A former NYC high school teacher, Lisa is an American who is married to a Dane; they have been in East Africa for over 8 years and have three children. She loves reading and writing and music; she dislikes cooking. Currently she balances working as a substitue high school teacher with being CEO of their family life. Despite the intransient nature of her current work, Lisa aspires to be a world-traveler and, someday, a published writer. She is also an "expat spouse", which means she lives abroad because of her husband's work in the field of development. She has a master's degree in education from Harvard University, but is mostly a very proud Orange Woman from her undergraduate years at Syracuse. In her dream world, she can speak-read-write Danish and Kiswahili perfectly...but 98% of what comes out of her mouth is English, spoken too fast and occasionally with a Boston accent. The things she misses most about living in the US are: her family, her friends, Target, Dunkin' Donuts hot chocolate with a turbo shot of espresso, and the freedom and ease and safety of walking around outside.
While not the primary contributor to this blog, whenever Kristoffer does post something you know it's going to be really interesting. He is a Rural Water and Sanitation Specialist with an expertise in using solar technology for rural water development. Kristoffer worked for the World Food Programme in Nairobi, Kenya for four years and has been with the World Bank in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for four years. His interests include climate change and other topics related to the environment, playing squash, running, yoga, the electric car company Tesla, and politics in general. Kristoffer holds two master's degrees in economics and econometrics from universities in England and Denmark. Favorite past times include playing with Legos, standing on his head, and being a vegetarian (specifically eating broccoli). Favorite present times include playing with Legos, biking to work, practicing Kiswahili and exercising. The things he misses most about living in Denmark are: licorice, rye bread, bright summer nights, his family and friends.
Our Story in a Nutshell
Kristoffer went to the US to be an international YMCA camp counselor during the summer of 2003 and lived in Plainville, MA, on the same street as Lisa's sister. Kristoffer's host and Lisa's sister, desperate housewives looking for summer entertainment, agreed that it would be really funny to try to set these two up! After a few failed attempts, a casual Sunday gathering over watermelon and beer finally allowed them to meet. For the next two years theirs was a long-distance romance (NYC to England and Denmark) until Kristoffer took a job (read: unpaid internship) with the World Bank in Washington, DC. Then for another two years it was a less-long-distance romance (NYC to DC). Four years after they met, they had an incredible wedding that brought a Danish invasion to Massachusetts and allowed for their intercontinental family and friends to finally meet. The Welsiens moved to Nairobi, Kenya at the end of 2007 for Kristoffer's job with the World Food Programme, where they had two beautiful babies. March 2012 brought the whole family to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for a new position with the World Bank. Their third and final baby was born in April 2014 in Boston, MA. Life in Dar is interesting and busy (although could be improved with a bit more sleep!)! Thanks for reading!