Lasting Impressions

When I think about my time here in Tanzania, I cannot think of one thing that has made this trip what it is. There are so many things that I have learned and I have grown in so many different ways. Before this trip I was really nervous about having my own class to teach and having to make sure that I was teaching my students in the best way possible. There were a few times when I did not want to go on the trip just because of the fear of failing the students. But once I walked into my standard one class on the first day, I knew that was where I belonged.

The students and the teachers here are very similar to those back in the states but there is one slight difference I have noticed, the sense of community. Here in Africa everyone is so nice and you can feel the connection between the people. In America many people are on their own and do not even turn their cheek if someone walks by. I find it very interesting that the African community is so large and so welcoming while Americans do not have that sense. I am going to try to be more welcoming of others when I return just because I love the friendliness and I have learned a lot from those I have met on the streets.

While walking up Kilimanjaro I was reflecting on our trip and I came up with a metaphor. Our time in Africa is just like our climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. As we climb, the path can get rough and be very difficult at times. So much so you almost want to give up all together, but other times it can be very simple and easy to walk. Every day on this trip was different, some days were very easy and fly by, while others drag on and you feel like throwing in the towel. But once you reach the end you just feel amazing. You can look back on all that you have accomplished and it feels great. I hope this feeling of accomplishment stays with me for a long time after this trip and I will never forget everything that I have done here and all of the friendships I have made.

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