An Introduction by Jon

When the Fischer Fellowship program was launched 5 years ago, I made a mental note to participate “when the time was right.”  The only problem was, life seemed to keep getting in the way: buying a condo, major family milestones, friend’s weddings, saving for an engagement ring….

So when I mentioned this program to Allie, and she responded with “why haven’t we done this yet!?” I was slightly taken aback because we are at the core, homebodies (see post below). But, once we started talking in more detail, the more excited I got and we quickly realized this was the perfect time:

  • I’ve received a wealth of experience and training in 11 years at West Monroe Partners that I’d like to apply to new challenges.
  • After years at the same firm, this will force me into new habits in work approach and daily rhythms.
  • I’ve never lived outside of Washington – this will expand my world views and I’ll experience a new culture
  • The opportunity to do this together with my wife – having someone else to lean on and share this with.

The Fischer Fellowship supports West Monroe employees in taking a leave of absence to volunteer for meaningful global causes – and ensures my job when I return!

As Fischer Fellows we will be spending the months of September-December in The Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly called Swaziland but renamed by the King in April 2018) assisting Tsandza Weaving and their sister companies with marketing and business development/planning.

More details to come on the actual projects and undertakings.


How we got here (according to Allie)

I’ve never particularly considered Jon and myself to be an adventurous couple. We like our quiet island and our low key routine. We have no ambitions to jump out of airplanes or scale daring peaks. We like reading books, playing games, eating good food and spending time with family.

Yet for some reason, the decision to pack up our life and move to Swaziland for nearly four months didn’t seem like a daring adventure. It seemed like a no brainer.

And in reflecting upon it, while we may not be your traditional adventurists, once we determine something is logistically possible, and potentially a little bit fun, any adventure is within bounds. Through our professional lives (“merge two giant entities together? – sure, that sounds doable;” “oh, a party for 800 people to raise over a million bucks? – I mean, sure, as long as the room is big enough”) to our spare time (“travel 3 different states and 3 different countries all in less than 3 months? – insane but… possible”) well, I guess we like a good adventure after all.

So when presented with the opportunity to spend our first anniversary in Africa, we sorted through the list of logistical hurdles and decided: sure, sounds fun. We’ll be using this blog to document our time, travels, work and adventures and we invite you to follow along.


Thank you for joining us!