The days are ticking down until it’s time to climb aboard that flight in Detroit Metro that begins me on my adventures in Tanzania. I know that I’m very excited, but other than this, I’m not totally sure how to feel. It’s a strange mixture of emotions. I’m excited for all the adventures I’m going to have, nervous about how I’m going to perform, and anxious to be away from the world as I understand it and to be exposed to a way of life that is different than my own. Excited is definitely my dominant emotion though, and my excitement is only growing as our departure grows nearer. My friends who have gone in the past have been getting me more and more pumped up to be going because of the tales they tell me and the glimmer they get in their eyes when they talk about their experiences.
The idea of heading to another country with such a different standard of living than I’m used to and teaching students that do not share a common native tongue with me is overwhelming. It gets my mind racing with questions: Will I say something that accidentally offends them? Will I be able to communicate effectively enough to actually teach them? How am I going to adjust to living without the amenities that I’m so used to in life? The questions are endless, but so is the excitement. I know that the growth I am going to experience as a result of this trip is going to be immense, and I can’t wait to leave.
I’ve been trying to prepare for the trip, but every time I think about packing, I don’t even know where to begin! I guess getting my prescriptions was probably a good start; however, that isn’t going to help me with the rest of my preparations. I think the thing that really gets me is I don’t want to pack more than I have to since space is limited, but I don’t want to pack less than I need and run out while I’m there because it isn’t likely that I’ll be able to get whatever it is that I need. I’m sure a last second packing cram will be in order closer to departure day.
Amid all of the things that I have to deal with before I leave and all of my anxieties, I know that this is going to be a fantastic trip, and I can’t wait to get on the plane!