Sunday June 17, 2018
After lots of travel over the last 48 hours, we had a great first day as a group in Tanzania! We got to have our first breakfast here and we spent a couple of hours going over the ground rules for our trip. After fried chicken and rice for lunch, we departed for the city of Moshi to buy fabrics for personalized clothing and to explore the colorful markets! After dinner we continued getting to know each other through leadership activities as well as meeting with our mentor groups for the first time! It’s been an exhausting and exciting day. We are really enjoying ourselves so far and we’re eager for the days to come!
-Kathryn Galvin & David Dixon
Monday June 18, 2018
After waking up and eating breakfast this morning, the tailor came and took measurements for those of us who bought fabric at the market yesterday. We then expanded our Swahili vocabulary by learning new phases and speaking with a local teacher about the history of Tanzania. When lunch came around, we got a chance to meet with the local families and learn about their lives. The families then welcomed us into their homes where we gained a new perspective about how people live. Many of us spent the day observing the beauty of Moshi and dancing with out host families! We ended the day with a lot of “asante” or “thank yous” and lots of friendly hugs! We look forward to meeting the school children tomorrow and further submersing ourselves in Tanzanian culture.
– Alex (john) Ivey & Katherine Eynon
Tuesday June 19, 2018
Today was our first trip to the local schools! We participated in fun introductory games like “Red Light, Green Light” and “If your happy and you know it clap your hands!” After our time in the classroom we started the physical labor portion of our service. We sanded down one classroom and began repairing the floors of another, it was hard work, but rewarding in the end! After dinner we got to listen to a very important person, Mama Simba. She began Experience Tanzania and has partnered with GLA for 10+ years to share here experiences and opportunities with international students. She’s incredibly inspirational and hardworking. We ended the night with “When I say GLA” you say “WE ARE LEADERS!”
– Haley Hintz & Tara Neyssari
Wednesday June 20, 2018
Today we taught our first lesson to the local kids! The first day went really well and the students were very excited to see us! After a successful hour of teaching we later continued our pick-axing and sanding jobs from the previous day to improve several classrooms. We then returned to home base and had a delicious meal cooked by Mama D the chef! The groups later split up and one half went to make unique Batik fabric paintings (a 4-hour process!) while the others stayed to learn traditional Tanzanian cooking methods. Overall we had a fun, action-packed day!
– Reet Oberoi & Stephanie van Scriver
Thursday June 21, 2018
Yesterday started off with the sun was shining and a bright blue sky. We woke up early for breakfast at 7:30. After planning our lessons, we made our 10 minute walk to Moshi Primary School and taught our eager students! At recess we played with lots of children, we also were blown away by the amazing acrobatic flips some of the older male students performed! They merely flipped off a large rock and spun full circle in the air, it was crazy!!! (And all of it they learned by themselves!) After a quick change and snack which kept us energized for our service we primed the class walls and laid out a smooth concrete floor. Soon after the sweat evaporated, we made our walk to home base where Mama D made us a delicious lunch of enchiladas, fruit salad and lentils for Rocky’s 27th birthday (our international director). Then we had a speaker come and talk to use about female gentile mutilation. The discussion was very eye opening about horrors going on in other countries. It was fascinating, yet devastating. We then had the opportunity to support the NAFGEM cause by buying items made personally by those who were rescued.
Then after the afternoon heat had died down, we went to the coffee farm in 2 groups of 12. We were met the by the Chagga Dancers and everyone there was a little timid to join but we all got to join in and bang the drum. After experiencing the amazing dance, the boys showed us/explained the process. We got to pick the red berries from the beautiful jungle with both banana trees and the coffee plants. We saw the beans get peeled and they mashed them up with the “Tawnga” song where the workers danced and sang. Then we sifted which Agape (our local director) NAILED. We then roasted the beans with another amazing song and dance. Next we beat them again to make a powder that we burned to make amazing coffee. Then we got to try an amazing cup of coffee and after another dance from the mamas, we finally left to go back to base. After some free time we had a delicious dinner of pasta and meat. We had some more free time before doing an emotional circle where we got to know each other a lot better. Then we had cake shaped like a present for a final celebration of Racquel’s birthday. We had some free time and got to stay up a little later than normal. Overall the day was really fun and the hottest/dryest we’ve had yet!”
– Caroline Lewis and Minty (Clementine) Wilson
Friday June 22, 2018
Today was a great day!! We started off with teaching at the Moshi Primary School; it was so much fun as always! We ended all of our classes with a big dance party during the students’ free time. After that we started our service where we split into groups to paint a school-room and lay some concrete. We learned how to mix and lay our own concrete with just a few shovels and water – no machinery! We are already able to see the differences we have made at the school.
In the afternoon we visited the Tuleeni Orphanage just down the road. This is the orphanage that one of our guest speakers – Julian, a previous GLA student – had volunteered at and then started his own, separate foundation to help children in need (and he’s only 21 years old!) While at the orphanage we got to play with the children and get to know everyone a little bit better. Seeing the orphanage and the children that have been adopted was definitely inspiring and eye-opening. You could really feel the love and the dedication that people have put into the orphanage and the childrens’ lives.
– Drew Harris & Maria Baaima
Sunday June 24, 2018
We had an early morning, with breakfast at 6:30 so we could get an early start on our 5 hour drive to the first day of our safari adventure! We were split into groups, got into our safari jeeps and were on our way! Half way through the drive we stopped at a grocery store to use the restrooms and fuel up on some snacks. The favorites were chips and lots of different candies. Then, we continued on our drive to the Tangire Safari Park and arrived around 12:15. On our way to the safari we saw Maasai children herding cattle in their traditional blue and red dress. Some of the young boys were dressed in all black with white paint on their faces to celebrate an old Maasai tradition of circumcision. It was amazing.
When we arrived at the site we had boxed lunches together outside the park entrance and then got into our cars to venture out to see some animals! The popular choice in our lunches was the carrot sandwich! Mmmmmm carrots and butter. About 5 minutes into our drive we saw numerous zebras, impalas, birds, and even a hippo! A little later we saw giraffes and elephants; the elephants came so close to the car! It made for great pictures and an overall breathtaking experience. After our 3 hour Safari we drove another hour to our lodge for the night. Once we arrived at Twiga lodge we went to our rooms and hung out by the awesome pool until dinner time. For dinner we had an assortment of many foods, from French fries and fried fish to goat meat and rice. We all hung out for a while after but we had to get an early start the next morning for day two of our safari adventure so we were all in our rooms by 9. It was such a good day full of experiences and animals we will definitely not forget!
-by Sophia Alembik & Abigail Reeder
Rise and shine students, it’s time for another breakfast of champions! We’re off to another day of teaching the future minds of Tanzania. Last day to squeeze in those last minute lessons, exciting games and dance parties! Heartbreaking goodbyes between local and GLA students were shared before finishing our last day of service. Back to home base for a group fav lunch of Chapati! We then departed for a quick money exchange and shopping trip. Back at home base hair braiders came to braid hair and students and mentors showed off their newly sewn, African apparel. We then had much appreciated down time before a delicious dinner rice, meat and vegetables. After our meal, we headed off to our last mentor groups and then off to bed for a night of slumber.
– Mary Wright & Mary Elizabeth Michaelis (or as they liked to be called Mimi & Libby)