July 13, 2012
I’ve already been in Tanzania for six days which is so hard to believe. I already feel so far away from my usual western world. When I arrived last Sunday evening the Kilimanjaro airport was crowded with people arriving to climb the mountain or others ready to go out on safari. I felt like an anomaly in the crowd, more visitor than tourist. Abu picked me up and we headed down the highway for the forty five minute drive to Arusha. With the window rolled down I was able to breathe in the unique East African air and feel like I was finally back. It’s so hard to explain how it feels to breathe in deeply and think in your mind “ahhh.”
My first two days were spent reacquainting myself with the city, the language and my general surroundings. I spent time with Shannon, my co-leader, and Nahla, her daughter, as we waited for the remaining members of our team. Once they arrived we began the process of orientating them to a new country, new project and for three of them, Education Beyond Borders. As we continued our orientation Noble joined us.
Our first journey out into the country and the village we would be working in was on Thursday as we ventured out to Leguruki which is one and half hours from Arusha. Forty five minutes of the drive is on the highway and the other forty five is spent on winding, bumpy, challenging roads. We made it to the village to meet with Mr. Urio, the Ward District Education Officer and Mr. Mussa, the Cluster Education Officer, at noon. We met over chai and chapatti at a local café before driving to Shiston Secondary School for a principal’s meeting.
Our meeting was with principal’s or their designates of the five secondary schools in the school ward. Noble discussed the Education Beyond Borders model and led the group through a variety of discussions about their schools, their roles and how Education Beyond Borders could be part of their ward. We also introduced and discussed the plan for the next two weeks of teacher workshops and school visits. It was an extremely positive meeting and set the stage for the upcoming weeks.
This evening as I write this blog post I’m feeling like the first days have been productive. I’m also blessed to be in one of the best places I can be with a wonderful group of people.
Add a Comment