What I Have Learned So Far…

I have learned so much since arriving here in Tanzania about 3 weeks ago. It has been an eye opening experience each and every day. There is never a dull moment and I never know what to expect when I get out of bed in the morning. Every day is an adventure, filled with something new. Here are just a few of the things that I have learned so far:

  1. Jambo (Hello) and Mambo (What’s up?) sound very similar so don’t be offended when you say hello to someone and they respond with cool!
  2. Carbs are a staple item of every meal.
  3. It is important to look both ways and then look both ways again and look both ways one more time before crossing any street.
  4. When someone says “I made it myself” chances are they did not make it themselves, especially when the next person you see says the same thing about the exact same item.
  5. After not having American food for 3 weeks, it is amazing how excited we get when we have pizza and French fries for dinner.
  6. You should not pet dogs on the street; it only leads to bad things.
  7. Hakuna Matata really is a wonderful phrase.
  8. I can barter and actually say no when it is too much.
  9. Those who I thought were crazy drivers back home have nothing on the people here.
  10. A toilet is never what you envision it to be, it is typically just a fancy hole in the ground.
  11. That even 6th graders love stickers.
  12. My hair can be used as a toy that will entertain a group of 10 students all at one time.
  13. Chalk gets EVERYWHERE.
  14. You can make any lesson, even how to fill out forms, fun.
  15. It is very difficult to teach why things are the way they are in English; sometimes you just have to say “that’s just the way it is.”
  16. That I am very comfortable in the classroom, even in front of 50 students.
  17. I value the relationships that I build with my students and it will be VERY hard to leave!
  18. Even when you are having a horrible day and the lesson isn’t going as planned, the students still think you are the best teacher ever.
  19. I have gained more from the students, teachers, and people in Tanzania than they have gained from me.
  20. I am very fortunate.

I have learned so much about myself and the world around me these past few weeks here. I am excited to see what lessons still lie ahead in our last week here.

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