I have learned so very much from this trip in more ways than one. For starters, I have learned so much about myself as an individual. Before coming on this trip, I was a very organized person with everything. I love to plan everything out and know how things are going to run with a plan A, B, and C. I was a very on time person. For example, if I was at GVSU and I had class at 3pm; I feel that I can NOT show up any later than 2:30pm. After being in Tanzania, I have learned how to relax and just go with the flow, especially when it came to teaching. I had situations to deal with situations where my teacher never showed up to class or she would come to class hours late and her. What was I suppose to do? I couldn’t just let my students sit in class bored all day. I had no access to any of the books because she always kept her desk locked and none of the students had a copy of the book. So I had to just go with the flow and make up an entire new lesson of questions and activities on the spot to teach the students.
The next big thing that I can say I have learned from this trip is learning how to be open and get to know people. Everyone here is so kind and all they want to do is talk with you and get to know you …and maybe sell you something or get your phone number. overall they are just really nice people. When we first went into town and I didn’t feel okay with people following me around and talking to me. But after a while you realize that they don’t want anything from you beside a conversations. We have so many friends here just on the street that we have met from walking to school everyday. Opening up to people and not being afraid to say hi to the person sitting on the corner cooking corn, was a great way way for me to learn how to communicate with others.
A final lesson that I have learned from this experience is to believe in myself. Before the trip I thought I would be perfectly fine coming to another country and leaving my family in the US. However, I learned on the very first day that I didn’t really like being away from home. After a good week of adjusting to being here, I finally began to relax and believe in myself and understand that I am okay on my on. It hard not to have the ones you love the most around you or at least close by but I made it through it with God’s protection.
I have truly grown as an individual and I don’t think that my life will ever be the same.
Thank you Tanzania for this outstanding experience. 🙂