What I Have Learned So Far

It is hard to really depict exactly what I am benefitting from this trip while I am still living it. I think when once I return home, I will begin to see all that this trip has done for me and to me as a person and a future educator. However, adjusting to the lack of structure in the schools has taught me much already. It is extremely strange to me, and completely unacceptable coming from what I am used to, that teachers often leave students alone for the majority of the class period or do not bother to show up at all. Also, some of the teachers are hard to communicate with and things are not carried through when they are promised. These are all examples of things I have learned to simply deal with and say “hamna shida” (no problem) to. This has helped me to know that I am capable of working with difficult staff members, schedules I do not agree with, and an environment with which I am completely foreign to. I have learned to respect the people and environment I am placed in, despite their differences, and to do the best that I can with what resources I am given. Although the structure of the school and the way faculty run the system is very different, I have learned that children on opposite sides of the world are just the same, children are children. They still talk to their friends during class, they still are reluctant to volunteer and be wrong, they still like to play in the dirt and climb trees, there are still those particular students who misbehave and don’t want to pay attention, while others are attentive and achievers. They are all precious gifts of God that are hungry for love, attention, and education.
I have learned to not only appreciate, but value the cultures of others different from me, and to do my best to learn from them. I have learned to love the people of Tanzania, and other cultures as well, not only for the kind and beautiful people that they are, but simply because they are people, just doing their best to survive in this crazy world just like you and me. Not only have I learned to cooperate well with fellow teachers at the workplace (aka school), but from working with fellow students, I have learned to cooperate with all people in all situations which require, or could require, cooperation.
I know I have learned so much and gained so much more, but like I said, I’m sure it will hit me as soon as I walk off the plane. All I know now is that God brought me on this trip for a purpose, and whether or not I see his intentions, I will never regret nor forget it.

About rachelwehner

Hello! My name is Rachel and I just finished my third year of college. I am a senior at Grand Valley State University and I am majoring in Elementary Education and Mathematics. In the fall of 2013 I took a leap of faith and decided to apply to a study abroad program to go and teach at a school in Tanzania, Africa. Next thing you know, I am packing my bags, ready to fly halfway around the world. Follow me along on this blog to hear of my experiences and adventures I encounter along the way of this incredible and once-in-a-lifetime journey!
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