I am rich because of the experiences and people I encounter on my life’s journey. I am enlivened by the endless possibilities of travel and adventure – humbled by the vastness of the world. I believe travel and adventure can be found locally, and afar.
| September 15, 2017 |
– From August 17, 2017 in Tanzania, Africa –
Time is moving quickly, and I’m trying to capture every moment with the students and teachers at SSLC. Though we’ve already made an impact with a great deal of knowledge exchanged, the potential is immense. To me, it seems as though we’re looking at a mountain—we have so much to climb, so much to gain, as a united team. Yet, we have to take it “step-by-step,” and embrace the process of growth. We’re learning how important it is to stay focused in the present, while keeping our eyes on bigger dreams. Life lessons in Tanzania. I haven’t had time to process all we’ve done so far, but my exhaustion at the end of each day is telling me I’m giving my all to teaching and learning…
Every morning, we stop in town to pick Bryson up with his brother, Simon. They’re driven on motorcycle to meet our SSLC van. We then drive past a shopping center where Rashid and Imran jump into the car (they walked from their home to meet us). Other children get picked up in a second round, or get rides from family members. This morning, Bryson was later than expected, but there was no blip in our day! Once he joined us for a ride, he made Meaghan beyond happy by saying her name in the car! When we pulled up to school, Nasra greeted us by sprinting to the car, her face relieved by our presence. Our tardiness had her worried! Despite our tardiness, our day started with a brief circle time of songs and greetings before diving into today’s work.
| 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…
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