Everyone I told about this trip told me that it was going to be life changing and I guess I did not really believe them. And let’s just say I cannot believe how wrong I was. While there are a number of things about me that remain the same like I’m still socially awkward and cannot hold a conversation to save my life. But there so many things that have changed.
First, my ability to be flexible. I am a person who lives for organization, I plan my days in advance and I like routine. Coming to Africa has showed me that there are times in life when you just cannot have a plan and that is ok. There are countless days where I went to school with not a clue what I was going to be teaching and the more I did it the better I got at it. While I know that a teacher should always be prepared I think that I could manage to go into any classroom, be told a topic to teach, and just go with it. This is something that I think will be very helpful when it comes to my teacher assisting and student teaching.
Second, my perception of what happiness is and means. The people here in Tanzania are always happy and they never complain. In the U.S. people are constantly trying to buy the best things and look the best, but here in Tanzania the people have very little and yet they never complain. I guess I never thought that happiness came from things but I assumed that I would not be genuinely happy until I was financially stable. I have been show that this is far from true, it all about living with what you can.
Finally, I have learned that we really do never stop learning. Lisa has been going on this trip for many years now and has been to Tanzania more times that I even know and yet she continues to learn and experience new things when she is here. I hope that I can take this outlook back home so I can learn from those around me. I think that this trip has changed me so much that I will being learning new things from people I have known all my life.