My first few days in Arusha!

I couldn’t fall asleep last night because of the rainstorm so I decided to blog instead! 🙂 We arrived in Arusha late Saturday night after a long 24 hours of traveling. It feels so amazing to finally be here. When we finally arrived at the Outpost Lodge on Saturday night we just explored and hung out in the Mambo Cafe.

Sunday was our relaxing day! Sleeping in, unpacking, and enjoying some Tanzanian fruit is how we spent our morning. During the afternoon we split up and walked into town with our tour guides. It was awesome to finally see the city in the daylight! Along our walk we learned a little bit more about the city and lots more Swahili. A couple of my favorite sayings from that walk are, “Poa, kacheese comma dizze dara freezee” and “amna shida”. The first one means “chillin in the banana in the freezer”, which you would say after someone says “mambo” (what’s up) and the second one means “no worries”. Once we reached town we got to go to a couple different shops to buy conga. Our professor has arranges a lady to come to the Outpost and use our fabric to make us pretty much anything we want. Some people get pants, skirts, purses, or even headbands. Going to the shop was definitely interesting because it was our first time speaking with someone that only knew Swahili and also our first time using their currency. Everyone in Arusha is so friendly! We had several locals come up to our group and just start talking to us. As the days go on I fall more and more in love with this place!

Yesterday was our first day of school! My morning started off to a little bit of a rough start because I forgot to actually turn my alarm on so I woke up late. Thank goodness for my roommate! The four other girls and I who are assigned to Jaffries School get picked up each morning at 7:15. Getting to school for the first day was definitely an adventure. Monday mornings around town are chaotic and very congested with everyone trying to get to school and work. Once we made it to school we met with our head master and received a tour of the school. Jaffries has a primary school, secondary school, nursery, and also a special education school. Two other girls and I were placed in upper primary, which means grades 3-6. Throughout the tour we were introduced to every class we could potentially be teaching for the next month. Each time a teacher enter any classroom the students all rise and engage in the following:

Teacher: “Good morning students”

Students (all in unison): “Good morning teacher”

Teacher: “How are you today?”

Students (all in unison): “We are fine and how are you?”

Teacher: “I am fine. You may sit”

At the end of the tour I ended up choosing to teach third grade math and science! The majority of yesterday was spent observing the teachers and just getting a feel for things. Today I began actually teaching without the teacher in there. Schools around Arusha all have something called “tea time”. This is where all the teachers come together for about a twenty minute break in the morning to drink tea and eat bread. I am so excited to actually be teaching in the class. I can already tell that my students are going to end up teaching me way more that I will teach them. I already have learned so much from my experience and I am so excited to see what the rest of my trip has in store!

Today was our second day of teaching and it went phenomenal! I taught a lesson to both the third grade classes about jar estimations and it went pretty well for my first day on my own. Their original teacher wasn’t even in the room so it was kind of weird at first having control of his class, but it ended up being so much fun! I used visuals and got the students super involved. My students are so adorable and are so eager to learn. Although there are some behavioral issues it has already been such a great experience. After lunch at school we got some free time to do some more exploring around the school which was awesome! All of the students come up to us and immediately say, “Teacher. What is your name?” and they definitely remember it. I had several students come up to me today who I had met yesterday and say, “Miss Alex. Miss Alex!”. It has been great getting to know the students already! I have a couple review lessons to plan tonight, but other than that I am just coming up with different interactive activities as well as different behavior management techniques to use.

Kwa Heri!

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