I think the biggest last impression that I have is that I absolutely love working with students every day! No matter what kind of mood you were in once you walked into the classroom nothing else mattered. The students in Tanzania love to learn and were always ready to soak up as much knowledge that they could. Multiple times they wanted to keep going on with class during tea-time where they could go out and have a break. I will always remember that the students are amazing and how hard working they are. They truly value their education and take on all of the responsibility for their learning.
Another lasting impression is that the people that I have met in Tanzania are unforgettable. Between the warm welcome we get at school each morning, the students running up and hugging you, to the people who say, “Jambo” as we walk around town, the guy who tries to sell us a painting every single day on our walk home from school, and especially the safari drivers. They are probably the nicest people that I have ever met. They are so much fun to be around and they genuinely care about how you are doing and that you are having a good time. I remember when we were at Mama Anna’s and Abdule came over to me and asked me if I was ok because I had been quiet that morning, it was so nice that he was concerned about everyone having a good time. These guys go above and beyond their job requirements for us. Another person who really stood out to me was a guy named Barack who doesn’t even try and sell us stuff but who walks us to the Maasai market and makes sure that the people there are giving us a fair price, giving back correct change and making sure that we know where our friends are at all times. It is amazing to me that he would do this, why does he “waste” his time helping us? It is the true kindness from the people of Tanzania who have made this trip one that will never be forgotten and a lasting impression of the kindness of the people of Tanzania.
A third lasting impression is that we will never know the full culture of Tanzania with out living here for an extended period of time. We were emerged into the culture but we were still kind of in our own little bubble coming back every night to the outpost where we were all together. One important thing to remember is that it is not our responsibly to judge the way of life here in Tanzania. It is our job to learn about it and respect their decisions about their ways of life. When thinking back on our time here in Tanzania this will always be in the back of my mind that it is important to take on a non-judgmental view in almost every aspect of life.
This has been a great experience and I have learned so much about Tanzania, the people, the education system and a way of life that is so different than America. Everything about this trip will be unforgettable.