Last Day in Tanzania
A Hearty Thank You!
‘Jenna’s group was at the airport, checked in, and we watched them through the window as they went through to depart back for home.’
Last Day, from Director:
What an adventure we’ve had in Tanzania with your GLA student!
On behalf of the Arusha, Tanzania Team, we thank you for entrusting us with your student. We’ve enjoyed the journey with each and every one of them. As they return we hope you welcome your global leader with open arms and hearts. Their eyes are wide with excitement at the prospect of doing their part to be the change. As they tell their stories of new found friends and ideas about themselves and the world they live in–may you find as much joy and hope in them as we did.
Last Day with the Kids
Today was our last day with the kids, so in all of the classes we played games to have a fun last day to remember as well as review. We cut our classes to 25 minutes instead of the usual 30 so we could have more play time with all of the children. The kids played a competitive soccer game as they always do after school and they were given stickers and lots of pictures were taken because we all wanted to cherish these moments and have mementos to carry with us,even though they could never compare to living in those moments. When the final goodbyes were said, tears were shed by both the students of the school and the ambassadors of GLA. On the third floor, we could see them waving to us over the fences, which led to another wave of tears to crash down. After her usual savvy traveler tips, Jenna sent us off into the wild African market where we bargained for some good deals on groceries and rushed to be the first group back (even though apparently it was just for participation). And finally, we all had a really deep conversation about an article “To Hell with Good Intentions”, talking about the possible positive and negative impacts of “volunteerism” and the different kinds. And now here we are. Blogging.
JENNA – a poem:
Just hoeing along, picking up weeds, and drinking coffee
Enjoying each other and Joseph’s cooking
New friends were created at the school
Never underestimate Sarah’s falling abilities
All of us enjoy pondering at the stars
-Written by: Sydney Bueme, Sarah Tash, Ri Robinson, Hunter Stewart, and Julia Hiemstra
Playing with Local Kids (and Snakes!)
Figure 1 l to r Sydney Bueme, Sean, Mariah play with their students from Patandi school
Figure 2 Matt painting
Figure 3 Mama Hellen talks to Junior while Ethan paints in background
Figure 4 Maddie with a python that was part of a traditional dance presentation performed by Kill Wizard dance troupe. Troupe is made up of mostly former street children and orphans They dream of opening an arts center for under privileged children in the future
Walking Everywhere, Learning Everything
Today was an intense day full of fun but eye opening experiences.
We got up early (as usual) and ate a hearty breakfast of Tanzanian pancakes- a wonderful treat for us all! We then went to the primary school for the third day and taught our lessons we planned the evening before. I can’t believe five days have already gone by. After teaching and tea break, we finished sanding the classroom we are repainting. It only took us two days, and I am doubtful we would have finished so quickly if we didn’t have our students sanding along with us. We walked back to home base, hand in hand with our new friends, and after saying goodbye headed in for a delicious lunch.
After some much needed relaxing, we walked to a local orphanage. We walk literally everywhere! Upon our arrival, the group of about ten orphans welcomed us to their community by singing upbeat traditional Tanzanian songs. It was a very emotional experience for many of us who were seeing children in such harsh circumstances. We brought with us gifts of rice and sugar, and they gratefully accepted our donations. After being welcomed, we walked further up the hill to where the children go to school. Their school is run by the orphanage, and takes place in rented out rooms from a church. The orphanage director explained to us that they have no money to rent out the classrooms, and no money to pay the three teachers employed. I think that this truly hit me the hardest, because without a proper education, these children may never make it out of the situation they are in. After seeing the classrooms, we engaged in a high energy game of Duck Duck Goose, a game that seems to be greatly appreciated by every child we have met here. After walking back to the orphanage, we toured the small compound where the children are living. In one room, thirteen girls must sleep three to a bed to fit in the small room. The kitchen outside consisted of a small wood-burning stove covered by sheet metal. The bathroom was pretty much a tent made out of old fabric.
It was hard saying goodbye to the children. I think that the visit to the orphanage was especially hard because we can’t really change these kid’s lives. Even though they were smiling while we were there, at the end of the day many of them have still been abandoned and forced into a life of poverty. After saying goodbye, we headed back to home base for a very different meal. Each of us picked a card out of a box, and it told us who we were and what financial class we were part of. The upper class got to sit at a table with chairs, and were served their meal. The middle class only had chairs, and had to go to the kitchen and get food themselves. The lower class sat on the ground and shared a ball of ugali, a traditional Tanzanian dinner food. The upper class makes up 20% of the world, the middle class makes up 30% of the world, and the lower class makes up 50% of the world. These statistics were eye opening.
After the activity, we debriefed by talking about how what we do effects the rest of the world in negative and positive ways. Then everyone got a regular dinner, and we started to plan tomorrow’s lesson for school. It was a long but educational day.
Figure 1 Local Director Lodrick joins our neighbors in a song and dance
Figure 2 Julia Hiernstra
Welcome to Primary School
Today was a great day. We started the day with a wonderful breakfast of Tanzanian potatoes (with taste like sweet potatoes), eggs and bread. This was our first day teaching in the Primary school, and it was amazing. The children are fast learners and are almost always joyful. After teaching we got down and dirty in a cloud of dust. We started sanding the walls of one of the classrooms to prepare it for a future paint job. After cold showers and lunch we took an adventure into the market to buy fabric. Than we ventured to a seamstress to get the clothes tailored. It was a fun and action packed day, so I am going to go to bed now, under my white mosquito net. I am prepared to rise early tomorrow to the sound of the screeching roosters! Good night (or rather good afternoon!)
P.S. from International Director, Jenna Padbury
We are really sorry we haven’t sent more photos. Our photographer of the day today had a camera snafu, and yesterday was our first day in the community and meeting our students. We were focusing on being present and establishing relationships before pulling out our cameras. Moving forward, we’ll have lots of photos of our temporary home and new friends!
Building a Team
Today was a fun and exciting day for all of us. In the morning we had breakfast and played team building games with the GLA staff and mentors. Later in the day, we were told that we were going to have lunch with our host families, and that they would show us around their homes and the local village. While hanging out and getting to know the families in their homes we were able to experience their way of living and everyday life, walk around the local markets, hospitals, schools, and more. During the evening we had dinner and got to know each other more by playing games and hanging out.
(Featured in photo, L to R): Ethan Liu, Julia Hiemstra, Sarah Tash, Massimo Morano, Ri Robinson, Junior Rodriguez, Deborah Rheem, Cole Rector, Sean Rogers, Maddy Kendall, Becca Largen, Coli Saia, Hunter Stewart-Koberstein
Not pictured because she was on her way from the airpot: Sydney Bueme
International Director’s Welcome
The GLA Heart and Soul of Africa Arusha team is excited to receive our first 2014 group. The entire team has been busy preparing for their arrival. While the local programming staff, Lodrick, Lota, Marilyn, and Mama Hellen have been coordinating our logistics, connecting us to the community and readying our home base, Amy and Swiff (mentors) and I have been busy planning engaging service-learning and leadership activities. We all look forward to countless opportunities to connect, discover and take action. In addition to daily service teaching English and painting classrooms, we’ll head out on safari, meet local families, explore development concerns facing Tanzania and learn some Swahili along the way. We’ll eat great food, play games, ask big questions, and challenge ourselves to be change makers. After 14 days with us in Tanzania, we hope your participant will come back to you inspired and empowered to be leaders for change!
Here in Tanzania, life is a little slower than most of us are used to–People focus on connecting face-to-face. With a less developed infrastructure than many countries, Tengeru’s lack of reliable internet and power fluctuations will give our GLA Tanzania Team plenty of time to stay in the moment and connect with each other. They will collect stories to share when they return home. Without the distractions of internet access, cable television, and smart phones–we look forward to lots of story telling, game playing, and life-changing conversations. On behalf of our entire GLA Tanzania Team, thank your for entrusting your GLA Member to us. We take our work seriously. He/She is about to have a life-changing leadership adventure and we are thrilled to be a part of it. In the meantime, know that your participant is warmly welcomed and in good hands!
-Jenna Padbury, International Director