Final and Lasting Impressions

I really, really, really enjoyed this trip. I enjoyed it so much. I do not want to leave. I wish I could stay here. I think my final impression that will stick with me is when I said goodbye to my students. Right before I left it went to all happy and playing tug of war to many, many tears. It was so sad. I had a group of girls hugging me all crying. There was a boy that was making fun of them, which I did not like. I did not want to cry. It took everything in my power not to. I think that then it really hit me how much a big deal it is for us to be there. We mean so much to them.

This past week I have adopted a little pack of standard one students or first grade students. One of my standard five or fifth grade boys has two little sisters that I met, and the one in standard one looks just like him. They are so cute. So, they were tagging along with me for my final days and fighting over holding my hand. I have many lasting impressions. Most of my memories are from the schools because I have spent so much time there.

About four teachers had asked if I would like to go to dinner with them and the rest of  the American teachers at Prime Primary School. We were supposed to get together, but we ran out of time. I was also supposed to give one of the teachers my contact information, but he never came to see me, so I was unable to. The teachers are also so happy that we are teaching with them. Everyday we come back from a trip, the teachers would say that they missed me. They are just so sweet.

The last day of school with the kids was definitely a great one. We led assembly and did silly dance moves with the kids. My class helped me put up signs that said Miss Meagan will miss you all. I then listed all of their names and wrote that they were all awesome. I handed them letters and American coins. I gave them envelops if they wanted to send something to me along with my home and school address. I gave the class as a whole three books. We danced to the cupid shuffle. We moved all the desks to make a dance floor and even took turns at one point. We also played this circle game where one person is in the middle and says their name and something they have never done, and if they have done it, the move to another spot. There are spots marked with shoes, and there are one less amount of shoes than their are players. I let some students use my camera to take photos and videos. Towards the end of class time, my camera got dropped and is sort of broken. I think it can be fixed and I did not want to students to worry about it. I knew that it was an accident. I have accident protection on the camera and it is new.

While we were playing the game, one student thought it was too loud and I guess another student was not listening to him when he said to quiet down, so without my permission he went to tell a teacher. The teacher said to be quiet. When I confronted him why he left without permission and why he did not come to me first, he started walking away and kept talking to him. Apparently he felt sick, and he started crying or tearing up. I felt so bad, and I told him that I was not mad and that I was just asking a question and next time to come to me first and ask before he goes somewhere. I then made him give me a hug and told him not to be sad. We had tea time or break next. After break we had a tug of war contest. After that we said our goodbyes. I made all the students I could find give me a hug. One student that I was very close to never said goodbye to me, and I am pretty sure her bus left early, and it was too hard for her to say goodbye because she would be so sad. She almost cried on Monday. Three of my students were absent on my last day, so I am happy that I was able to get a whole class photo the day before. I have really enjoyed my trip, and I would LOVE to do it again. I will miss it here and the people and students here dearly.


Kilimanjaro Part Two

I was not sure that I was going to go on the hike at first. I did not think that everyone would want to go on a five hour hike. I have a bad knee and was worried about it. Once I found out that mostly everyone was going, I decided to go. That way, I would be able to say that I climbed part of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the tallest single mountain in the world. One thing that we did that I did not know I was going to do is that we had to carry our lunches and water up. I only grabbed one big water bottle because I knew that I would not drink that much.

The climb up took less time than expected. I was in the last group because I wanted to pace myself and my knee was hurting. It was totally worth it though. I also got a little dizzy toward the top. It took us about  two and a half hours when it was expected to take three hours. I climbed by myself a lot of the hike because the people in front of me were too fast, and the people behind me were a little bit too slow for my liking. I loved how green it was, and the path was pretty nice. I liked how we were in the shade so we did not have to worry about getting sun burned. It was cool so I ended up putting on my hooded shirt. It was a weird feeling to be cold and be sweating at the same time.

On the way down, I tagged along in the back again. I had a good chat with Teacher Kristin on the way back, and that was enjoyable. It was a little bit hard on my knee on the way down. I managed to slip twice and fell once on each leg. Once we got back, some of the group was looking at the waterfall, so I just relaxed. On our way down to the vehicle, there was a boy who was holding a lizard and wanted me to take a picture of it. We gave him some food, and he seemed to like that. Overall, I think that it was a great experience and I got some good photos. It was also fun to see the crater. The change of scenery was amazing.


Kilimanjaro

I really enjoyed my time this weekend going to Mount Kilimanjaro. Even though we did not hike very much or far up Kilimanjaro, I had a good time. I have asthma and a bad knee. I had a sore throat today as well. I had a torn meniscus last semester, so I am completely fine that we did not go on a five hour hike. I like that we did got to hike and see the waterfall. I loved going in the water, but when we got really close to the fall, it was hard to breathe. Also, I was not smart enough to take my phone out of my pocket before going under, so my phone got water damage. I am not sure if it will be recovered, but it is sitting in dry rice right now drying off. If the rice does not work, my dad is an engineer and has recovered some phones from water damage today, so I am thankful for that. It was totally worth it though. I am getting an upgrade on my phone soon anyway. Now I will get it sooner rather than later.  Also, with going into the water, I did not like having wet clothes when I got out. I was rather cold.

I enjoyed the place that we stayed at, but there was not really any hot water. I took a shower Sunday morning, and the hot side did not have any water coming out, so I slightly turned the cold knob, and it was slightly warm water, so I used that. I forgot to put the mosquito netting down before I went to bed, but I did not get bit. The beds were really comfortable, and the pillows. I did enjoy the food, although it was weird that there was not that much variety of food. I loved the bonfire. I think our group really bonded. Most of us were out there singing and we got to know some of the workers. One worker was playing the guitar, and it had a missing string, but still sounded amazing.

I liked seeing the hut on Saturday and the kids. I love how there are always so many kids just hanging out every place that we go. You do not see that in America. Most parents probably think it is not safe for kids to be out on the streets like that. I love how everyone here is so friendly.I thought it was awesome that Hannah brought out her phone and played a song for the kids to dance to. I grabbed a little girl’s hand and we were sort of dancing. After the music was done, she was just hanging onto my hand. She was so sweet.  I sort of felt like a wedding crasher, but enjoyed hearing all of the noise from the two weddings and everyone dressed up and decorated cars. The coffee was really good, and I did not know that coffee beans were white. When we went to take photos of Mount Kilimanjaro, it did not seem as big or tall as I expected it to be, but it was funny that there was snow on the tip. The lunch was good both times. I liked the soups. The blacksmith’s place was pretty cool, and the banana beer was interesting, but I did not like it too much because I do not like beer. I also enjoyed seeing the cave or tunnel. I have been to a cave in Germany, but it was much, much larger. Overall, I had a great trip, and I think the next group should go here as well. The guides and drivers were are super nice. It was also amazing to hear that the man who was a guide and was buried lived to be 126 years old. I think that is what I heard. Either way, I hope I am blessed to live that long.035


First Day of School

My first day of school did not have that much going on because we were new to the school and we were getting settled. We sat in the teacher’s lounge type place for about an hour and a half. I got to see all of the classrooms. They have rooms from 1 years old to 7th graders. Most kids are to speak in English. I helped out with the three and four year olds the first day, and they were so sweet. They were working on counting and matching the number they count with the actual written letter. Some students still had trouble holding their pencil. Others had no problem doing the task.

I got assigned a 5th grade class. I thought that this would be a good idea since I taught 5th grade when I teacher assisted this past semester. I looked at the math book, and I noticed that they are not as far along as we are in math during this year, but the content is very similar. When the teacher comes into the room, the students stand up and sings to the teacher. When the students are called on, they stand up and answer the question. They are more respectable in Tanzania as well. There are many differences between the schools I am used to in America compared to the school here.

I have not had to walk to school since I was in elementary school. I think that it is neat that we are able to walk to the schools. Luckily, it has not been rainy when we were walking. The first day of school was very rainy. I had to whip out my rain poncho. When we were getting a tour of the school, it was raining pretty hard.

I think that teachers in the United States should take up Tea Time. I really enjoyed that on our first day. We had a break and had some bread with butter with some yummy tea. The only thing I did not like about lunch is that it is only twenty minutes long, and there is not enough time to go and grab lunch from the secondary school.067


First Impression of Tanzania

       My first impression of Tanzania was being a little frustrated with the rain because we have got so much rain in Michigan! I love how it is so green here, and a lot of people are friendly. In the markets, or on the street, people are constantly trying to get you to buy things, and it is really hard to say no. Maybe I am too nice about it and should be more rude. My first real impression of Tanzania is that it is nice and welcoming place.      I really enjoy Arusha and The Outpost Lodge. I did not expect the rooms to look as they did. They are really cute, and I like how big the shower is. The beds are quite comfortable, and breakfast every morning is delicious. Dinner is also tasty and it was sweet to see an acrobatic performance. Those men really have some talent. I think that I have a great first impression of Tanzania because I will always remember it. 

     It is hard to get used to seeing drivers on the right hand side of vehicles and cars driving on the left side of the road because it is so opposite for me. I really want to take this experience in, and get everything I can out of it. A highlight of my trip so far excluding the school has to be going to the orphanage and seeing the monkey in the tree at breakfast. The plants are beautiful and the banana trees are so neat! I feel like I am in a jungle. Anyone who likes the outdoors and nature would like it here, and I am one of those people. 

     I recommend that anyone who is interested in taking this trip definitely should because it is a great experience. It is an interesting way to take your capstone, and you meet a lot of really neat people. I love it here so far, and I am sure I will continue to love it. I like that  I can walk many places because at home, I cannot walk where I would want to.022


Preparing For Travel

I am truly ecstatic to be able to travel to Tanzania. It has always been my dream to go to every continent, and I have always really wanted to go to Africa. I love animals, and I have always wanted to go on a Safari, so that was a plus on this trip. I love math, I love children, and I love to teach, so I know I will love this trip. I cannot believe that the time of departure is coming up. I have been preparing in multiple ways. Of course I have to get all the shots, medication, and supplies. I am also learning Swahili, doing research, teaching others, and being creative with skirt making.

Since I am teacher assisting this semester, I have taught my students Swahili in the morning. I figured the best way for me to learn it, was to teach it to my students. Every morning I am there, which is Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we do Swahili. On Wednesday and Thursday, I write words or phrases on the board in Swahili. The students write the words down, and I have them pronounce it for me, and then I have them guess the meaning. I sometimes give them hints, and if they do not get it, I tell them the English word, and write it on the board. On Friday, we put up the lyrics video for Jambo, Jambo Bwana and sing it together. I even added some hand motions for some of the lines. They love it, and some students stand up and dance in the back. All of the students I see throughout the day know that I am going to Africa. They always ask me so many questions, and I love it. I even have many students, and two of my cousins, that are going to write letters to my future students in Tanzania.

My grandma sews, and  I am going to see her over Easter break. We are going to go get some fabric, and she is going to make me skirts for when I go to Tanzania. Many members of my family and my friends, and my cooperating teacher, want to skype with me while I am in Tanzania as well. I am just so excited to go, and I just want to be in the culture, and see as much as I can. I want to get to know the students, and I am going to put together a photo album for them to look at. I know they do not really know what snow is, and kids are always curious.