Final/Lasting Impressions

As I reflect back on this month, I can’t put my finger on one thing that I will take away because there was so many wonderful experiences. I just would like to start by saying that all of us students bonded so well together and still at the end of this month, we are all great friends. Everyone gets along and we are all so close. These friendships that I made on this trip are definitely forever friends. My professor, Lisa, is such a great leader and I couldn’t image this trip without her. She helped to inspire me to do my best everyday and also to push me to be the best teacher I can be. It saddens me to leave this beautiful place called Tanzania, but all of the memories are forever.

Yesterday was the last day at school and it was the saddest part of the trip. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my students, I just wanted to say see you later. We were able to play with the students all morning and then around 1pm, the teachers had us come into a classroom where there was a table and chairs set up for all of us elementary teachers to sit in. All of the teachers at Lutheran Primary were sitting in this classroom smiling at us. They started with a prayer and then the headmaster gave a speech. He talked about how we have helped the teachers and how they have helped us. He thanked us for being so kind and loving to the children and he didn’t want us to leave. They then blessed us with a song from the bible. It was so beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. They asked us to sing them a Christian song so the only song we could think of at the top of our heads was “Jesus Loves Me”. We sang that to them and they blessed us again with another prayer. We were told to stand up, close our eyes and wait until we received a gift to open our eyes. We all received different colored wraps that go around our waist. It is such a beautiful gift that they gave us! They then presented us with soda, a meat pocket, and a muffin. We all talked and for a while and then said our goodbyes. I am really going to remember this moment because of the fact that all of the teachers were there thanking us and blessing us. I was so sad to leave them but Rehma, my math teacher, told me that she will come to America one day. After saying goodbye to the teachers, we said goodbye to the students. I cried and cried leaving those students but I know that I made a good impression on them and they will always remember that. I hugged them and we all sang the Lutheran Tetra School Song and waved goodbye.

I am deeply going to miss my math teacher at Lutheran named Rehma. I was able to get really close to her and become great friends. I told her about my life and she told me about hers, I learned about her culture and she learned about mine, and sharing ideas in teaching will always stay with me and I will never forget that. Rehma is so full of life and believes that God has the right path for her and that path is to become a business woman. She went back to school to get her certificate to be in business. She told me that when she makes enough money, she is going to come to America to see me. I just can’t wait for that moment to happen!! 🙂 My teacher taught me to be more confident in my teaching, she taught me to always believe that God has a plan for you, and to always be happy about life. My nickname at school was Nashiva, which means happy in Maasai. They brought out the best in me and I will never change who I am.

I am also going to miss the town people and how their motto is “hamna shida” which means no worries or no problem. Everyone is so happy with what they have even if they don’t have much. I can see how happy people are here and they just aren’t consumed in money. They do need money and sell things for money, but it isn’t like America because there is the whole “no worries” motto. I would love to live my life the way these people do. I want to believe that whatever happens is going to be okay because God had that plan for us and not to worry. This town was great for me to see in terms of culture and the way of life. It is sad and different when you think about how some of these people live, but they are so happy!

I am going to take back all of my experiences and use them in America to teach my students the best way I can and to live my life in happiness all the time. I am so sad to leave Africa but I know I will be back here. I grew so close to these students and my teachers that I just can’t live my life never seeing them again. Africa is a magical place and it will have a huge place in my heart. As I leave Africa today, I am going to miss the smells, the Dala Dalas, the town people, the markets, the schools, the children, the orphanage, the food, and the great weekend excursions. I will always remember when I first was thinking about this trip and how I almost didn’t come. I can’t believe that I am here and I am so proud of myself for doing this. I believe that I am going back to America with a different attitude and a different outlook on life. I love this place and as they say in Swahili, tutaonana, Africa….see you later, Africa! 🙂

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