Time Capsule Letter
Dear GLA Students,
I hope that you are having an easy time settling back into your daily routines, and heading back to high school or starting college and getting back into life as usual. Things in Moshi are pretty much the same as when you left except it is a good deal quieter, especially after 9:30 pm, the baby kitten is almost starting to look like a cat now, and James still greets me with a smile every time I say hi.
Even though some time as passed, I think I can speak for all the Moshi team when I say we still look back fondly on all the experiences we had, and the impact you were all able to make here. I hope this letter serves as to remind you all of those times and to let you know we are all thinking about you here in Moshi.
Our time spent here together truly did make an impact, the classroom you refurbished has come a long way from that first day when you held a funeral for a dead mouse inside, and it is now a place where students will be able to learn comfortably and safely for years to come.
Almost more importantly is the knowledge you all gained from this trip. Hopefully you haven’t forgotten your one meaningful goal to talk to 2 people per month about your experience, and volunteer in your community once within the first two months back.
Another thing I can’t forget is all the fun times we had together here in Moshi. You guys were a huge part of that experience by forming such a close bond with one another and always being so inclusive in everything you did. From the first day playing salad bowl together, to playing manhunt on safari, it was a pretty memorable trip.
I won’t forget playing mafia, and dancing with you guys, and of course I can’t forget NDIZI! Well everyone, I hope you always remember to keep these experiences in your heart, and remember the good times you had as you move forward into the next stages of your life.
Monday July 1, 2019
Hi, today the staff at the Moshi home base were hard at working making all the last minute preparations for the students arrival. The first two students Raymond and Jerome arrived from Hong Kong around one in the afternoon and went on a small walk around the village alongside some of the local program coordinators. The rest of the students arrived after the sun had already set and were all pretty tired as they headed off to bed getting ready for the big day of orientation tomorrow!
Tuesday July 2, 2019
What a day!!! After getting ready and finally meeting all the of new faces, we got to know each other over a nice Tanzanian breakfast. Once finished, we sat through a long yet very helpful crash course readdressing the code of conduct and learning about the cross-cultural Swahili language.
Then we met up with our host families and bonded over a meal consisting of rice, chicken, and delicious pineapple. While in our host families we toured the village and learned more about their cultural background. Later we discussed community agreements and bonded with our mentor groups. We looking forward to another action-packed day tomorrow!
-by Mamoun and Grace, the Moroccan and The American
Wednesday July 3, 2019
Hey hey!! It’s Kate Malnak and Ava Brody (otherwise known as kmal and brody) and we are your leaders of the day! Today was super fun, and we did A LOT of things and hopefully took some decent pictures for you all to enjoy.
First of all, we woke up and got a good breakfast of toast, eggs, fruit and some juice to get us ready for our busy day. Then, we took trek to the school that we would be working at which was a 10-15 minute walk. There, we met the kids, got assigned our grades, and started to plan our first lesson! To follow all of that super hard work, we got the reward of playing with the kids for a little more than 30 minutes. We played soccer, red light green light, sang songs, and played hide and seek. Next was the refurbishing of the classroom part where we got dirty, moving a bunch of trash, old desks, and a mouse out of a run down classroom. Once that was all out, we sanded the room and swept it out to make for a full days work.
Back at home base, we got lunch and then headed off to the market, after playing some uno and listening to a fellow DJ (olliePbeats on sound cloud). At the market, we bought fabrics, paintings, clothing, and other knickknacks to bring back home to y’all. When we got home, we gave our fabric to a seamstress who would then turn them into whatever we asked, super cool!! Then our favorite part of the night, fruit salad game and DINNER!!! We did an anchor activity before we went to bed where we practiced debating the issues surrounding poaching in Tanzania. We are super tired so we are going to sign off now.
Hi parentals I miss you and the dogs (and will) !! – Kate
Hi mom and dad, I miss you!!! – Ava
Talk to ya soon!
Kmal & Brody
Thursday July 4, 2019
Hi, this is Gemma and Danny.
Today, we woke up bright and early and had breakfast. We then went to service where we taught kids, grades 3, 5, and 6. Using the plans we made yesterday, we taught numbers, adjectives, and the difference between must and must not. This was such a rewarding experience and it was truly amazing to see all of the kids being so engaged and ready to learn. However, though we were teaching the children, they really taught us much more than we taught them. After, we played at recess and then continued to work on the classroom that we are refurbishing.
Once we got back to home base, we had the best lunch yet. Despite wanting to take a nap from a food coma, we met with a local educator who spoke about the history of education in Tanzania. We learned about the laws passed that are still in use today as well as getting questions answered about the system and structure. Following a small break, we met with Uweza, an empowering and vibrant Tanzanian community leader. She told her story about her life here in Tanzania and taught us about the qualities of leadership and how she has transformed into such an amazing leader herself. Her story is beautiful and has definitely made us think about what we take for granted and what challenges we can overcome as leaders.
Finally, we ate dinner and then broke off into mentor groups to discuss “voluntourism” and ethical photography. This made us think about how we should perceive our trip and how social media can play a role into misleading values.
Overall, such a great day! Can’t wait for more adventuring and learning.
Adios from Tanzania.
-Gemma Figer and Daniel Herrick
Saturday July 6, 2019
Safari day 1! All of us had packed day packs the night before as we filed into a single line to get our last meal in home base for this week. Breakfast was a little earlier than usual at 7 am so that we could get a head start on our long 5 hour voyage to the Tarangire National Park for our safari. Before we arrived, we stopped in Arusha at an International Supermarket where we were able to buy a lot of American and British snacks, making us feel right at home! 🙂 Our favourite snacks were “Walker’s” chips which were essentially the British version of Lay’s chips.
At the lunch area there were many baboons just waiting for an opportunity to snatch our food >:( However, they were really cute, especially the babies who rode on their mom’s backs, so we didn’t mind much. Once we got to the Safari, we were enthralled by both the desert landscape and the green thrush. When the car stopped for the first time, minutes after entering the park, we were greeted by a herd of giraffes eating at acacia trees. Not only did the height of the giraffes shock us but the fact that they were able to feed from such a spiky plant was even more impressive.
During the next three hours we saw zebras, baboons, wildebeest, ostriches, lions, impalas, and many more animals. It almost didn’t seem like they were wild! But the highlight of the entire safari was the herd of elephants crossing the road right in front of our safari jeeps! The animals weren’t phased at all by our presence allowing us to take amazing photos that will serve as a reminder of this beautiful country forever.
-by Bella Mendez and Angela Xie
Sunday July 7, 2019
Sorry if this blog is a brief one, its been a looong day! Today everybody had to wake up 4:30 for breakfast and an early start to the second safari day. We drove for a while to the entrance to the park, where the weather was very chilly and foggy. We saw baboons at the entrance and then had to drive to the bottom of Ngorogoro crater, seeing lots of buffalo on the way down.
At the bottom of the crater, we started seeing lots of wildebeest, zebras, flamingos, hippos, elephants, lions, and ostriches. Later we were lucky enough to see a male lion lying in the road!
On the way home we stopped at a souvenir shop and after a long day we arrived back at home base with sore bums and high spirits.
-by Morgan, Izzy, and Jerome
Monday July 8, 2019
First, we pleasantly awoke from a good nights sleep in our mosquito nets, and ate a delicious breakfast made by the amazing cooking staff. Next we went to school to teach our respective subjects that we were assigned. Most of the kids were vacationing the first week, and they returned. The sizes of the classes doubled. They were very excited. After class, we painted the windows of the building we were working on in light blue. Following this we returned back to home base and ate lunch.
Next, we split into two groups, with one group doing batik painting out in Moshi and the other cooking a delicious dinner of traditional Tanzanian cuisine, such as fried chicken and french fries. Following this, we proceeded to attend our mentor groups, in which we discussed how allowing one story to dictate the portrayal of certain groups and cultures is something we want to strive to work against. Afterward, we settled down to play card games before bed and the leaders of the day wrote the daily blog post that you are currently reading.
Oliver – (my soundcloud is ollie P beats if you are interested)
Tuesday July 9, 2019
Hello Parents! Today we started off with an amazing breakfast cooked by our wonderful kitchen staff. This included their version of French toast, Tanzanian short cakes, eggs and fruit. After breakfast we went to the school and taught our daily lessons before going to recess with the kids (our favorite part of the day), and starting our service work.
We finished sanding and smoothing out the walls after they had been primed and began our first layer of paint. Everything is coming together now and beginning to look really nice. At 12:15 we headed back to home base for lunch. Yet another amazing meal, and one of our personal favorites because of the delicious guacamole.
After lunch a small panel of people came to talk to us about HIV and AIDS. They all shared their stories about what it is like living with HIV here and how it has affected their lives in Tanzania. All of their stories were very moving and opened our eyes to the reality of what it is like to live with HIV.
In the afternoon we got the chance to visit the local Tuleeni Orphanage. At the orphanage we learned about how it was started and the service it provides the community. We also got the chance to play with the children and purchase goods whose funds went to supporting the orphanage.
In the evening after dinner all the students plus the mentors played a few rounds of the newlywed game. It’s hard to explain but everyone was laughing and had lots of fun.
Jenna, Sutton, and Molly
Wednesday July 10, 2019
Today we started by a delicious breakfast followed by lesson planning. Our groups really focused on connecting with the kids since we only have two days left of service and teaching. For our service work we added another coat of paint on the walls and also another coat on the windows. We got one step closer to finishing off the classroom. One of the best parts of the day is playing with the kids at recess and spending time with them.
We came back to home base and had a delicious lunch and relaxed for a bit before heading out to the much anticipated internet cafe. The internet didn’t work as expected but we were still able to bond as a group in our final days here. We then visited a coffee plantation and we learned the intricate coffee making process.
Unexpectedly we were greeted by older women dressed in traditional style clothing, dancing and welcoming us. We then went back to home base and had a great dinner. We finished off the day with a bunch of group exercises that made us laugh a lot and brought us closer together. It was a great day and we are sad that we only have three more days together.
-Leyla, Kaitlyn and Moya
Thursday July 11, 2019
We woke up to a scrumptious breakfast after an intense night of heavy rain. After a diligent lesson planing session we headed on down to Moshi primary for the penultimate day of teaching and service. This was followed by an absolutely scrumptious lunch cooked by our amazing chefs.
We were then presented with an educational and eye opening presentation on female genital mutilation. We proceeded to head back to Moshi primary where we then watched and learned about the incredible dance troop, Kili Wizards. After some interactive dancing, we were able to catching up with some of the kids from the primary school. We headed back to home base to eat our last delicious meal of the day of pasta.
After dinner we had a super fun game of mafia, werewolf edition, and were in our rooms early from an exhausting day!
Louis, Rory, and Kendall
Today was our last day of teaching which means it was also the last day of seeing all the kids. [SPOILER: many tears]
This photo was taken from the 6th grade classroom; the students were hard at work learning the use of “unless.” During recess we crashed American culture into theirs as we played lots of dance songs. After, the students lined up and gave us a formal farewell. Then one student shared something along the lines of, “Many of us are filled with sadness but we must move on.” Let’s just say, no one needed to cut onions for tears to quickly flood our faces.
In the afternoon, we did a capstone which prepared us for the last day ☹. The mentors made sure we were able to apply what we’ve learned during this two-week adventure. As a group we brainstormed an OMG (one meaningful goal), one was to volunteer within the first two months after we return home and another was to share our experience with friends and family.
The boys got matching bucket hats from the seamstress and named themselves ‘NDIZI’ which means banana in Swahili. They also created a hand gesture for the holy belief they carry.Before the visit into town, the girls (and boys) had the opportunity to get their hair braided.
We then made the treacherous journey into town as we bought snacks for the dreaded Mt. Kilimanjaro hike (all the way to the top!). The NDIZI group was uncontrollable as they raided the store for snow sprays. They attempted to take a picture with the guard and his gun however, they were denied.
At night, we had our last mentor group. We talked about the culture shock and how a culture can be misunderstood easily with a substitution of words and phrases.
Breakfast: eggs, toast, crepe
Lunch: chipati (flaky flat bread), guac (everyone’s favorite), and an assortment of fruit and veggies
Dinner: Coconut rice with chicken curry
Saturday July 13, 2019
Our last day in Tanzania began with a beautiful hike at the base of Mt. Killiminjaro. We began our journey at 9:00 am. After a one-and-a-half-hour bus ride we reached the start of our hike and met our tour guides, Tom and Livingstone. First, we started hiking to a waterfall where we all took pictures. Then we started to hike towards another waterfall that took about an hour to reach. Once the hike was over we took the bus back to homebase and remet with our host families and said our final goodbyes. After our sad goodbyes we had an amazing dinner and then reminisced on memories. Final we all sat around a bonfire and bonded over our experience here in Tanzania.
-Kylie, Mercedes, Ogden