It’s crazy to think that our month here in Tanzania is up. I had my last day of school today and said my good-byes to the students and staff. I’m really going to miss them. And in just a few hours we’ll be heading to the airport. Being here has been such an incredible experience and I am so thankful that I got this once in a life time chance. The people and students here have taught me so much.
I’ve learned to be patient and flexible. Things do not always happen when they are scheduled to happen. Back home I like knowing what I’m doing all the time and being on time. But that’s not always the case. In Arusha, people take their time. You’ll get to where you need to be but maybe a little later than expected and maybe you have to wait on someone but it’s ok. They don’t stress out about the time like how I feel back home. It’s Hamna Shida! No worries! I’ll get to where I need to be and what I need to be doing. It’s nice to not always be in a rush. Along with this, I’ve learned to be flexible. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, not just in reference to the time. It may rain as you climb up a mountain or you might not know what classes you’re teaching until the day of. You learn to adapt to the situation and make the best of it. I’ve learned to think on my feet and always try to keep a positive attitude when things don’t go the way I thought.
I’ve learned how friendly the people of Tanzania are. As you walk down the street and into town, the people you pass won’t ignore you. They say hello, ask how you’re doing, wave and smile at you. Some will even take the time to get to know you. Maybe you have some where to go, but again, it’s about taking your time. They want to know where you’re from and why you have come here and ask you how you like it here. People also are so willing to answer your questions as well and tell you about their lives, families, jobs, and home. At school after warming up to us, the teachers and I would have so many conversations together comparing the schools and talking about ourselves. They made me feel welcomed and were always so friendly asking about my day and the classes I was teaching and what I was doing on the weekends when not in school. And the students are the same. They were so sad to see us leave and all hugged us good-bye and made certain we knew how missed we would be there.
I’ve learned to be confident in myself. Coming here, I was nervous about teaching since it would be my first experience having control of a classroom. I felt like I wouldn’t know what to do or how to teach my students. Being in a classroom here, I’ve gained confidence in myself and my teaching. I am able to stand in front of my students and teach them. And I love teaching. It was wonderful answering their questions, revising how I taught, showing multiple methods, and different ways to learn. I’ll miss teaching my students here so much and I’m looking forward to when I get to teacher assist and student teach.
I would write more because there’s so much I have taken away from my experience here but I think this post would get too long. I’m excited to get to go home and see my family and friends again but I’ll miss it here. Tanzania has taught me so much and I will never forget.