Saturday, February 12, 2011

Repeat Volunteer Reflects on Time in Tanzania!

Tanzania Voluteer Pam recently wrote a wonderful story about her Ipalamwa service program experience for her company newsletter. In the coming weeks, we will share this reflection with you in all its glory (lots of lovely photos and everything!) but for the time being, we thought we would give you a sneak peek!!

Thank you for taking the time to share you story, Pam!!


My Third Annual 3-week Volunteer Vacation with Global Volunteers

Each year of volunteering with Global Volunteers in Ipalamwa, Tanzania is a new adventure and safari (is Kiswahili for journey). It’s not just the physical journey of getting and being there, it’s more of a mental and spiritual journey; learning more about the Tanzanian people, resources, politics and culture, as well as learning more about myself. This year led to the adventurous idea of retiring on my own mountain in the Iringa Region of Tanzania running a kindergarten and orphanage, which is an ongoing email discussion with my rafiki (friend) and Global Volunteers Country Leader, Edward. This year’s safari is best described in the following topics and photos.

Ipalamwa Secondary School Form 4 Graduation

Our host for the 3-week volunteer project is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) Iringa Deices, who has had a partnership with Global Volunteers for over 25 years and who owns and manages 7 Secondary Boarding Schools along with thousands of church congregations in the Iringa Region of Tanzania. I visit the Ipalamwa Village and ELCT Ipalamwa Secondary School, which has only 4 Forms or grades instead of their traditional 6. Here’s a little background - Tanzania secondary school consists of Forms 1-6 with official government exams held at Form 2, 4, and 6 and based on the exam scores the government determines whether a student continues to the next Form and what schools they can attend. Thus, the students at Ipalamwa Secondary School graduate at Form 4 and then wait at home from October thru January to be told if they will go on to Form 5 and whether they can go to a Government School or a Private School, such as the other ELCT Iringa Deices school in Pommern.

This year I had the honor and privilege to attend the Ipalamwa Secondary School Form 4 Graduation. It meant the world to me and to a number of the students whom I taught and befriended the previous 2 years.