It is hard to believe that the time has come for me to begin writing posts for our trip. The prospect of going to Tanzania has been the shining beacon of light that carried me through the semester; whenever I became stressed or frustrated, I would simply look up at my safari themed calendar and take note of how many days I had left to endure before departure. Waking up this morning and seeing the “2” on my calendar seemed so unreal! Up until today, I have been focused on school and have remained fairly composed about going to Africa, with no other distractions, however, everything is beginning to seem real. In 2 days, I will board a plane and travel in the air for 18 hours. In 3 days, I will be 8000 miles from home and in a country that is so different from the cultural norms I find comfortable. Though these facts scare me immensely, the fact that I can check a third continent off of my list is so exciting.
While in Tanzania, there are so many new adventures I will experience. I am looking forward to the weekend excursions we will take, allowing us to explore the country. We will be able to experience a real safari, a Maasai village, and Arusha National Park. At the end of the trip, I am excited to spend a few days on Zanzibar and swim in the Indian Ocean. During the week, I look forward to exploring Arusha and the local markets.
Though all of the aforementioned experiences will be amazing, beautiful, and educational, I am incredibly excited to teach. Not only will I improve my teaching skills, but I will also be granted the opportunity to learn important life lessons in flexibility and open mindedness. As a song from the musical “The King and I” states, “if you become a teacher, by your pupils you will be taught” and I suppose this is what most peaks my interest. I want to learn about the culture and daily life, and what better way to do so than by talking with the local teenagers. I want to get a glimpse of what it is like to live in Arusha and have experiences that bypass what I would typically gain as a mere tourist. Though I will be teaching the students math equations, I expect they will they will give me a completely different perspective on life.
Though I know it is a far fetched goal, I am hoping this trip will set the tone for my teaching career. I want to be able to implement experiences into my daily life when I return home. This trip will hopefully help me to adapt lessons to the amount of resources available to me and allow me to be creative with the tools I am given. As a teacher, I can share this cross culture experience with students who have never travelled out of the country to give them a more global perspective.
So, at this point, I have 8000 miles until I get to Tanzania and I doubt that this trip will seem real until I set foot in Arusha.
Until next time, Kirsten C