First day here

Today is in the top 3 best days of my life. WOW. We visited the school for the first time, ate ugahli, had tea with a priest, visited the orphanage and got a feel for authentic Tanzania. I absolutely love my school! Today when we first arrived at the school it was a little overwhelming. There were no teachers there because they did not have school today, which someone failed to mention to us. The students had this week off for holiday but the students that participate in sports were at the school for practice. When we first got there we chatted with the students who were curious about anything and everything. They were so sweet and friendly. An adult from the school called a teacher that lived in the area. He showed up within 30 minutes to give us a full day tour of the school and surrounding area. He first talked to us about the school schedule and asked us to request grades and subjects that we wanted to teach. I requested 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. After that he gave us a full tour of the school. Next, he took us to the church that the students walk to as a school on every last Friday of the month. We toured the church and its grounds. Next we were introduced to the Priest who immediately offered us tea. We talked with him for a little while until he had to leave. As we were finishing our tea a deacon came in and began talking to us about Tanzania and the school. He ended our visit by telling us that we needed to come back to the church sometime to have “real drinks” with him. We of course, all found this very amusing, I mean drinking with a deacon and a priest? That will be a first! We all returned back to the school to end our day with the students. On our way there however, we met some young children that lived in the area. We talked to them in broken Swahili and gave them multiple stickers each. Now that I mention it, we actually handed out stickers throughout the entire day. We gave them to students, random children, parents, teachers and anyone else that wanted them! I went through three full pages of stickers alone in one day, not to mention the other people in my group giving out stickers. After school our escort Donnie took us to get some ugahli from a near market. Ugahli is possible the most popular and well-known dish in Tanzania. Anytime food is mentioned ugahli is the first thing that comes up. On our way to the market we met some women that let me stir the ugahli that they were making. They got a huge kick out of watching me make a fool out of myself. They make it look like they’re stirring soup, but its very thick and hard to stir, I had to use both hands and my full body weight. I’ve heard that the consistency depends on where you get it. In our case the consistency was something like chunky play doe. Ugahli alone tastes like close to nothing but when served with a sauce is usually takes that flavor. When we ate it, it was served with three dipping choices: red sauce (?), beans, and a beef stew. You take the ugahli and roll it into a ball with your hands, next you dip it into your sauce of choice and enjoy! It was not something that I would ever crave to eat but it was an incredibly authentic experience and one that was totally necessary. Later in the day we visited the orphanage. I am not going to say much about this because I’ve already written a novel and in this case, a picture is worth a thousand words. I have never felt a “love at first sight” feeling like this. These kids have close to nothing but are the happiest children I have ever seen. I may end of coming home with one (sorry mom)! Haha Anyway, we will be visiting the orphanage two other times so I will go into more detail then!!

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~ by wheresmorgalorg on May 8, 2012.

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