•March 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Lasting Impressions

•May 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Tanzania will be leaving many lasting impressions on my life. This experience has given me invaluable teaching experience, new friendships, and vast cultural knowledge. The amount of time that I was able to teach far exceeded my expectations. I was able to teach lessons that I created to a live classroom and reflect on my teaching. This kind of experience will stay with me forever and I will take my mistakes and accomplishments with me in my future career to make myself into the best teacher that I can be.

The friendships that I’ve made on this trip will also stay with me for the rest of my life. I have not only made close bonds with the other students in the group, but with the teachers, safari drivers, and students that I work and interact with every day. These people have been incredibly welcoming and enthusiastic to teach us about their culture and language. Everyday I learn something new about their life, their background, and their families. I know that their stories will stay with me for a long time and I will always remember their kindness and support during our time in Tanzania.

Finally, the amount of things that I’ve learned about Tanzania and it’s people is incredible. I have not only learned about their rich history and the different tribes that exist today, but I’ve had the opportunity to interact and work with the people on a regular basis. I’ve learned about their lifestyles, values, interests, hopes, and dreams. It has been quite eye opening and has provided me with a new outlook on the world and people living in poverty, which will have a lasting impression on my life. These things have changed me for the better and I will take these experiences with me into my future career and interactions.

- Lauren C.

Kwa heri Tanzania

•May 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There is so much I am going to take away from Tanzania I don’t even know where to start. Not only have I learned so much about the people and the culture here, but I have learned so much about myself as a person and a teacher. I have developed such a great relationship with my students.  I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to develop such a close bond in such a short time, and it makes it extremely hard for me to leave. I feel so blessed I was able to have this experience. It will definitely be something I will never forget.

It has been such a great experience being a part of and learning the culture here in Tanzania. I will never forget the willingness and excitement the Tanzanians expressed when sharing their country and language with us. I love how the people here live their life with no worries and no rush. It has really opened my eyes and made me realize that life really isn’t a rush and that I should take my time each day to just enjoy life. I feel like I will also be more friendly and open to different cultures and beliefs. I have realized that people live their lives differently and it doesn’t mean that it is better or worse than the way I live my life; it is only different.

Teaching here in Tanzania has definitely changed me as a person. I have always had such a strong passion for children, but after being here my passion has expanded in many ways. I have come to realize that I want to do more than teach in a suburban area in Missouri. Since this trip I have developed an enthusiasm in helping children that really need it. Being here has given me so many ideas to teach out of the country, work in inner cities schools, and or join organizations that help to poor and needy.

When I finished this semester’s courses I really felt like I was able to begin teaching in my own class. After teaching here in Tanzania I now understand that it would be extremely beneficial to learn more about classroom management, how to engage every single student, and teaching students who are at different levels. Even though I have realized I am not ready to have my own class, it has made me even more excited to begin my student teaching.

Nicki Yamada

Flower Child

•May 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Well I’m the hippie of the group, so one thing I’ll never forget is the beauty of Tanzania. I’m surprised I haven’t twisted an ankle in all the potholes with how I walk around with my head in the sky, looking around at the gorgeous trees and birds. Even in the city, I always have something to admire. Gaining a greater appreciation for the natural beauty in our world is something I will never forget about Tanzania.

My biggest lasting impression and transformation from Tanzania is an inner peace with the differences between cultures. I no longer see differences and judge. Tanzania has shown me that great things come out of people living in different ways. I don’t hate myself for how I live back home. I don’t feel the need to drop everything and move here to save the world. People here are happy living the way they do. It is not my job to “fix” them. Just like anywhere in the world, there are good people, and there are also a few bad ones. But Tanzania is a proud and welcoming country. Hopefully, I’ll come in contact with other places around the world who will help further instill this open-mindedness to other cultures I have come to gain during my time here.

Allyn G.

Monduli

•May 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This weekend we camped in a Maasai Village (yes, I know I spelt it wrong the first time haha). After we settled in we went on a couple hour walk around the area. The scenery was beautiful! A Massai child invited us into her home, which was a tiny straw hut. Her whole family was crowded inside, including her mother. The Massai speak their own language so there wasn’t much communication between us but we did manage to make-out that there was 1 bedroom for 6 people, the “kitchen” was a couple pieces of wood with a pot on top, and surprisingly enough there was a little area inside the house where the goats would stay. They allowed us to take some pictures, however, because it was dark in the hut I didn’t realize that the mother was breast feeding This weekend we camped in a Maasai Village (yes, I know I spelt it wrong the first time haha). After we settled in we went on a couple hour walk around the area. The scenery was beautiful! A Massai child invited us into her home, which was a tiny straw hut. Her whole family was crowded inside, including her mother. The Massai speak their own language so there wasn’t much communication between us but we did manage to make-out that there was 1 bedroom for 6 people, the “kitchen” was a couple pieces of wood with a pot on top, and surprisingly enough there was a little area inside the house where the goats would stay. They allowed us to take some pictures, however, because it was dark in the hut I didn’t realize that the mother was breast feeding her baby in the picture. I’m still going to post the picture because it is a great picture and so real but I’m just giving you a little forewarning. After the walk we ate lunch and then headed to the Massai market. This market is considerable different from the market we have been going to in Arusha. The market in Arusha sells goods for tourists. The market we went to in Monduli was interactions and trades between Massia people themselves. They were trading/buying goods such as sugar, coffee, tea, fruit, vegetables, cows, goats, matches, flashlights, shoes, clothes, ect. I loved being at this market, it was a truly authentic learning experience. We were learning how the Massai people live by actually being there and seeing it. We even went into one of their “movie theaters”, which was a straw hut that had people standing around a tv watching a foreign movie. I bought an avocado from one of them Massai women, it was by far the best avocado I have ever had. I loved the chaos and realness of it all, I might even be so bold as to say that it was one of my favorite things I’ve done here so far. The next day we woke up early for a 5 hour hike up Monduli Mountain. The hike was steep and hard but I was apart of the group that made it up to the very top! Unfortunately it was foggy and rainy so we couldn’t see the beautiful view of Kilimanjaro. A few of us yoga fans did a little yoga at the top of the mountain. If it would have been clear that day Kilimanjaro would have been in the background of my yoga picture. On the way home Sunday we stopped at a glassblowing factory that makes all of its products using recycled glass, mostly from wine bottles. This business was founded to provide jobs to disabled people who are struggling in the job market. All the employes that work there are either deaf or physically impaired. The artwork was beautiful and I loved the concept of the whole business; recycling, helping those that are less fortunate, art. Overall the weekend was a success! This is my last week here and I already know I’m going to miss this place so much, I hope to be able to come back someday.

Morgan Steele

Tanzanian Memories

•May 23, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Though it sounds incredibly corny and cliché, my experience here in Tanzania has truly been once in a lifetime. I have bonded with a great group of future educators, and together, we have tackled several challenges as well as making lasting memories. Over the past four weeks, I have seen so many wonderful things in this beautiful country. I have been able to experience teaching mathematics, go on a safari in the Serengeti, make honey from sting-less bees, and go inside a Maasai boema(hut). The lessons I have learned are too numerous to count and I have gained so many insights that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

As I have been teaching in the schools, I have been focused on teaching the children by merging the lecture style lesson they are used to completing with activities that allow them to explore concepts. Though unsure of my teaching style at first, after a few days the students began to get used to my “Mizungu” ways and some really started to understand the mathematical concepts. I will never forget the look of satisfaction on the faces of the students when things “clicked” for them and they finally understood the lesson. I suppose this look is the reason why I want to be a teacher. I will always remember these students as being some of my first students in my teaching career. Though I would not be so forward to say that I made some sort of difference in the lives of my students here, I can walk away content knowing that they have made a large difference in my life.

Though our group came to Tanzania to teach, we have been able to experience so much more than the schools. I have been very surprised by the friendly people here. In the US, people walking on the street going about their daily business will almost always avoid eye contact. Here in Tanzania, it seems impolite to walk by someone without greeting them. Additionally, Tanzanians are more than willing to talk with a visitor for hours and answer any questions you have about their country and language. In return, most usually only want to know a little about your personal background. I suppose I will remember the large smiles and warm hellos of the friends I have met here.

Coming to Africa is usually seen by most in the western world as an act of charity. People see the images of rampant poverty that span this continent. While the people here may be “poor” if you measure their wealth and material possessions, getting to know them shows a whole different picture. Many Tanzanians I have spoken to initially lament about their lack of money, but when asked about what truly matters to them, they say that they are happy with food, a home and family. In other terms they have all that any human needs to survive and they admit that they are happier without the burden of money. To sum up the lifestyle, I would say that it represents simple ling at its finest. In fact, it encourages me to follow the saying “live simple so that others may simply live.”

Though I know that the memories will fade over time, I hope that I will always abide by the lessons I have learned here in Tanzania. I think I will always remember Tanzania as a country that has beautiful landscape, amazing animals, crazy driving, and, most importantly, kindhearted people. This country will forever hold a special place in my heart and I know that I will make every effort to return here so that I may continue to be amazed by the wonders of Tanzania.

Kirsten C

 

Mimi ni mwalimu. [I am a teacher.]

•May 23, 2012 • 1 Comment

My time here in Tanzania has been breif, but is a time that will stay with me forever. I have learned so much about the history, the animals, the land, and the government of Tanzania. I have also learned a lot about their education system. Although it is a very different system than ours in the U.S., they make it work for them. Even better than that, they are working towards improving their education and have changed for the better in the past decade.

Although I have learned so much about these topics, the thing that will really stick with me is the people. Learning about the people of this country has been my favorite part of this trip. Almost everyone you meet in Tanzania are polite. They are also happy people, which is surprising when you see how little some people have. Tanzanians are very social beings, and they measure their wealth in how many friends and family they have. This means you end up with many friends, even in a short period of time.

My favorite aspect of Tanzania is that it is a place for learning. The people here are so eager to learn. Even the children want to be in school. Even better, Tanzanians are eager to teach. They will tell you everything they can about themselves and their country. They will also spend a lot of time discussing philosophical concepts with you, if you are interested.

Although Tanzania is a fantastic place to learn practical information or information you can pass on to others, it is even better at teaching you something else. Tanzania has bee the first place in a long time that taught me about myself. I have made some personal realizations that I could not have made without this trip and Tanzania. It is a place that has changed me forever and is officially a part of who I am.

 
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