Time Capsule Letter – October 2016
I cannot believe that I am back in the United States after spending an AMAZING summer in Tanzania with Global Leadership Adventures! I am now into the routine of work and school here and I hope that all of you are fully immersed and enjoying your next adventure whether that be another year of high school or your first year in college.
Every day I was amazed at how well you bonded with each other and fully immersed yourselves into the program. I will not forgot the times spent doing service, debating during discussions, relaxing at the home base, and adventuring on safari.
I want to take this opportunity to once again express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for everyone who worked at and participated in the GLA Tanzania Moshi program this summer. All of you took an incredibly brave step by traveling halfway around the world to a foreign country to experience a different culture with strangers who turned into friends and you all succeeded in fully immersing yourselves into the GLA experience. Most importantly, all of the hard work that you did for the students at Himo and Korona has had a positive impact on their lives. I hope the GLA experience has been life changing for you as well and that your experiences in Tanzania continues to positively impact your life as you continue to grow both as individuals and future leaders.
Summer Blog Posts
Hello from Moshi! After many hours of flying and travel our students arrived safe and sound to Tanzania! With smiles on their faces and excitement in their eyes, the group took on their first full day here.
We started out our first morning with some games and getting to know each other. While shaking off the jetlag after breakfast, the mentors gave an orientation session and we had our first Swahili lesson.
In the afternoon, after an amazing lunch of fried chicken, we loaded up our bus and headed to the market to exchange money, shop for fabrics and gifts and see the local market place. The students were able to see what daily life was like here and even got to practice some of their Swahili!
Once back at the base, we had our lesson on the history of education and the education system here in Tanzania. The students were able to share ideas and stories about how their own education systems work.
We ended our day with dinner and an open discussion on our expectations, goals, and feelings about the rest of the trip. When we finally looked at the clock it was time to head to bed. As someone mentioned, time flies when you’re having fun! Everyone is so excited to see what the next few weeks has in store for them!
Until next time!
– GLA Team Moshi
July 4, 2016
Today was our first day going to the two schools, but it was only for orientation. After a forty five minute drive we got to there. A few kids watched as we arrived, some looking skeptical and some looking excited to see us. We introduced ourselves to the teachers, trying our best to speak in Swahili as we said our name (jina lako ni …..) and where we were from (nimetoka ….).We learned that in the entire school there are around 600 students in the entire school and seven classrooms. We then went to each classroom to introduce ourselves to the students. When we left one of the classrooms the students crowded in the front of the classroom to try to high five us and hold our hands, which we found suprising as that would never happen in the west! We then went to the next school that we would be teaching which is right next to the first school. Once again we met all the teachers and introduced ourselves, then to each classroom where we did the same thing. As we walked through each school kids would come to the windows of their classrooms to see us. When we left on the bus some of the students came forward and watched as we pulled away chasing our bus down the road.
We came home and had a great lunch, then right after had some batic artists come to instruct us on how to make our own. Some of us were able to draw really well on their own while others, like myself, needed help from the artists to draw. We watched the batic artists do some of the steps to make the paintings, and did some of the steps ourselves. The artists brought some of their own artwork which we had the option to buy. For dinner we had an American styled meal for the Fourth of July. It was pizza and french fries and for ice cream for dessert. After dinner we were taught how hard it can be to teach by playing a game where we had to teach each other, then learned a bit about Tanzania schools. Every day the LOD’s ( Leaders of the day) have to do a presentation, we decided to do ours on the local gem called Tanzanite, and the mystical healing powers it possesses.
– Audrey and Tino
July 5th, 2016
Despite the early start to our day, we were all bubbling with excitement as we boarded the bus, as we would be teaching the students at The Himo School and The Korona School for the first time. Our group were allocated three grades across the two schools – standard three, standard five, and standard six, and we taught a class English for an hour in the morning. We were all assigned class materials the night before, in order for us to prepare lesson plans for our classes.
As we were introduced to the dusty classrooms packed with row after row of children, my grip tightened on my textbook, and shadows of doubt began to creep into my mind. The class began with brief introductions to ourselves and to the topic that we were teaching, which was about “activities throughout the day” for Korona Standard 3. At first, the children were quite unresponsive despite our attempts to engage the class, and only a handful of students raised their hands or answered our questions. However, after some experimentation and trial and error, we found that dividing the class into rows and incorporating visual, audio, and tactile components to our teaching allowed us to be more effective. In no time, the students were all bursting with renewed energy, as they shouted the answer at the top of their lungs.
Time whisked by, and soon it was play time! Groups of children flocked around us, curious of our wondrous stories, peculiar accents, and new company. For many, playing with the children and interacting with them on an equal level was the highlight of their day. More importantly, seeing them smiling and laughing despite all adversities, made me truly realize how fortunate I was, and gave me a message of hope and resilience in the face of all the evil in the world. For a moment, when I was singing songs in Swahili while linked hand in hand with the children, I felt all of the barriers crumbling away, and we were all connected together through our shared love and humanity, together as one big and happy family.
After our time with the children, we congregated in one of the classrooms in The Korona School, to prepare the classroom for renovation. A few of us had to apply the plaster to the cracked walls, while the rest of us sanded off the walls in order for repainting the next day.
Once we were done with the room, we all got onto the bus to drive back to home. There we ate a delicious lunch with bread, soup, corn, and beans. Then we boarded the bus again to head to a coffee plantation. We were greeted by dancers and the owners of the plantation. They showed us the many steps on how they make their coffee. We were able to participate in picking, crushing, and roasting the coffee beans. We all danced with the other African dancers in a circle. When the coffee was made, we were able to taste and buy some of it. It was very good!
From the plantation, we went straight to an Internet cafe where most of us ate dinner at. Having internet for the first time in many days was such a relief and we all were very happy to be in contact with our family and friends.
After the cafe, we returned to home and had a workshop where we learned about street kids and orphanage tourism. That prepared us for our trip tomorrow to a local orphanage. Finally, the leaders of the day gave their presentation on Mount Kilimanjaro and had everyone play a card game.
– Melody Leung and Maggie Neumeyer
July 6th, 2016
The day began at 7:00 Sawyer and I woke everyone up with cowbell. Then we ate breakfast. After breakfast we went to the school, the kids were supposed to be there but they were on holiday due to Ramadan so we just started our community service instead (sanding, painting, and plastering the walls). Since we finished early with the community service we went to a market to look at more fabric. Around 12 we went home and had lunch at 1:00. After lunch a local dance group called the Kili Wizards came and sang and danced for us and we were able to participate which was very exciting. After the dance group left we walked to the orphanage. we brought the orphanage rice, and played games with the kids for about and hour and a half. Then we walked back home for dinner. After dinner we had our “night time” activity. We learned about cultural sensitivity, and female genital cutting. We learned that female genital cutting is illegal in Tanzania, but it is still practiced due to cultural purposes. We found that it was interesting that male circumcision isn’t illegal or a act against human rights but female circumcision is. Our day consisted of doing a lot of fun and different things, and learning about a lot of new things.
Leaders of the day
– Annie Vance and Sawyer Scheitler
July 7, 2016
We woke up to breakfast and soon after had a talk with Mama Simba about becoming a leader And how she became one in the face of many challenges. After that, we headed to the Korona school to continue our community service refurbishing one of the classrooms. We plastered the walls and did the first coat of paint on the inside and outside of the classroom. The class has already come a long way in only a couple days of work. After that, we headed home for lunch. Then, an anti-FGM (female genital mutilation) group came in to talk to us about ending the practice because the Maasai, a local tribe, has deep roots in this ‘right of passage’ practice. Before dinner, we headed into the town of Moshi to buy some souvenirs for friends and family. The markets had unique paintings, figurines, and many other authentic goods. After dinner back at home base, we watched a documentary about Albinos in Tanzania… Tanzania has one of the highest rates of Albinism in the world, and Albinos in Tanzania are often subject to brutality due to Ancient beliefs telling tales of how the body parts of an Albino can bring good fortune. After an exciting day of learning and new experiences, we were all ready to go to bed and were looking forward to our hike the next day.
– Alii and Olivia
July 8, 2016
Saturday, July 9th
We (Sawyer, Skye and I) woke up at 5:30 to bathe and get dressed before waking everyone else up at 6:00 to go on Safari! Upon having our breakfast, still half asleep, we embarked on the 4 hour journey to the first Safari location, Terengeri national park. We were split up into our assigned groups and set off. We were marveled at the sheer amount of spectacular wildlife, such as; African elephants, baboons, giraffes, buffalo, gazelles and Impala. After the amazing but long morning we arrived at our home for the night, a Lutheran hostel, those of us that chose to have a shower (very few) we bewildered at the amount of dust and dirt that had somehow attached itself to every part of our bodies, as it washed away ; almost mimicking a snake shedding its skin! We were asleep by 2am…
Sunday, July 10th
After waking up at 5:30 for the second day in a row we continued our journey to the Ngorongoro crater where, after waiting at the gate for an hour due to a technical malfunction and a spontaneous GLA dance part, we saw an obscene amount to life and beauty. After only a hour driving we came across a pair of LIONS. Two of the three jeeps left much minutes before the lions started to mate. After that brief but efficient and loud encounter between the two lions they started walking down the long line of cars as if they were nothing to them, growling at each of cars that they passed. Around 2:00 we had lunch next to a small lake with hippopotami and elephants. Upon finishing lunch we left the crater and headed home. On the way home we stopped of at a Maasai market were we bought gifts for our friends, family and our selves, of course!
Monday, July 11
Today was our first day back from our SAFARI & we were EXHAUSTED!! We went back to school for the first time in over a week, but the kids had yet to forget us. We taught our hour-long class and then recess began. We taught the kids ‘duck-duck-goose’ which was a total hit. Half the group was feeling under the weather and allergies acting up- so we decided to fit in a nap time! Then we headed to the Internet café to find an overwhelming amount of tourists also enjoying our cozy spot. But no worries, after an hour and half we got our lunch. After that we headed over to the Blue Zebra for some last minutes shopping- always a must. Mama D’s and Mama T’s dinner, per usual, was delicious. We finished the night off with a game and workshop. As leaders of the day, we created a game to play with everyone, Assassin. Basically the gist of it was a giant game of tag, once you were tagged you gave your nametag to the tagger. The object of the game was to collect all 16-name tags, which is what Sophia successfully did. Our nightly workshop consisted of Sarah and Ashley taking the stage, and talking about gender empowerment. Overall it was a very fun and easy day to conclude a jam-packed safari weekend. We are all trying to enjoy our last few days here in Tanzania. We are very excited to see our families and get back home; bringing our gifts and memories back to you!
Lots of love!!
Noah & Olympia
Hello everyone. My name is Sophia and I was a leader of the day with Cassia. Cassia and I work everyone up by doing the cup song on their doors and singing very loudly (which one best wake up call). We hopped on the bus and went to school where we continued to teach the kids English, played with them for an exhausting 30 minutes at recess and then continued painting the classroom at Corona Primary School. We made sure to take plenty of water breaks. Our poor friend Noah fell while painting and hurt her ankle, but being the strong lady she is, handled it wonderfully. We mostly slept on the drive back because we were all quite tired. We came back to home base and had a wonderful lunch. After lunch, some women came and braided our hair (photos to come), and the tailor was supposed to bring our clothes that we ordered the first week but did not show up. We all ate dinner and played some card games. For our workshop, we finished Girl Rising and our discussion on women empowerment. We later discussed different types of development aid and the inequality and lack of responsibility or thought put into the usage of the money, for example the money used in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. Overall, good day. *thumbs up*
Wednesday, July 13th
We woke up, realizing that it is our last day in school and the second to last day in our lovely home base. With a mixed mood of excitement and sadness, we started our day.
At 9 in the morning we started our last lesson. For most of us the class went well: we surprisingly found out that basically all the kids respond very well. After that we had our last recess with the kids. All of us were deeply moved by the “goodbye” from numerous gentle and innocent voices. Our souls and hearts were warmed by the continuous hug from all of those small and lovely figures. As usual, we played games with them, chasing them and laughing with them. It is so hard for us to say goodbye to those little angels even though we only taught them for a few lessons. Apparently, connections had formed. Then, we finished the painting of the classroom. Compared with its once squalid appearance, the classroom really changed a new look. We all felt satisfied that we would offer a better environment for kids to study.
When we came back to home base, we found that the seamstress, who we had waited for so long, finally brought back our dresses and elephant pants. Everyone tried on his or her new outfits and everyone seemed extraordinarily gorgeous. After a delicious lunch, we waited for our host family to come and again to say goodbye to those kind local people. Even though some could not make it due to a departure for college, we still enjoyed all the precious moment. At around 4pm, we went to the orphanage, hoping to play with the kids again. However, to our disappointment, most of the kids were at school. Interestingly, we met another group, a living example of “orphanage tourism”.
At night, we had a goodbye party. We held a “warm fuzzy”, genuinely complimenting each other and expressing our emotions to our lovely companies and mentors. We closed the day with a party during which we danced and sang together with campfire. Then, we felt asleep gently after nice hugs.
-Skye & Krystal