As our time in Tanzania is coming to an end we experienced new levels of our emotions. We are sad to be leaving this place we have called home for two and a half weeks especially because of the new friends we have made.
The 19 people that embarked on this journey 16 days ago have only gotten closer since. To say that 13 kids not only hung out all together every night but enjoyed each others company would be an understatement. With the “door-open” policy allowed for boy-girl company, but leaving the doors open anyway for each other and chaperones to feel welcomed has made our trip very special. Whether we were enjoying music on the rooftop or journaling in one room, we have gotten through this incredible life experience together. We have danced together, laughed together and ate our way through never ending rice. We have made everlasting memories with our friends, who are now family, from breaking the bed, to our obsession with Pringles, to singing our favorite Swahili song. We are also excited to announce that the girls’ sleepover that never could, will be happening tonight so long as the beds stay afloat. The Fab Five Guys + David (lodge manager) have bonded and become great friends for many reasons but mainly through music and this amazing experience. We have endless amounts of inside jokes that will forever be special to the 2017 Tanzania trip family.
This trip has taught us many life lessons. We have learned to appreciate the art of journaling because we don’t want to forget a single moment. Through manual labor we have learned that teamwork, hard work and a little bit of music can make things easier. We also learned that being patient is a virtue and telling time is for mzungu (white people). The people here have taught us generosity through the gifts they have given us even if they don’t have much to give. We have also learned hospitality that has come from every place we visited. Lastly, we have learned that we did not come here to help, but to serve the needs of others, as they are no less than we are.
The last 17 days we have thrown ourselves into the Tanzanian culture with skirt wearing, food eating and speaking our kidogo tu (little bit) of Swahili. We also have become used to the left side driving while sitting in an over crowded dala-dala. We have developed a knack for African time, everything here is pole pole (slowly slowly). The girls have also gotten accustomed to taking every opportunity to use a bathroom no matter the smell. A squatty-potty with toilet paper is our lucky day. Though being immersed into the culture we have still had time to show our tourist side. We had an unforgettable overnight Safari and an amazing day swimming at Marangu Falls. These glimpses into the beauty of nature in Africa will be images we hold in our minds forever.We are excited to see our friends and family but sad to leave our newfound home we love here in Tanzania. We thank St. Louis Primary School, Agano Preschool, Upendo Orphanage, and also our beloved friends at Uru Secondary School for their hospitality and loving karibu (welcome). Another big thanks to Mr. McMorrow for making this trip happen and making it special to each individual. That goes to the rest of our chaperones as well. We lastly want to thank our families and especially our parents. We appreciate everything you have done for us. We will see you soon and with many stories