Lasting Impressions

So, I am going to be super cheesy and start out this post with a quote that I find most fitting for my experience here in Tanzania. In Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself he writes, “for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” Tanzania will always be a resounding part of my life from here on out. Everyone here, including our group, was extremely welcoming and by the end of this month we were (and still are) Tanzanian Americans.

                From our first day in town when it was pouring rain and I spent way too much money at the Maasai market, we have all learned so much. I can now barter (somewhat), maneuver my way through Arusha’s dala dalas, and can climb up to the first hut on Mt. Kilimanjaro. I will miss the pole pole and hamnesheda lifestyle.

                One thing that will I will never forget are my standard four students and our last day of school. I was such a proud mama bear that day. When Hannah, Meagan, and I presented the morning assembly on Friday we added our own little dance moves. All of our students looked up at us beaming with laughter and happiness. My standard four class will always be the first class I have ever taught and they have truly confirmed that being a teacher is what I am meant to do. I was nervous at first being a special education major and never managing my own classroom before, but their curiosity, imagination, and pure goofiness eased my nerves almost immediately. Three of my students, Yusuf, Mahmoud, and Abdul were the incarnation of The Three Stooges and I am so happy they were able to provide comedy and laughter in our classroom. Our classroom was one big family and I am so blessed that I have had this opportunity to teach them and be a part of their lives.

                Our group has built such a strong bond that I truly think we will be friends for many years to come. We have shared an experience and a culture that have shaped us not only as people, but also as teachers. When all is said and done I know that when I am flying away today I will be saying “Tutaonana Tanzania!” 


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