My trip to Tanzania with Grand Valley is something that is engrained with me for the rest of my life. The children in Tanzania are so excited to learn, are respectful and have so much love to give. Never did I feel unwelcome in any classroom, group of people, shop or hotel. I simply cannot say enough good things about Tanzania and the people that make it. Lasting impressions of Tanzania are something that I’m really struggling to put into words. How do I put something into words that has captured my heart and kept enough pieces to make coming home not as enjoyable as it should be?
I think one of the biggest things for me is the amount of gratitude and genuine happiness these people have when they have so much less than we do here in America. This has truly led me to reflect on the type of life we live in America and helped me realize and appreciate all the things we often take for granted. I am going to appreciate all the things I have in my life that make it easier, more comfortable and enjoyable to live each day. I am going to complain less and smile more. There is absolutely no reason we shouldn’t find something good about each day.
As a teacher, I am so much more prepared to deal with anything that might come my way. I can handle a classroom full of kids, make subtraction the coolest thing of the day, form truly meaningful relationships with children of all ages, learn from teachers and students every single day and turn tears into smiles. I think that one of my purposes in life is to be a teacher and I have never been more confident or sure that this true after experiencing Tanzania. Teachers may be the only person to love a child unconditionally, show them that they are important and matter, teach them how to be a good friend and respect others. I felt the impact I was making on my students each day, and that is an amazingly powerful feeling that I can’t wait to experience more.
As a person, I am so much more dedicated to loving and truly living life. I see no reason why I should go through life dwelling on things lost in my past. The things that may not have gone as I wanted or imagined them going differently are things that have molded me into the person I am meant to be. I have so many things to be thankful for. I have so much yet to do and see and be. I can do whatever I put my mind to and give it my all each time. I am a better version of myself because of this trip, and I still desire to be so much better. I have a lot of growing to do still, but I’m confident in the person I am. I’m looking forward to my next adventure because there are so many more to go.