First Impressions

First Impressions 5/8

I’ve only been here for a week but it feels like so much longer. Arusha is amazing and beautiful and I am so happy that I’m here. It’s a lot better than I expected. I don’t really mind not having internet or power and I enjoy walking home from school among the many many other differences. It is a lot to adjust to, but I am definitely loving it.

The food is amazing! Breakfast and lunch at the outpost is mostly American-ish food with an African flare. At school we have tea and lunch every day which is most often rice and beans. All of it is really good- I don’t think that I have found something that I don’t like. It rains every day and everything always feels damp which took some getting used to. The power goes out sometimes, but I hardly even notice it. Being in town was at first intimidating, but after a few days it isn’t as bad. I was surprised at how crazy the traffic here is! The worst part is when people try to sell you stuff. We walk the same route every day and so I think that by now they know that we aren’t going to buy anything and they pretty much leave us alone.

My school, teachers, and students are all extremely nice and welcoming. It is a very small school with only one class per grade level, but with many teachers. Most classes have around 20-25 students. I teach 6th grade English every day. The rest of the time I teach random classes that need the extra help. Although I do not get to teach as much as I had hoped, it is still very rewarding to teach when I can. I have learned that I am much better at thinking on my feet than I had thought before. Many times I am left with a class with little to no instruction on what I should be teaching and so I must come up with something quickly. The lessons I have planned have gone very well but have also been very challenging. The students are not accustomed to thinking critically, participating, or contributing to a class period and so many times interactive lessons can be a struggle. I am learning how to work with this and how to build my lessons around it.

We leave in the morning for safari! I am so excited! I am loving every minute here.

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