Lasting Impressions

As I begun my journey to Africa it was my dream come true to finally be here but I never knew it could weigh on my heart so heavy to make me love it more than I did before. As I became more familiar with the culture, people, and traditions, I have been able to see the similarities and differences between the people and culture from Tanzanian people and American people. No matter where you are in the world you will have people who are the same as you and some who are different. The children here are similar to children in America, they play in similar ways but have adapted to less play equipment and play with what they have. The older people are different as they aren’t in such a hurry to get to where they are going and interested in others lives.

The culture here has shown me how to love my neighbor as myself. As you are sitting on a DalaDala you get to know people and talk to them instead of just keeping to yourself or talking on your cell phone. People are so consumed in their own life and what is happening next in America that they miss what is happening in the now. When you stop to take a moment and look around, you see the beauty in the culture, the world, the people, and are able to take interest in peoples stories they have to talk about. A simple change of “hello” on the street to a stranger is so common here that a stranger no longer becomes a stranger and it becomes a beginning of a conversation with a friend.

The people on this trip will forever have an impact on me as they all have their own perceptions and have an individual uniqueness that we all worked together so well that we started as individual strangers and grew to a family of unique qualities that bond us together. The best way to describe the bond of the people on the trip is to talk about beads on a necklace made at the market. They are uniquely woven, delicately strung, and forever bonded together. With each other we compliment all of our strengths and make up for the weaknesses that we don’t let over come our sight of seeing the final picture.

While working with the students, I have been able to gain strength in my ability to maintain a classroom and teach for the first time. The ability to know that I can do something that I love and succeed in it, gave me a feeling of grace. The students will forever have a piece of my heart as they captured my heart moment-by-moment everyday. The way their smiles lit up a room when I walked into the classroom, a simple high-five, a positive reinforcement and their reactions, the way they played, and the new material I was able to teach to them in knew ways to retain information.

This experience has been one of the most astonishing experience I could ever dream of. I could not ask for more, except to stay here but Lisa and my parent’s wont let me. As for teaching in the schools, visiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru, playing with the kids, hanging out at the outpost, getting to know the culture, visiting Mama Anna’s house, the Masaai market, the Shanga Shop, and learning more every day. This experience will forever have an imprint on my heart as I bring a piece of Tanzania back to America with me.

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