| September 13, 2017 |
– From August 16, 2017 in Tanzania, Africa –
Morning breakfast continues to fuel my body, but every day I’ve been counting on chai time at Step-by-Step Learning Centre for re-fuel. During the morning sessions with Step-by-Step students, our group takes a break for about 30 minutes to enjoy tea (chai), coffee, bananas, and bread & butter. The expected 4 slices of bread with butter and 2 bananas is even, at times, too much to handle. But, it’s “quality over quantity” for the food, as teacher Francis says. The students at SSLC embrace this time, free from judgment. Some of them have challenges at meal times, with immature chewing/swallowing patterns, drooling, and difficulty using utensils. At home, they’re sometimes reprimanded for not eating correctly, and therefore don’t eat as much due to embarrassment. At SSLC, they’re given assistance, but no judgment!
Today was filled with local grub, scrubs, and a stunning reveal of Mt. Meru! Read on for more…
| August 28, 2017 |
– From August 15, 2017 in Tanzania, Africa –
Mack’s SnoreBlocker earplugs are my saving grace. I only woke up once last night to dogs fighting around 2:30am, and then again around 5am to the rooster crowing. Yet, we all found our ways to breakfast, successfully greeting “habari asubuhi” to the cooking staff.
We were ready to depart at a (not so sharp) 8am to head to our service project placements for the day. Gabriel arrived on time, we filled our water bottles, and headed to first drop one group at Shanga, then continue on to Step-by-Step. At the end of the service day, we’d drive from SSLC to pick everyone up at Shanga, and return to our accommodations at L’Oasis.
Our days at SSLC are split into two sections: morning sessions with the students from ~9:00am to 12:00pm, followed by lunch, and afternoon sessions with SSLC staff until ~3:30pm. There’s much to do in a short time here in Tanzania. After realizing the potential of SSLC (Step-by-Step Learning Centre), and discussing future goals, there’s definitely some groundwork that needs to be laid this year. The past two trips of PT students (April 2016 and April 2017) didn’t have a system of official documentation, so this time we decided to be more official on the projects. This way, we can have a more sustainable outreach program, and each group can build on what the previous had contributed.
| August 23, 2017 |
– From August 14, 2017 in Tanzania, Africa –
Our “good night’s rest” didn’t come so peacefully last night. Turns out, the dogs start fighting at 10PM, and continue until 4AM, when there’s a slow transition from dogs barking to roosters crowing. I think the roosters are confused, because I’m certain the sun doesn’t rise at 4AM. I declared my mission to find my snore blocker earplugs for tonight!
We stumbled into the breakfast buffet around 8:40, and were relieved to find out orientation wouldn’t start promptly at 9AM as planned. When Tyler and Adrian arrived from Edutours, the three of us went over the slide presentation for the student group to give Tanzania’s cultural context. We discussed culture shock, appropriate attire, and the general itinerary. Afterwards, we headed to visit the two centers we’d be volunteering at as a group…
| August 13, 2017 |
I can’t really do much complaining about my travels to Tanzania. There was something comforting about solo travel to a familiar place. Despite the multiple delays from New York to Boston, and Boston to Amsterdam, my journey was still relatively stress-free.
Now contrast this to the 13-hour layover in Ethiopia, and difficulty getting through customs the Stony Brook Student group endured, and I’m CERTAIN I have nothing to complain about…
| August 12, 2017 |
Through the divine combination of manifestation and hard work/determination, I have landed myself back in Tanzania! In April 2016, I promised I’d return to the place that shaped my professional career and broadened my horizons, inspiring me in ways I am still discovering. And… here I am, back in Arusha!
There’s many exciting ways in which the 2016 vs. 2017 trip is different. This year, I will be in Tanzania for ONE MONTH rather than two weeks. I also played a more integral role in organizing this year’s trip, and am being joined by a group of students from my alma mater, Stony Brook University.
Read on to hear more about this year’s EXCITING itinerary! I’m beyond stoked and grateful…
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