After about 18 hours of traveling, we finally arrived at the Outpost late Saturday night. It was dark out so I couldn’t really see anything. I went to my room and was happily surprised at how nice it was. The room wasn’t extremely fancy nor too run down. It was simple, clean, and just right. I climbed through the mosquito net, and went to bed wondering what outside would look like in the next day. When I stepped outside the next morning, my jaw dropped in awe. The Outpost looked so pretty covered in a variety of lush, green trees. The sun was out so I decided to walk around the Outpost and take pictures with a few other students. After that, I sat in the dining area with Shannon and we wrote in our journals.
Later that day, we all took a tour to downtown Arusha. We broke up into groups and were guided by men who work for Safari Makers. The first thing we did in town was exchange our dollars into shillings. The Tanzanian bills were very colorful with different important people and animals on them. After that, we walked to a little shop and bought fabric to make clothing, bags, headbands, etc. Downtown Arusha was a lot bigger and busier than I expected. I also wasn’t expecting that many cars and motorcycles to be on the streets. The local people were very nice. Almost all of them smiled and waved at us. Some locals even came up and started talking to and walking with us. Although it seemed a little strange at first, it was actually really cool talking to them. I realized that you learn quite a bit of Swahili talking to them. They seemed to really like teaching me different words and phrases.
Monday was the first day of school. I was so excited to see what the school looked like and to meet all the teachers and students. Donny, one of the men who works for Safari Makers, walked with Zach, Megan, and I to Assumption Primary School. When we got there, we found out we had to leave. The students were just coming back from break and a lot of them hadn’t paid their school fees. The head mistress, also known as sister, and the teachers had to take care of everything and were too busy for us. The next day, we came back to the school and were welcomed with open arms. We first talked to the academic advisor, Paul. We found out what subjects and grades we would be teaching the next month. I was given English and math for grades 3, 4, and 5. After that, Paul took us on a tour of the school. It wasn’t big or anything like schools in America, but it was very nice. There was one class for each grade (pre K- 7th), a library, a computer lab, bathrooms (holes in the ground), a teacher’s lounge, and an office. The kids were so cute in their grey uniforms. They attacked us with hugs. I could tell they were so happy for us to be there. I was nervous the teachers wouldn’t like us being there, but to my surprise, they seemed to enjoy having us there. They were all so funny, and we clicked with them right off the bat. After the tour, I taught 3rd and 4th grade English and 4th grade math. Even though I had nothing planned, I thought on my feet and taught the lessons. The kids were well behaved and so happy and cute!