I am looking forward to so much on this trip. Of course I’ve always known that Africa exists, but it has always just been this concept in my head. To think that I will actually know Africa from first-hand experience is mind-blowing to me. One of the things I am most looking forward to is making connections with the children I’ll encounter there. This includes the students I’ll be teaching and the children we will visit in an orphanage. I can only imagine how they will touch my life. It sounds silly, but I think they will make me a better person–more appreciative, more giving, more selfless. I can’t wait to see how I’ve changed when I return home.
I am also very excited to discover what Tanzania looks like. I have a deep appreciation for nature, and I love seeing landscapes and environments that I’ve never seen before. The world is filled with so many natural, beautiful things, and I want so badly to experience them. I’m a big softie about it. I even cried watching Planet Earth on Discovery Channel…embarrassing. But anyways, I am highly looking forward to going on safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. I’ll be able to check off one thing on my bucket list!
While in Tanzania, the biggest thing I hope to learn is how to adapt myself into a situation, place, and culture I am hardly familiar with. I want to be brave in the world on my own. I absolutely love my family and friends at home that create my support system, but I’m trying to use this trip to prove to myself I can thrive on my own as well. There is no doubt I will be out of my comfort zone, but I am hoping to learn to be embrace it and maybe find out a little more about what I am capable of. For instance, being in charge of a classroom for an entire day on my own is terrifying to me right now, but my experiences at Mizzou have given me the skills I need. Now I just need to learn how to apply them. If I can be an effective teacher in a totally foreign environment, I feel like I am much more likely to be a successful teacher in the United States.
The time has finally come! Though I will miss all my loved ones at home, I feel great about beginning this journey on Sunday with a group of girls who are just as excited as I am to be in Tanzania 🙂