Tonight we welcome the last of our GLA family and we are excited to have everyone here. All day today we have participated in orientation activities, getting to know each other and what to expect. Although everyone is feeling tired from jet lag, excitement and spirits are high!
Our beloved Mama Simba has been with us all day before she heads back to Moshi to assist the other Tanzania GLA program with welcoming their students tomorrow. Her wisdom and power is fueling our excitement for sure. We feel welcome and warm in her home and are learning lots of things very quickly about the culture of Tanzania, how to be good cultural ambassadors, how to learn effectively, and all the amazing things about Tanzania.
A highlight of the day was meeting our host families and getting to see their homes. We managed to learn enough greetings in kiSwahili to greet our families appropriately, but spent time working through the language barriers so we could try and understand each other. After lunch with the families, students explored the area with their families, some even visiting a nearby lake and waterfall towards the direction of the beautiful Mt. Meru that is the backdrop of our village.
Tomorrow we will finally have everyone here and we will get to meet our students and see the school that we will be teaching and doing service at. We will also get to go to Arusha to exchange money and run some errands. We are excited to continue to explore more and more outside of HomeBase, learning about where we are and engaging with our community.
Missing everyone back home, but excited for these next two weeks in beautiful Tanzania!
– Laura and Staff
p.s. today is one our student’s birthdays: Happy Birthday Megan Garcia! We hope you like the cake, ice cream, and balloons.
Today was the first day of the actual community service portion of our trip. The community service took place at a local school known as Patandi—a short ten-minute walk from home base. The first 80 minutes consisted of teaching students of level five in classrooms. We got to know our students and briefly taught them about expressing qualities and adjectives. For the next couple of hours we performed actual labor work. Some of us sanded classrooms so they could be ready for painting and others built/fixed desks that were in poor quality. We also got to experience local market day. We went to the local market and got to buy fabrics and other goods. It was interesting to see how the whole community came together for the market day and how busy it was. We got to end our day by learning that places and people do not have single stories (especially Africa); there are multiple sides and perspectives to everything.
– Kanwal Momin
Students woke up at 7:00 am and they had breakfast which was tea, porridge, and bread. After tea everyone was ready heading to the community services site and then the tour of Arusha.
We walked from home base to school and arrived at 8:00. The students and the teachers were waiting for us. Students were very excited to see pupils and general environment of school. We went on a tour of the school grounds including the special needs class rooms. We began our school orientation by walking through and see all the activities which were done by previous GLA student’s by assistance from local staffs and teachers of Patandi Primary School. The students at Patandi Primary School were very welcoming and friendly towards everyone. After, becoming acquainted with Patandi Primary School student went back home where they prepared themselves for the town tour
We split up student into three groups each with a mentor and a local leader. Then, we went on a tour of Arusha where we stopped at a store to purchase snacks if we wanted to do so we headed to an internet Cafe where the student were able to manage their accounts online.
Student had lunch which consisted of Pancake, Ugali, (Mboga) Vegetable, Salad, Tunda mix fruits, and then they had a guest speaker Godwin Melissa who taught them about Tanzania history and the education system of Tanzania. Then after, Kate informed the students on ways of teaching in the Primary School of Patandi.
Then student were able to spend an hour of free time and then ate dinner. After dinner they went to the respective mentor groups where they had memorable conversations about a day and experience which they gain for the whole day. They winded down as they got into groups that will teach with tomorrow and planned the lessons.
After a delicious breakfast cooked by Joseph, we walked to school to start our second day of teaching. Things went smoother because we had a feel for our students and their abilities. After teaching, we had playtime, everyone’s favorite, and did service work, either sanding or repairing/building desks. We visited Mama Noras orphanage after some downtime, where we got to play with orphans and other underprivileged children in the community. Although we couldn’t communicate with them because they knew little English, they loved our cameras and all the attention. That night, a local seamstress came to help us custom design shirts, skirts, bags, and headbands among other things made from the fabric we bought at the market. Some much needed chill time followed that until bed, ending a great day!
– Bailey and Megan Garcia
This weekend when we went on Safari we saw many things, which were truly indescribable. Elephants, lions, zebras, and many other animals were all within inches of our reach. Our overnight in a hostel was filled with delicious foods and star watching in a sky filled with unbelievable beauty. Driving through the crater and seeing all the wonders untouched by man was simply humbling. Our safari experience brought our entire group closer together as a whole and we were all very happy to have experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity together.
– Alexis Vatterott
A lot was achieved today. We went to school as usual, and taught the students more lessons in grammar. We then finished sanding the
classroom as a group. While sanding, we listened to music and readied the classroom to begin painting. In the afternoon, we returned to home base and went to the coffee farm. At the coffee farm, we were able to grind fresh coffee beans and drink it. We then returned to home base where we ate a nice meal prepared by Baba Joseph. Later on, each teaching group prepared their lesson plan for the next day. Our time
in Tanzania is over halfway over. We all love it here, but we miss all of our friends and family back home. Whenever the time does come, we’ll all leave Tanzania with stories to tell, pictures to share, and friendships to last for years to come.
– Peter Ganovsky and Harry Jones
We woke up at our normal time at 6:30 and ate porridge and donuts for breakfast made by Baba Joseph. Then, we went to school and continued teaching to the kids. We took a short break after our classes and started painting a classroom. We went back to the home base for lunch. We had the option of going on a hike/walk to a nearby lake. After the walk we were further informed on Female genital mutilation/circumcision. We enjoyed a traditional African dance by the Kilimanjaro Wizards at the school. This was a great immersion to the culture and at the end we were able to ask them questions about how their whole group started. We also had an opportunity to buy souvenirs from them such as figurines and paintings. After that we came home to a lovely dinner by Baba Joseph it was pasta! Lastly we were visited by a retired Masai warrior named Jacob who taught us more about the Masai culture and traditions.
– Eleanor Zhu & Matthew Edevbie
In the morning, we went to community service in school and kept the kids learning. After we played some soccer and got to work on painting and repairing the desks. We also finished painting the classroom today. Afterwards we went to the Usa women’s group farm, where we learned how to prepare banana soup. We also learned how to basket weave and we learned it is like to live on a farm. In the end of the lesson we planted our own banana tree. Learning about living on the farm gave us a lot of experience with agriculture and traditional cooking. Later on that night we learned about public health around Africa. We were taught a lot about HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Ebola. We learned a lot about facts and statistics of these diseases. It was many students first time understanding what these diseases are like, and it was very interesting.
– Hongbo Zeng & Connor Waters
Everyone woke up to the loudest and best wake up call of the program by us. We ate our usual breakfast by BaBa Joseph and we set out for our last day of school at Patandi. We had the best last day with the kids both wrapping up what we taught for the last two weeks and playing with them one last time. After we had a tearful goodbye at the school, the students walked us to the home base. After lunch, we split up into groups and went on a scavenger hunt throughout the market. Mama Simba gave us her life story and taught us all about the importance of leadership, forgiveness, support, education, and faith. We were briefed on our hike around Mount Kilimanjaro and we all went to bed after hanging out together.
– Eleanor Zhu and Peter Ganovsky
Today we went on a hike around the base of Kilimanjaro, went to a market, and came back to home base for dinner. We hiked to three waterfalls and had the opportunity to swim at one of the waterfall pools. We then hiked to a local rest area and had lunch, soda, and souvenirs. After we continued to the last waterfall and headed back to the bus. We stopped at a small art market to see the art made by locals. After shopping at the art market we headed back to home base. When we arrived the tables were set with candles and dinner made by the amazing cook, baba Joseph was waiting for us. We all sat together to eat dinner and share our favorite experiences that we had on this amazing trip. A great end to a great trip.
– Morgan & Ethan Shaw