Lasting Impressions

Joy. There’s something to be said for the overall atmosphere in Tanzania. Everyone is friendly and welcoming, happy and relaxed. It makes me wonder if we take things too seriously sometimes at home. I think this experience will be a reminder to stop worrying about the little things, because that’s all they are, little things. This trip will also serve as a reminder to find joy in everyday situations and to go with the flow. The students in class were so happy everyday, and just a sticker could make them excited. Their smiles were so bright and their laughter so often, it would make anyone crack a smile themselves. I also think of the joy people have when in the company of others. Whether it’s at school or in the dala-dala, people are happy to talk to one another. People are happy to share with friends and family. This is something I would like to start appreciating more back at home.

Take risks. If you mess up, no big deal! Sometimes it’s nice to do something and not know what is going to happen as a result of that. This trip has shown me that it’s really okay to step out of my comfort zone and just see what happens. So far, nothing terrible has happened by doing so, and I doubt it ever will. From climbing a mountain to trying something different in the classroom, I will always remember the excitement and reward of taking risks.

Hamna shida. Last, but certainly not least, the hamna shida attitude will be coming home with me. Everything always seems to work out in the end, so what’s the point of getting upset or making a big deal? A problem only becomes a problem when you make it one. I want to remember to relax and enjoy life’s situations. Life will be less stressful when keeping this in mind.

I will miss the friendships we formed here, the students we had for such a short time, and the teachers that were so welcoming to us. I will miss laughing crazily about a bumpy car ride and meeting friends on the streets. Tanzania has been such a great experience, and very eye-opening to how lucky we are back home. While leaving is bittersweet, I know Africa will hold a very special place in my heart for the rest of my life.

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