Thursday July 11, 2019
All students have arrived safe and sound, and are now resting after their long journeys to Tanzania! We are very excited about the next three weeks, and can’t wait to share more about our adventures. Stay tuned for more blog posts and photos coming soon!
Friday July 12, 2019
Today was our first full day together as a team in Tanzania. As we got to know each other a little bit, we discussed our roles during these next three weeks. Our students are ready to be ambassadors, teachers, role models, and leaders.
We are all looking forward to contributing our unique skills towards our community project and creating lasting memories. In the next coming weeks students will be taking over many leadership roles including writing the blog and posting posting.
Keep up with our adventures during our time here in Tanzania!
Eunice, International Director
Saturday July 13, 2019
The foliage. The smells. The noises. For most of us, the first day of our program was definitely something out of the ordinary. On our morning walk to the local school, Patandi, we experienced the vibrance of Arusha firsthand. All around our group, motorcycles skittered past, merchants bartered on the streets, and wild dogs chased crows in the nearby bush. After meeting a project teacher, Mr. Marco, our group ventured into the bustling downtown area and went fabric shopping. All around, Kangas and Kitenges-traditional Tanzanian textiles-were draped from the ceiling to the floor.
I must say, the people in the small marketplace drive a hard bargain. Multiple times, I was dragged from store to store by a particularly eager salesman. Everyone in the group learned to not point at any pieces unless they were interested in buying them, or else they’d be the subjects of a very convincing sales pitch. Our fabrics bought, we left the market and headed back to our home base, where we were pleasantly surprised by a group of local children who wanted to play soccer with us. All in all, today a great way to kick off our trip!
Sunday July 14, 2019
Our day started off with some lesson planning for tomorrow as it will be our first day of teaching English at Patandi which took up the majority of the morning. In the afternoon we had lunch with host families who lived in the area. After a fulfilling lunch, the host families brought us to their homes where we learned about their everyday life and culture.
During my time with the host family, I was shown their animals which consisted of cows and chickens, and inside their home. Once we got back to home base, everyone proceeded to talk to the tailor about what we wanted to do with our kongas and kitengas which are commonly used fabrics in Tanzania. All in all, a day filled with action!
– By Jack Tinker
Monday July 15, 2019
Today was our first experience teaching 5th and 6th graders at the Patandi school. The communication barrier was difficult, but I think all of us got a better idea as to how we should teach in the future. My class was very eager to learn and almost all of them raised their hands to answer all of our questions. The highlight of the day for me was playing with the kids at recess. Each one of us volunteers had a swarm of children who either wanted to play soccer, teach us native games, or just to hug and hold hands.
All of the children are so sweet and loving. After recess we started the process of refurbishing a classroom. We began to sand the walls in order to prep for painting. We had a posse of students watching us and some even came up to wipe the dust off our clothes- so sweet. After meeting the children at the school for the first time it really hit how much potential there is for us to impact the lives of these kids and I’m super excited to build a relationship with them. It’s gonna be so hard to leave them!
Tuesday July 16, 2019
Today we woke up and had breakfast at 7am. We had toast, pancakes, and some eggs. Once we finished breakfast, we walked to the local school. We taught two 40-minute lessons to 5th and 6th graders. After that, we continued to refurbish the classroom by sanding the walls and prepping them for paint. We went back to home base and had lunch.
Afterwards, we explored a park/playground that we hope to take young kiddies to for hanging out and playing games. When we came back to home base, half of the group took a Batik painting class where we had the opportunity to purchase beautiful pieces of art! The other half of us took a cooking class and prepared our dinner! The groups will switch tomorrow. Finally, we had a discussion about an upcoming local Orphanage before climbing into bed at 10pm.
– from Dylan
Wednesday July 17, 2019
Today was a very exciting and memorable day for all of us. We started the beautiful, warm day by teaching the 5th and 6th graders at Patandi Primary School. Everyone can agree that today was a great lesson for both grades. All the students were engaged and eager to learn! After a quick visit to the market, where some enjoyed ice cream and coffees, we headed back to home base where a delicious lunch of Mac and cheese was waiting for us!
Later on we headed on our way to the Orphanage. We all knew this would be a very emotional and eye opening experience but when we saw the smiling, happy, and playful children all we could do was smile. Despite being thrown up all over by a 5 month year old baby, the time spent there was amazing. We all can hope that one day every single one of those children can have a beautiful life and a bright future.
-from Gabby and Momo
Thursday July 18, 2019
Today we started our day by going to Patandi where my group taught Adjectives and Verbs. The kids are super smart and pick up what we are teaching really fast. At recess we played multiple games with the children that we led. These games included ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes’, ‘Simon Says’, and ‘Ring Around The Rosie’. The kids had a great time and by the end everyone was laughing.
When the bell rang signalling the end of recess the kids expressed their love by giving everyone big group hugs. We then moved on to working on the classroom that we are refurbishing. Some of us sanded the walls and some of us plastered holes in the wall. At the end we walked back to lunch and many of the kids followed us and held our hands as we walked back.
Next, everyone who was cooking dinner yesterday did Batik and whoever did Batik, cooked dinner. The dinner was traditional and authentic Tanzanian dish that tasted awesome!
Friday July 19, 2019
Today we started the morning out with breakfast at 7:00. We were served a wonderful breakfast, that was followed by a nice rainy walk to the school where we taught. Then, we returned to home base where lunch was served at 12:30. A group of people came in who were living with HIV and shared their stories with us.
After some very eye opening stories we went to a nearby lake for a swahili lesson. We were then given some free time where some of us sipped sodas and others skipped rocks. We walked back to home base where a delicious meal was waiting for us. We ended the night by preparing for safari and are all looking forward to seeing the animals tomorrow.
Sunday July 21, 2019
I was greeted with a ‘good morning sunshine’ but it was still dark outside so many of us thought it was funny. Once everyone dragged themselves to breakfast at 5am we headed to safari day 2 at the Ngorongoro crater. During the safari, we saw lions, elephants, wildabeast, hippos, gazells, and hyenas as well as many other animals. My personal favorite was the little warthogs or ‘Pumbas’ which means ‘to be goofy’ in Swahili. We had lunch and then started our multiple hour journey back to the homebase.
On the way back we were able to go to a gift shop and get souvenirs. Also, everyone had to stop for about 20 minutes on the side of the road because the prime minister was driving through. When we finally arrived at home base, we had some free time and then dinner. Lastly we had our mentor groups where we talk about what we have done during the week and how we can make improvements within our communities. After that we had lights out. Peace!
Monday July 22, 2019
Today we started the day volunteering by going to teach at Patandi primary school. After the lesson we got back to home base early and rested for a while. After lunch we went to a local high school and talked with the teenage students there about the history of Tanzania and life here and back in America. We went to play sports with them towards the end. A big basketball and soccer match. When we got back to home base we had a workshop on the coffee industry because we are going to the coffee farm tomorrow.
-From Soma and Vid
Wednesday July 24, 2019
We started the day by volunteering at Patandi. After chapati for lunch, we went to the Masai market. We bought lots of locally made goods. We then played soccer in a field with the local kids before retiring to home base for mentor groups.
– From Josh
Friday July 26, 2019
Hey fellas! how is everyone doing today??Today was good day and we learned a lot. We started off the day at Patandi where we taught 5th grade our lessons. The kids seemed to enjoy the lesson and learn from it. We also had a guest speaker come in and she talked about FGM (female genitalia mutilation). This is a problem in Africa and in other parts of the world and we are very thankful that we had the chance to learn about it. The dinner was fantastic we had the best food all trip! After dinner we had Massai prep for Massai day tomorrow.
-Miles and Raphaëlle
Saturday July 27, 2019
Today started off as a normal day, we woke up, went to school and taught. Later on in the day we went to the hotel (WiFi included) and relaxed and listen to Mama Oweza’s Speech.
Mama Oweza started the Tanzanian program of GLA, and owns the housing we are lucky to stay at. She taught us a lot with her speech, it was really inspiring and we learned a lot from it. The speech was primarily about being a leader and learning to cherish every moment.
Mama also told us about her life and her struggles, it taught us to be thankful for you all (our parents/sponsors for the trip) and our lives. The speech was a highlight of the trip and was amazing. 7/25 was a great day!
Have a good one,
Sunday July 28, 2019
As we head into our final days in Tanzania, the GLA students plunged into a day of bargaining, dancing, and playing games.
After a long Saturday, we all enjoyed our late breakfast at 8:00am, which gave us an opportunity to sleep in until 7:30. After a relaxed breakfast some GLA students decided to spend part of the morning at a Roman Catholic Church that is nearby home base. Once everyone was back together at home base at 9:00am, we headed out to the market.
At the market we practiced our somewhat assertive bargaining skills and used our new knowledge of Swahili market talk to gather items for our local kitchen staff. After the market, we enjoyed our delicious lunch and headed out to dance the afternoon away with the Kili Wizards. The Kili Wizards are the official dance group of Tanzania. The Kili Wizards performed their amazing dance routines for us, along with teaching us a few of their memorizing dance steps.
After the Kili Wizards danced away we all enjoyed playing games in the field such as tag and camouflage. We soon returned back to home base where we enjoyed our dinner and talked about the amazing adventures we had today.
– by Satya
Waking up at 5:45 in the morning for this adventure was quite worth it. As we were approaching Mt. Kilimanjaro, most of us would soon be shocked to believe what was before our eyes. We hiked along steep paths, flat grasses, and surreal waterfalls with rocks as steps. The waterfalls were beautiful and the air was crisp and fresh. It was truly amazing to see parts of the most renowned landmark right in front of our eyes on this foreign continent. We saw two major waterfalls and several small ones.
Filled with many laughs and falls along the paths, the trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the waterfalls is one I will truly never forget. This day trip was a definite highlight and a perfect way to conclude our time in Tanzania. This trip has allowed me along with many other students to be subordinates, teachers, and siblings to the locals. Tanzania is filled with incredible sights, endless amounts of love, and peace. Asante sana Tanzania and GLA!
-by Sophia Stone