Today was a special day because we participated in activities outside of our usual routine. We started the day by researching two NGOs established in Karatu, Tanzania: Mwema Children and FAME (Foundation for African Medicine and Education). We were also tasked with brainstorming questions for members of these organizations when we go to visit them later in the week. It was both interesting to learn about these organizations and exciting to have some contact with technology.
The most exciting part of the day came next. We hopped in the bus for a two-hour ride to Karatu for the big market that occurs twice a month. The bus ride was full of beautiful views: Lake Manyara, which is in one of Tanzania’s national parks, baboons on the side of the road, thousands of red billed storks, and huge termite mounds. When we arrived at the market, we split into groups and began to explore and shop; the experience was interesting and slightly stressful for all of us. Hagglers followed us “wazungu” (white people, or non-Tanzanian people) around, and sellers raised their prices because of the assumption that we had more money and would therefore pay more. Luckily, we had our Tanzanian friends present to help us negotiate prices. Some of us bought Tanzanian soccer jerseys, kangas (Tanzanian fabric), bracelets and sweets. After two hours in the market, we left for lunch in Karatu.
The restaurant featured a great buffet. The most exciting part of the meal for us was the various sodas and the ice cream dessert. The soda tasted lighter and more refreshing than the type sold in the US, and I even got to try a new flavor of Fanta – passion fruit. The ice cream tasted like very thick whipped cream; it was sweet and satisfying. We drove back to Tumaini for an early ANCHOR, with lots of free time after to begin packing; it would be our last night in the dorms L.
After dinner, the tribal dance we were scheduled to perform was unfortunately cancelled because the drummer was not there. The tribal dance was replaced with a performance of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”, sung by all the WLS students. And so, our dance party with the whole school started early. Everyone participated, dancing to both American and Tanzanian tunes.
-Tolu and Aurelius
We started the day with a nature walk lead by Tim, our awesome Tanzanian trip coordinator. Little did we know that the nature walk would yield a giraffe sighting! Mr. Kwok, Sophia, Phoebe, Aurelius and Gabe had the amazing opportunity to see a giraffe walking around the school grounds. The rest of us who slept in (Ms. Smith and Diego were on their early morning jog) were sad we missed seeing it, yet we were happy that some of the early risers got the chance.
Later we started writing our “leadership story” after breakfast. A leadership story, for those of you who might not be familiar, is a story describing how we are leaders in everyday life. It also highlights were we see ourselves as leaders in the future.
We then had coffee and tea break, and immediately proceeded into our dancing session with Lucian. He provided some awesome drumbeats, and we were finally able to complete the dance from start to finish! We honed our dance moves, and prepared for our performance in front of the entire school!
Sophia and Lorelle led today’s cultural exchange with the ukulele. They taught us all the song “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. We liked the song so much that we sang it a total of three times!
To end the day, we did ANCHOR around the campfire. We even got to see some shooting stars!
After dinner tonight the students all gathered for a dance party- so another teacher update.....
these photos were taken today on a trip to the Karatu market. Along the way, we stopped for a view of the Great Rift Valley with Lake Manyara in the background. Aurelius, Tim and Tolu decided to stop and hug a termite mound. Tomorrow we are off on our homestays.
Our morning began with an energizer called ‘bird and perch.’ The game was a twist on musical chairs, where instead of using chairs, we were put in pairs and when the music was done one person (the bird) would jump on the other person’s back (or arms).
Afterwards, the group separated by gender and discussed gender roles in both The United States and Tanzania. We were given prompts to answer in pairs, and then shared with the larger group. It was surprising how many things the Tanzanian and American students had in common in terms of gender roles. The girls agreed that men were viewed as ‘stronger’ while women were viewed as more ‘responsible.’ This was shown in the roles people have played in society where women typically stay home, while men do physical labor.
We then brushed up on our dancing skills with Lucian (Lorelle and Devon got to do a fun little duet!) before going on a nature hike with Didi, a former poacher but now conservationist and guide. We were all taken by surprise when Didi arrived covered in ashes, holding a spear, wearing only a loincloth made out of Baobab bark, and smoking elephant dung. Although some of his techniques seemed a little bizarre, we were all able to learn a lot from him.
To wrap up the day we sang both the Tanzanian and American national anthems before doing ANCHOR.
We all thought the day was over, until an impromptu dance party erupted in the girls’ dorm. All the girls danced in a circle way past lights out time, until finally deciding to go to sleep.
-Lorelle and Diego
The Tumaini School has a goal to plant 10,000 trees. They have already planted about 5,000 trees, and this morning we helped plant 42 more. We gathered after breakfast with buckets and boots and headed over to pick our trees. Each BC student was paired with a Tumaini student so we could learn how to properly plant the seedlings. Together, by digging holes, placing the tree, and filling buckets with water, each pair planted 4 trees. In order to fill the buckets, we had to walk over to an available faucet and then carry the bucket to our newly planted trees. While we will not be able to see these trees grow ourselves, they will provide not only a memory of our trip, but will provide shade, water, fruit and more to the Tumaini community.
Another fun learning experience we had today was learning how to hand wash our clothes. To do this, we collected our dirty clothes, placed them in a bucket, added detergent, and then filled it with water. The Tumaini students taught us how to properly scrub our clothes by first applying soap, and then taking two ends of the fabric and rubbing them together. Once all of our clothes were clean, we rinsed them in a new bucket of clean water until there was no more soap. Then, we rung them out and hung them on a fence to dry. Because it was so sunny, it only took a few hours to fully dry the clothes. It is nice to have newly cleaned clothes to wear for our next adventure!
After a delicious lunch, we had a dance lesson. The Tumaini students first taught us some of their traditional Tanzanian dances, and then we taught them how to dance to “Cotton Eye Joe.” We later met a dance instructor named Lucian who taught both the BC students and the Tumaini students a Makonde (a southern Tanzanian tribe) dance that we will soon be performing for the school community. We then ended the night with Phoebe, Sophia, Ian and Dorcus leading ANCHOR and a performance by Sophia and Lorelle on the ukulele.
Phoebe and Sophia
We started our day with another language exchange in which our Tanzanian friends taught us the numbers and the alphabet in Kiswahili; we taught them some Spanish and French because they already know English so well. Many of us, including our Tanzanian friends, were pleased with all the new words that we have taught each other. Following the language exchange, we participated in a leadership activity that challenged the way we normally approach an activity. We were divided into two groups and both had to cross a “river of lava”. Jorge, our WLS instructor, explained that the goal was for the people on each side had to reach the other side of the river and no one could be left behind. The group division caused us to think competitively rather than cooperatively. In the end, we learned that the goal would have been easily accomplished if we had worked more cooperatively, within our group and with the other group. We have been learning about leadership and discussing what a leader looks, sounds like, and feels like. After lunch, BCS taught our Tanzanian friends how to play Ultimate Frisbee. The TSS students enjoyed playing it very much. To finish our cultural exchange, we taught several common table games, such as Uno, Chess, and a card game called Prez.
We are staying in the TSS dorms along with the students here and it has taken some getting used to for many of us. Even though school is on break during June, Form 2 (10th grade) students are here preparing for exams and they go to sleep very late due to chores, washing clothes, or socializing after their long day of study.
Our campfire session was led by Jackeline, Godlisten and us. Many were eager to speak about appreciation of each other and how our relationships continue to get stronger. Didi, a Tanzanian naturalist, was also there and described the importance of the Baobab tree to the African environment; he told a story about how elephants use the Baobab as a source of food and water during periods of drought. He also explained how the Baobab is an important cultural symbol to local communities, who use the juice of the tree to baptize their children.
-Aurelius and Camila
Following a long cool night, we ate a wonderful breakfast cooked by the kitchen. After that, joined by the Tumaini School students, we participated in group bonding activities including Proball (a type of tag that uses koosh balls) and a leadership group discussion. In this discussion, we looked at our strongest traits as participants in this program. This was followed by a language exchange in which we paired up with some of the Tumaini School students to learn more Kiswahili.
After eating lunch, the students taught us Kwaito and some other contemporary Tanzanian dances. Later, they taught us how to play Netball, a version of basketball that does not allow dribbling. During our free time before dinner, we were able to play a pickup game of volleyball with students and faculty who are not part of the WLS program.
Around the campfire we discussed A Journey Through Darkness, the book we read during our spring intensive, with the Tumaini students who had also read it; we shared our views and feelings about the book. Lastly, we engaged in the ANCHOR, with some Tumaini students taking a leading role.
Diego & Gabriel.