Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Consider Tanzania this Summer

If you're still deciding what service program may be right for you this summer, please consider Tanzania! Below you will find a journal entry from a Summer 2010 volunteer describing the Orientation and settling in process at the front end of a volunteer service program with Global Volunteers. Read on and get inspired for a summer of service!!

After enjoying our first breakfast prepared by Mama Toni we gathered around the table for our first meeting, which included each volunteer to share three goals in which they would like to achieve over the next few weeks. We then started a tour around town. We were first introduced to Dr. Godlove and Pommern’s clinic. Here he discussed various ailments the community faces and some forms of medical care the clinic provides.

Next, we had chai and donuts while we were introduced to the teachers of the secondary school, followed by meeting with Shadruck who briefed us on the history and functionality of the school. We then proceeded on a tour of the school to include the library, cafeteria, and the beginning of a kitchen in which will be assisting to construct over the course of our stay. It was neat to see paintings, buildings, and other markings as indications of previous volunteer’s work.

As we walked along the narrow paths strung out through the village, we passed by different members of the community of various ages. Some of the younger children shouted “wazungu” and giggled as we strolled by. Recently being in 110 degree weather in the desert, and now walking around outside with a slight breeze, cool weather, and beautiful view of rolling hills, all sorts of trees big and small, flowers and other vegetation has been a thrilling experience.

After lunch, Professor Mohammed instructed us on the basics of Swahili. After our hour of lessons, Mohammed showed us around the other parts of the community in which we have yet to see. During our walk we saw the different churches, the town pub, and met the village executive officer, Mbilinyi.

Upon returning back to the mission house, the three of us threw a frisbee to each other. We were soon joined by a young member of the community (the second headmaster’s son). At one point this child kept on repeating a word which baffled the three of us. With the help of Mama Toni, we learned that he had been saying “pencil”.

After dinner, we played Hearts, which I think is going to become a tradition for the duration of our stay. By now we definitely have gained some insight into this new culture and community. The people I have met so far have all been warm-hearted and when they say “karibu” I truly do feel welcomed.

Thought for the day: “If you aren’t living life on the edge, you are taking up too much space” ~ Unknown