ndoye. I am a recent graduate of Spelman College that will be working in Atlanta. I am actually in Arusha right now through the U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship. I have been here for two months learning Swahili at MS-TCDC in Usa River. I will be leaving Arusha on Saturday at 2 p.m. however. I know you are busy unpacking and doing many other things, but if you have any free time between now and Saturday let me me know!

Ama Opare
07/28/2016 at 2:19 pm

Looking forward to meeting you!

Linda Mvusi
07/26/2016 at 5:41 pm

Jambo! Habari zakho? I am not east African but South African, but I have this to say, Tanzania is one of the most beautiful places in Africa and Tanzanians the most hospitable, kind and inclusive. Enjoy! And all the best in your new home. Welcome BACK to Afrika!

Ama Opare
07/28/2016 at 2:20 pm

Thank you Linda! I have to agree about TZ. It is all of those things for sure!

07/25/2016 at 12:33 pm

Ama, I am so glad you have reached your destination and are living your dream. Your journey to shed the “dead weight”(also known as our stuff) in Atlanta is a great Segway for us to do the same. Yes, it is time to push through what you know to get to where you want to be. I continue to pray for you and Dr. Opare and my prayer is that God allow all of your dreams and hopes to come to pass. BTW….I had my vegan food presentation/cooking class and it went marvelous!! Many of the attendees are reporting to me of the changes they have recently made towards a plant-based diet. Praise God!! You all have a wonderful life and we will keep in touch.

Ama Opare
07/26/2016 at 3:46 am

Thank you Nita, and glad to hear your class went well. So happy you are spreading the word. Blessings to you and yours!

Judy Marie Willis
07/24/2016 at 7:38 pm

What a joyous opportunity to celebrate your forward movement. Life is so full and wants each of us to experience it and express it. I AM letting go of the storyline of the past and creating a new belief system. Seeing myself joyfully giving and receiving whatever is needed to be in this loving space that is NOW. We have the entire Uni-verse within us and memory of everything that’s ever existed. Continue to be, Sista Ama. Continue to see. Continue to love.

07/24/2016 at 2:14 pm

Dr.& Ama,

Hongera (Congratulations)!
I’m encouraged by your actions. I was there in 2004, but didn’t get to Bro. Pete and Mama Charlotte’s village center, not to mention Sweet Unity Coffee Farm.
Sasa, I have another reason to return.

Tena, hongera!
(I’m sure you both will be speaking kiswahili fluently, with brothers and sisters in no time, if you don’t already speak it well).

Ama Opare
07/24/2016 at 3:30 pm

Asante! Tunasema Kiswahili kidogo! ????

Ahzjah Netjer Simons
07/23/2016 at 8:13 pm

So excited for you both! Are you creating a wellness center there? What are you creating there? or are you simply getting acquainted with motherland experience. Beautiful! I’ve learned, the unknown is where its at! Keep pushing and live life to the fullest! We love you and wish the best! If you ever want to share more and keep us close, would love to have you call in and share on our world rhythm program! Your experience and evolution would be perfect for the program and we would welcome you! mondays 2-4 pm.

Ama Opare
07/24/2016 at 3:34 pm

At this point we are simply getting aquatinted. Enjoying a great sense of peace. Thanks for the invitation.

07/23/2016 at 6:33 pm

Glad you made it. It looks beautiful and you both look happy,

Fay V.
07/23/2016 at 4:00 pm

The “Pro’s” of a move like yours have really excited me. Could you please share some of the “Con’s”?

Ama Opare
07/26/2016 at 4:01 am

Fay V. the main con I can see so far is that you won’t have access to everything you do now. You have to be willing to learn new ways of doing and being. That and the power goes out regularly.

07/23/2016 at 3:18 pm


07/23/2016 at 2:30 pm

Congratulations to you both! I wish all the best!

Aba Bailey
07/23/2016 at 1:46 pm

Love and blessings to you both on this journey.

Althea Cooper
07/23/2016 at 12:01 pm

You and Dr. Opare are a living example of how to live your truth. It is such an inspiration to us as we work on following whatever path we choose for our future. I can only imagine the peace of mind, body, and spirit, even in the midst of the challenges and adjustments you are facing. We look forward to your updates. Be well…love and light always.

Ama Opare
07/23/2016 at 1:40 pm

Thank you Althea. We feel at home here.

Althea Cooper
07/23/2016 at 2:27 pm

You have peeked my curiosity to learn more about the area where you are living now. I’ve read a lot of information this past day, but was most excited watching a video of a vegetable market…WOW! They have everything!.

Ama Opare
07/23/2016 at 3:09 pm

Yes the climate and rich volcanic soil here are perfect for growing all types of fruits and veggies.

Benita W. Gibbs
07/23/2016 at 10:08 am

Wow! What a tremendous undertaking! I am so excited for you and your family as you embark on this awesome journey. As one of your readers, I look forward to hearing more from you in the future…please keep us updated as you settle into “your new normal”. I wish you much peace and happiness!

Ama Opare
07/23/2016 at 1:39 pm

Benita you will certainly hear more about our journey. ????

07/23/2016 at 9:46 am

OMG!!!! So happy for you as you embark on this adventure in y’all lives. However, it’s perfect for you and Dr. Opare. The two of you living in the Motherland. Best wishes as you explore living a new life and starting over in a new world of possibility. We will miss you in the ATL. Be safe, be happy, and love the newest of your life in a new world of your choosing. It’s all perfect!

Ama Opare
07/23/2016 at 1:38 pm

Thank you Wanda ????????????

Lisa Smith
07/23/2016 at 9:44 am

Ama, I’m very happy to hear about your big move! I lived in Arusha, TZ for 4 years (2007-2011). It is a beautiful country. I miss it. I plan to visit again soon, so we’ll have to keep in touch. Also, if you don’t know them already, look up Brother Pete O’Neil and his wife Mama Charlotte. They are African-American activists who’ve lived in TZ for over 30 years and run a community center not far from Arusha. My number and email address are: (704) 779-3674. Please feel free to contact me.

Ama Opare
07/23/2016 at 1:37 pm

We know them well! In fact there is an interview with Mama C here in the black vegans section.


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