Preparing for Travel

I had posted one response to the two posed questions already. This was as a comment, and has been lost in the fabric of the internet. I suppose now I shall post a little bit of what I am excited for. For me, I am very excited for simply learning. The amount of cultural, linguistic, and pedagogical things there are to learn during my time in Tanzania is astounding, and I absolutely cannot wait to take it all in. Aside from that, I am excited for the safaris. The idea of trekking through the African countryside, or even just tooling along it in a jeep, holds a certain mystique, and I am excited to live it. I’ve never been outside of this hemisphere, and, to be honest, have only minimally been able to travel, so the idea of experiencing this country is amazing! I can’t wait to jump into this new world and let it change me. Whenever I go to a new place, some part of it stays with me, and I’m sure there will be a lot of things to stay with me during my time in Tanzania.


Preparing for Travel

Happy 21st birthday to me! …yesterday (reason for my delayed post). 🙂

38 days and 16 hours until we get ready to head to the airport and take off to Tanzania! This thought brings me the greatest joy and happiness for our future experience. Ever since I was little I have always dreamed of going to Africa and I cannot believe the opportunity is almost here. I have a friend that spent a month in Ghana last summer and her wonderful experience and hearing stories of her trip makes me so excited to go and bring back my own memories! It’s going to be an unforgettable adventure.

To say the least, I’m a little stressed out knowing that the departure day is coming up on me so quickly! There’s so much still left to do and so little time. I’m also still questioning how I’m going to fit all my stuff into a 50 pound bag.

The thing I’m most excited for is getting to know the students and other people in Tanzania! I cannot wait to learn more about their culture and have them teach me more Swahili. I’m actually also really excited to try the food there as well, I’ve seen pictures and it looks delicious!


Preparing for Travel

I am going to Africa! I can hardly even imagine it! It didn’t even seem real until I actually hit the “buy” button for my airline ticket. Who would-of thought that a brief conversation in August would bring me to Tanzania in May. Yikes! Yes, I’ve been abroad before, but at a 5-Star resort. I am preparing for a totally different experience.

I love attending the orientation meetings. The students ask such great questions. I feel so tongue-tied when I try to speak Swahili. Isn’t there a translation app on my smartphone? So far I’ve gotten my immunizations, meds for malaria and an adaptor for electronics. The thought of spraying Deet on my skin really scares me! All in all, my level of excitement far outweighs my level of stress and I hope it stays that way.

Preparing for Travel

How do I prepare for an experience such as this one? Passport? Check. Visa? Check. 95% Deet bug spray? Check. Planning to immerse myself in a culture completely unknown to me? Almost!

I do not think that I will ever be fully ready for what lies ahead during our month stay in Arusha, Tanzania. This trip will be an eye-opener and a life-changing experience. Can one ever be ready for a life-changing experience?

Excited is not an adequate word to describe how I feel right now about our adventure. Ecstatic. Ecstatic is how I feel. I am travelling half-way around the world to an unfamiliar place to do what I love: teach. What is there not to be ecstatic about? I get to do what I love all while improving myself as a person and as an educator. And for this opportunity, I am very grateful.

Preparing for Travel

Arusha, Tanzania.  39 days till departure.  HOLY SMOKES! This is actually happening!  Two years ago I was sitting in a Tanzania informational meeting knowing that I belonged on the trip but also knowing that it was a unobtainable dream based on my financial situation.  However, my heart and dreams yearned for the opportunity to be immersed in a different culture and use my gift of teaching to impact others.   My dream of Tanzania did not end after the first meeting two years ago and I am so excited to say that my dream is starting to become a reality!  I am beyond excited for this 4 week adventure!! 

Preparing for this trip is taking a lot out of me.  There are so many things that need to be taken care of and things that I have yet to do before I can step onto the plane feeling prepared.  From medications to deciding what shoes to bring are all decisions that need to be made.  I walk away from the meetings feeling a bit overwhelmed but also more and more excited about our trip.  I am so excited to be immersed and witness a different culture.  I am also finding that I am a huge fan of Swahili.  It is so easy to read and just makes sense. 

Compared to some people that are going on this trip, I have had more teaching experience.  I have completed my teaching assisting and student teaching last semester.  During my student teaching placement, I taught mostly about social issues and how to handle situations and behavior problems compared to actual teaching content.  Therefore, I am so excited to actually teaching classroom subjects, content and the opportunity to practice teaching strategies!  I can not wait to see the impacts that this trip will have in my life!

Preparing for travel

          Preparation for a month in Tanzania began well before the day I hit the “apply” button for the Study Abroad program.  My wife and I thoroughly discussed the ramifications and the rewards an experience like this would have on myself and others.  Our conclusion was that the rewards far outweighed the consequences and thus work, vacation, family party and daycare schedules all started to adapt accordingly.   

            As my anxiousness about my level of preparation builds, it is feeble in comparison to my developing excitement about the trip.  Most of the developing excitement surrounds being able to interact with a culture outside of the culture I am accustomed to for an extended period of time.  This interaction with the Tanzanian people will help me grow as a person, and growth as a person to me is hands down far more exciting than an experience by itself.  That excitement for growth has been the most influential factor of why I would like to become a teacher.