Blog post August 1st
Day 3: We were awakened by the local Tanzanian wildlife, we were then served a great breakfast by our master chef Mama D. We then headed to the local primary school where we were introduced to five different classes of various grades and the teachers who taught them. Throughout our morning in the school we toured the property and played cheerfully with the children during recess. After our introduction we soon began our labor of a rundown classroom by tearing the concrete floors and sanding the rugged the walls. Once we returned to home base we were greeted with another masterful cuisine by our beloved Mama D. Then we took a bus to the town of Moshi where we shopped and purchased some interesting trinkets. The groups were then transported to a well-known café where we got a small taste of our missed land of America; Wifi and bacon cheeseburgers. After that we headed back to base and prepared for tomorrows adventure.
-Isabell & Brandon
Hujambo! Today was Day 4 in Tanzania. We started our day at 7:30 a.m. and had a great breakfast cooked by Mama D! We walked to the school at 8:40 and began our first day of teaching. We were split into three classrooms of 3rd, 5th, and 6th graders. We taught English based off of the lesson plans that we had made the night before. After we taught, we spent recess dancing and playing with the students. Following recess, our group split into two, with one group continuing to break up the concrete floor in order to replace it, and the other group prepping a classroom for paint. At 12:30, we were escorted home by kids walking home from school. We ate an AMAZING lunch which was followed by an educational speaker named Jerome. Jerome spoke about the public and private education systems in Tanzania as well as a basic history of the country. A local tailor came and took our measurements so we could order clothes made from the fabric that we picked out yesterday. We ate dinner, and then played a get-to-know-you game by drawing our life stories. We ended the day by prepping our lessons for tomorrow. We are all having a great time in Tanzania!
Miss you all!
Grace and Rowan
Jambo, today we started the day by continuing our community service. Ending the day with almost half of the concrete floor done, and a complete coat of paint in one of the rooms. We also learned about an epidemic that impacts Africa, and the world. HIV/AIDs impairs the lives of around 1.4 million Tanzanian citizens. Info such as this along with the many struggles and stigmas that come with HIV/AIDs were discussed by a group of community members living with HIV. The significance in sense of family has helped support these individuals, as they belong to the local Upendo support group.
Blog catch up from a few days ago:
Now we are going to take it back to day 6, catching you up on our activities before the safari. We started off the day with a great breakfast and lesson planning. After teaching and recess, we started work. The work was hard but with the help of one another, we got through it. We then ate lunch and headed on to the blue zebra to shop for some local crafts. Our next stop was a coffee shop and Wi-Fi. After that, we headed to the coffee plantation on Mount Kilimanjaro and went through the long process of making a cup of coffee from picking the beans to twongaing. A lucky few of you will get to enjoy this coffee that some of us bought. When we got back to home base we enjoyed a delicious dinner and prepared for the safari talk. The safari talk then briefed us on what we would be seeing the next two days. We then went to bed early ready for the adventure of the next few days.
Mambo! Today was Day 10. We started off the day with some morning yoga with our awesome mentor Ellen! We then proceeded with our usual morning activities which include breakfast with the group, and then our morning service work. Although it was a holiday here, many of the kids generously took time to come to school and spend time with us. After teaching, recess flew by as usual and then we went on to continue painting and cementing two different classrooms.
After our morning service work, we came back for a delicious lunch along with a new guest speaker. The speaker came from NAFGEM: an organization that promotes gender equality and campaigning to end female genital mutilation. It really opened everyone’s eyes to issues that we didn’t even know existed. Everyone took away a different perspective and we plan to help from home.
Next, was the visit to the Orphanage! Everyone was so excited to visit the orphanage where we learned about the impact that Mama Furaji has on this community. We had lots of fun interacting with students of different ages and learning new songs and games. We got a chance to talk even more to Julian, a previous GLA student who now helps run the orphanage.
After dinner, we watched an impactful TED Talk which explained the importance of stories and how they shape our view of the world. The speaker mainly focused how people perceive Africa as only a few things, but in reality, it’s so much more. We had an insightful discussion after about how we can try to change our perspective on new places and dive deeper into new cultures. We realized we need to be open to learning about new places.
All in all, this was a very busy day, but everyone had an amazing time! We are sad our time here in Tanzania is almost over, but everyone is learning more and more every day. Everyone is learning new lessons every day that we are going to take back home with us.
Cate & Bella
ELEPHANT ENTERS GLA HOME BASE AND STEPS ON ELLEN DURING MORNING YOGA
Just kidding! We’re all doing great here in Tanzania (including Ellen). Today was day 11 of our 14 day adventure and it consisted of lots of teaching, running around with kids, and painting. We started our day off with morning yoga, breakfast, and lesson planning. Soon after, we left for school. After teaching our morning lessons we had a wonderful recess full of games, dancing, and laughter. Once recess came to an end, we began our service work. Both the cement group and the painting group worked really hard to put the finishing touches on our two classrooms. We’re almost done! After working hard at the school, we headed back to home base where we had a delicious lunch and got ready for an afternoon painting class. At Seki’s art studio we got the opportunity to paint animals, Maasai, and Tanzania’s beautiful landscape. After painting we headed to our favorite place: the grocery store! There we bought ice cream, chocolate, cookies, and the only chips sold here… Pringles! We then drove back to home base munching on our goodies J. After dinner we played a fun game of “monkey brains” and now we’re relaxing around the common area and getting ready for bed. We hope everyone is enjoying these posts and photos!
Bye for now,
Darcey and Garrett
Shikamoo from Moshi! We started off the day with a walk to the school where we said our final goodbyes to the children at Rau primary school where the teachers and staff working there held a ceremony to thank us for all of the hard work. After that we got to work, carrying cement bags and paint buckets, finishing up the new floor and touching up the old walls. It was a hard time saying Kwaheri (goodbye) to all of the students but we knew the day would come. We finished early and then had a walk back to home base with some of the little kids that accompany us home everyday.
Once we got back to home base, we were greeted by the tailor, the same person who we gave all of our fabrics to to turn into different types of clothes. After everyone taking different pictures with each other in there new apparel, 3 ladies came over from a salon to braid traditional styles into different students hair. Everyone was very excited to show off their new styles.
Following this, we had a little bit of free time before our host families came back to visit and take us around town to explore before saying goodbye. Others had dance parties while some went back to their own houses. We had a fun time exploring more of Rau with locals from the community than we could have on our own.
When we got back, dinner was waiting for us prepared specially by Mama D, the best cook in Tanzania. Following the meal, Sam and Ellen introduced a new activity focused on dealing with Reverse culture shock. We were able to share different answers to questions like…”What are you most excited about when you get home?” And “What have you taken away from this experience and what will you share back at home?” We had a long discussion about how we have changed and what things we have learned over the course of the trip.
Finally we just briefly went over the next day and the Kilimanjaro base hike and when we would we would be waking up, eating breakfast, and leaving for the hour long ride to the base.
See you tomorrow!
Julian & Erik
Our last full day as a group was an unforgettable one at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. We departed for our adventure at 9 AM Friday morning, and arrived at our destination around 10 AM. We began our hike at the beautiful waterfall, and took lots of pictures! We continued our hike until we reached another waterfall where a few brave students swam in the frigid water. We ate lunch and relaxed for a little while until we were ready to trek on! It was a difficult hike for many of us, as the change in altitude was hard on our bodies. We concluded our amazing hike at the visitor center of Mount Kilimanjaro. Our guide, Davis, taught us about the mountain, and told stories from his 13 treks up Kili!
We headed home to a beautifully decorated common area thanks to the staff. Mama D cooked us up an incredible feast in honor of our last supper. Our night ended with a fun evening activity that I was eager to complete with my new friends! Everyone had a piece of paper with their name on it, and we passed them around and wrote kind notes on each one. This was an easy souvenir that each of us can look back at when we miss our GLA family.
We are all so happy to have met one another, and will have great friendships to last a lifetime. Now we can’t wait to head home and see our families, but we’ll be back Moshi!
Sincerely, Maeve Lee