1) Journal. Even after a long, exhausting day at school. Write down everything or you are likely to forget the little things you most want to remember. It doesn’t have to be eloquent or neat or even grammatically correct. A list will do just fine.
2) Go with the flow. There will be times when plans don’t work out quite the way they were supposed to. These changes can lead to some of the most spectacular experiences. Kicking around a flat football (soccer ball for all you Americans) with strangers who become makaka (brothers), swimming underneath a waterfall with some of the coolest wazungu (white people) around, and enjoying the best barbecue in Arusha with one crazy safari driver.
3) Be still. As Americans, we always feel the need to be doing something. We play with our phones, check Facebook, or even get ahead in our work for the week. It’s ok to sit back and just…sit. You’ll be amazed at the sights, sounds, and smells that are going on all around you when you’re not so busy unintentionally drowning them out.
4) Don’t panic. Even when your back breaks out in some of the nastiest welts you’ve ever seen and it feels like if you don’t itch them you will die, don’t panic. Tell Mama Lisa, pop some Benadryl, and lie on the cool tile floor. If that doesn’t work, drive to the nearest hospital and pay a grand total of 14000 Tanzanian shillings (approximately $9) to open a file, see the doctor, and pick up your prescribed medication. Don’t panic and be thankful because it could have been worse.