Preparing for Travel

6 WEEKS! In 6 short weeks we will be leaving for the adventure of a lifetime. As fast as time has gone since I applied for the Tanzania trip, these final weeks will go by even faster. For me, preparing for this trip has been anything from checking the countdown on my phone everyday (sometimes every few hours!) to watching Swahili YouTube videos. I have even added an African Radio station to my Pandora account and rock out in my car and of course in the shower to all of its music! Something as simple as this gets me thinking about the trip and makes me very excited. This coming week, Mizzou is on spring break and I am dedicating this time to start packing, which is very strange for me considering I am always a last minute packer. I figured by getting an early start to packing, it would give me more than enough time to remember all of the things I will initially forget. Also, much of my wardrobe shopping will happen this week too. I plan on taking Target and Goodwill by storm. Last week I had my doctor’s appointment and am proud to say I took those shots like a champ! I was able to do a little research and find the most cost friendly way to get my vaccinations and prescriptions filled. Checking off items on my Tanzania to-do list is making this trip seem so surreal and getting me extremely excited.

Aside from the prescriptions and packing preparations, my free time is consumed with simply just thinking about the trip. What will the first night be like? What will be the toughest part of teaching in the classroom? How hard will saying goodbye to the students be? The more time I spend thinking about the trip, the more excited, anxious, and ready I am becoming. I can’t wait to see and take in the culture. Reading about it is one thing, but living it for a month will be another. When I am at my field placement Monday afternoons and Friday mornings I find myself taking mental notes about what I want to remember when in Africa. How will teaching there compare to my observing here? That is what I am most excited for. I want to be able to walk away from my experience in Africa realizing the similarities and differences of everything that has to do with education I find between the two.  How I am going to be shaped by both as a teacher? This journey will be one filled with both joys and challenges and after I am going to be so much more thankful for this opportunity than I am already. What an extraordinary blessing!  

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