June 12, 2017
After long and exhilarating flight, students arrived safely in Tanzania. Everyone had a chance to get to know each other and take in the scenery on our ride back to home base. Tired and excited we all sat down to a delicious meal prepared by the wonderful mama D and her team. We are all ready for an amazing two weeks together and looking forward to the many adventures to come. Check back tomorrow to see what we’re up to on our first full day in Tanzania!
June 13, 2017
Habari zenu! Today in Tanzania, the GLA program participated in their first day of teaching! Teaching children in the 3rd, 5th, and 6th grades, we not only helped improve their English in various areas, but improved our own Swahili. We worked on the classrooms–sanding down the walls after patching holes inside and throwing cement and fixing holes outside–to help improve the children’s education even when we are not physically there to teach! After lunch we had two different topics discussed by our guest speakers: education and history of Tanzania, and the presence of HIV/AIDS in the country. Jerome Komu, our first speaker of the day, talked to us and answered all of our (many) questions about the history of Tanzania and the education system in place. We were able to draw connections to our experiences at home and gain insight into the cultural traditions that influence Tanzania.
After, we listened to the personal testimonies of four brave women who are living with HIV, and persevering despite all the challenges they face. In discussion afterwards, it was apparent that the GLA students gleaned new perspectives on problems these women, and many others like them, face everyday. Overall, I personally felt that today was a very educational experience (for us and the kids) and am really enthusiastic for the rest of the trip!
Today started with a “late” breakfast at 7:30— there was FRENCH TOAST. After breakfast, we prepped our teaching schedule and for the lessons that we would be teaching from 9-10 at the local school. We all left for a walk to the school at 8:30. When we arrived, the kids swarmed our GLA crew: so many bright smiles, giggles, hand holding, and Swahili greetings.
Because we created our own off workbook lesson plans for today, the GLA crew was able to place a new knowledge of English to the students on a more personal level than before. The kids here WANT to learn; they are hungry for education and eager to absorb what we have to offer them in the sense of linguistic skills. After teaching, we painted classroom walls and flung concrete onto the damaged outside structures. I personally have learned that applying concrete is NO easy task. Once we reached 12:30, an end to a days worth of physical labor, we headed back to base to nourish ourselves with Mama D’s fantastic African cuisine.