It’s the Simple things in life….

My time in Tanzania has been absolutely amazing! I’ve met so many amazing people, who have each shared their story with me. I’ve learned about their tribes, their languages, and their culture in itself. Most of them have little to nothing, but they are so happy about what they do have that the rest doesn’t matter. Something that has really hit me between Tanzania and America is the materialistic way of life. Tanzanians have the very basics, and they get through with everything they need. Americans have much more than that, but they still are never satisfied. I’ve learned that these things are not what life is about. It’s about the relationships that you build with people around you. One of my favorite things about Tanzania is the greetings and farewells that they give on the streets. Everyone you walk it’s, “mambo” “Poa” “habari” “mzuri”, and this is only the beginning. In America it’s a blank stare, a eye contact avoidance, or a nasty look.

Another amazing thing about Tanzania is the willingness to share with everyone here. People let 15 American girls live in their houses for 2 days on our weekend excursions, and eat all their food. They gave up their weekend to take us on hours of hiking trips, prepare meals for us, and teach us how to make things we’ve never made before. They could have used that time for their own busy lives, like harvesting crops or making cheese, but they spent it with us instead. The same with the teachers at the school. We come into their school and expect them to just hand over their classroom to us, without them even knowing anything about us. They gave us their one book that they own for the entire class, allowed us to take it home with us, and trusted that we would bring it back. They did so much for us, and always made sure that we were comfortable and happy with whatever we had to do. They were so amazing. I do not know how I will say goodbye to them. It will be a whole lot of crying, and a few words that I manage to slip out between the tears. I love everyone at Assumption.

Ah, the students. I cannot even begin to say how amazing the students are in Africa. They greet the teacher as soon as the teacher walks in the room. They say things like “sorry teacher” if you sneeze, cough, or drop a piece of chalk. They fight over who gets to hold your hand at recess. But best of all, they want to learn and they LOVE going to school! The students are so respectful and happy to see you all of the time. In America, it’s quite opposite. The students are forced to go to school, they never do their homework, they don’t like the teachers and definitely don’t want to hold their hand at recess. It’s a completely different way of life here. I will miss my students so much! I am trying to forget that tomorrow is my last day, and instead pretend that I get to stay here forever!

In general, Tanzania has been one of the best experiences of my life and I am not ready for it to end. I love Africa, I love Tanzania, and I love the people in these places. If I had one goal for my life, it would be to move to Tanzania. I will live here someday! šŸ™‚

-Kendra Baty

~ by batyk on May 23, 2012.

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