Lasting Impressions

                I feel like I’m going to write this and just cry.  I just thought you’d like to know.

As for lasting impressions, I have no idea what is going to last, but I do know that I will forever hold this place and the people in my heart. The things I have done, the people I’ve met, and the places I went have impacted me so strongly, that I just can’t bring myself to even remotely want to go home. I have family, a boyfriend, and friends there; and yet I just can’t seem to want to return to them. This is just too much fun and I love everything about it here.

                I know the first week I was here was pretty rough. I didn’t connect with anyone, the teachers at the schools weren’t communicating well enough to give me anything to teach, and I had no idea what I was doing here. After that first weekend trip to the Serengeti, I bonded pretty strongly with Team Get Some. We were all a fantastic group of people stuck in a safari jeep together for three days and we someone didn’t kill each other. We instead got along splendidly and even continued to remain close after that trip.

                The second week here was a still a little rough, because my classroom schedule was still rather iffy and I had no idea why I was showing up to school to co teach one lesson every day. It was kind of a bore. Only one teacher really paid attention to Brandi and I (we were at the same school together) and all the others sort of passed over us as random, nonsensical teachers. Thankfully, I finally talked to the headmaster and got him to give Brandi and I English and Physics classes so we could teach separately, so my third week became awesome.

                It was the second weekend that I actually made my best friends on this trip. It was then that I found out what people were really my friends and who was willing to make sure I was okay. I really hope that I will not lose touch with said friends, because they are possibly the greatest people I have ever met. No joke. It’s a sappy “last impression”, but it’s what is going to stick with me. I need friends and this trip has provided me with the best ones yet.

                As for actually being in Tanzania and experiencing the amazingness called Tanzanian culture, it’s beautiful. The people here are super friendly (even if sometimes they only want you to buy something) and everyone cares for everyone. There’s no judgment here that I’ve run into. Jambo. Mambo. Habari. Hakuna matata. Hamna shida. Pole. They seriously want to make sure that everyone is welcomed here and I can’t say I really want to return to the harata pace back in America. The transition here was tough, but the transition coming back home I feel is going to be worse.

                Even though I had a rough start to my school week here, I fell head over heels in love with my students; and their desire to learn anything I threw at them was so amazing. They kept asking me what the difference was between American and Tanzanian education and all I kept thinking was that they actually appreciated what I had to tell them and they paid attention (at least most of the time). Those students wiggled their way into my heart and I will cherish them forever.

                Lastly, I want to say that I knew I wanted to be a teacher before coming here, but teaching these kids has solidified my desire to do this for the rest of my life; and the people here have shown me just how much people can truly love one another.

                I’m going to miss this. All of this. Looking out at everyone just relaxing, knowing this is our last night here, I know that I’m going to seriously hate getting on that plane tomorrow; but alas, I do what I must. I hope I can bring back what I have learned to the States and show my students just how much education can be enjoyable.

                To Tanzania *cheers*

– Amanda Hoezee


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