The most difficult thing about being home is answering the question “How was your trip?” I can talk for hours about my trip yet still not have enough time or words to describe my experience. The real question people want answered is “what animals did you see?” I have come to the sad realization that as I have changed and evolved everyone else has remained the same. So I shorten my novels to small stories and recite my safari adventures with a few classroom experiences. I save my life changing experiences for the future book I will write.
Being in a Tanzanian classroom established my career choice, before Tanzania I had very little experience in a classroom which caused me to doubt my competence as a teacher. I had already changed majors numerous times due to my lack of confidence. The first few days were terrifying to me; I had no idea what I was doing and had no clue how I was going to manage my students. At some point I realized that the only thing I was afraid of was failing, failing as a teacher, student and daughter. I knew that if I continued with these negative connotations I would get no where, I decided that I was going to be the teacher I knew I was capable of being. Being afraid of what could possibly go wrong was absurd; it held me back so much already that I could no longer let it control my life.
During my car ride home, I had finally grasped the idea that I was not in Tanzania anymore. I cried all the way home, I was upset that I would no longer see my students and I would no longer feel the kindness of the people of Tanzania. Being in Tanzania I witnessed genuine kindness and love that I have never experienced any where else. People cared about one another; they took the time to greet you and seemed to have all the time in the world to get to know you. Here in America we have everything yet we lack a sense of kinship; in Tanzania they have far less yet are abundant in love, hope and kinship.