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Rachel's Blog - Reflections on Tanzania

The Tanzania Global Classroom Expedition was an incredible experience and I am sure that it is a trip that I will never forget. It was great to meet so many other Nord Anglia students from across the world and spend 9 days there filled with exciting activities. Whilst teaching and renovating the local Maua Primary School, we had the chance to witness first-hand poverty and gain an appreciation for the life we have in Warsaw, noticing all the things we take for granted on a daily basis. We met so many happy, open and enthusiastic Tanzanian people who, although have so little, are still satisfied and content with their lives. We were introduced to the Tanzanian culture and explored the vast wildlife whilst on a safari.

Saturday 01.02.14
We arrived at Kilimanjaro airport in the evening after a day of travelling and drove to the Shamba Kipara Camp, our home for the 9 days, where we slept in tents which were arranged into traditional Tanzanian village-like ‘Bomas’.

Sunday 02.02.14
Our first day was spent as an ‘Africa Day’ where we were taught about Tanzanian culture by having activities including: traditional African beading, African dancing and Swahili lessons. In the evening, we had the chance to see a traditional Masai tribe dance.

Monday 03.02.14
My group spent this day teaching classes at the Maua Primary School which is a local Tanzanian school associated with the Huruma Orphanage. Once we arrived, we were greeted by the entire school and listened to three anthems which they sing every day before school begins: the African anthem, the Tanzanian anthem and the Maua school’s anthem. I was assigned to teaching Class 2 which was a group of approximately 40 children aged around 8. Our timetable included teaching Science, English Grammar, PE and Art and beforehand, we prepared activities to carry out with the students according to their normal curriculum at school. It was motivating to see how eager and determined all the students were during our lessons, participating actively and from the start and throughout the lessons, constantly smiling and being extremely welcoming. I really enjoyed have the chance to teach the children for a day and meet so many happy, open children.

Tuesday 04.02.14
This day was dedicated to renovating and repainting the Maua Primary School. My group was assigned to repainting one section of the school with the school’s colours beige and light blue, which included the school’s office, the boy’s dormitory and one of the primary classrooms. It was a tiring day however the difference we made in that one day was clearly visible and really great! The children all seemed so happy with the results of our day and were eager to join in and help us to improve the appearance of their school. They were constantly talking to us, holding our hands and it was a lot of fun. On the other hand, one thing that struck me was when I entered the boy’s dormitory and saw the terrible state that it was in. Mattresses were ripped, broken pairs of shoes were piled into one corner and it was simply shocking to compare these conditions with what we are all used to at home. It really proved how much work is still needed to be carried out in this school and therefore that it is a great idea to continue this Tanzania Expedition on an annual basis.

Wednesday 05.02.14
On Wednesday we set off on our 3-day safari trip and headed first to the Tangire National Park for a day of exploring Tanzanian wildlife in jeeps with safari guides. It was fascinating to see so many different animals including: zebras, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, water hogs and we even managed to spot two lions and three cheetahs which are extremely rare to see.

Thursday 06.02.14
This was another day which we spent on safari however this time we went to the unique Ngorongoro crater. We drove around the rim of the crater and later descended into it to find such a vast amount of wildlife living inside it. It was incredible; everywhere we looked we saw different animals. One spectacular part of the safari was when we got to see a group of 10 lions at once (7 female, 3 males) eating a buffalo. Our guide mentioned that this was a truly rare sight to see and we were all very excited to have witnessed it.

Friday 07.02.14
This was the last day of our safari excursion and we spent it going to a local village called Ngeresi and having a tour around it, learning about Tanzanian traditions and agriculture. We were able to actually enter a traditional African Boma hut which was a small, round hut where both people and animals (e.g. cows) live together and cook. It was a unique experience and really interesting to see the culture there which is so different to back at home. We also went to another local primary school and brought them new books and pens which all the children were so happy about. We experienced a typical Maths lesson and were astonished by the number of students that attend each class (approximately 70-80 children). In the evening, we returned back to our initial camp.

Saturday 08.02.14
As our final day together with all the students from all Nord Anglia schools, we returned back to Maua Primary School to finish off any painting or renovation work which had not been yet managed to be completed. We also played games with the students there, had an assembly together with the Maua school where students performed songs and lastly, we had to unfortunately say our goodbyes.

Sunday 09.02.14
This was our last day in Tanzania, some schools leaving in the morning to catch their flights while we had our flight in the evening. We spent the day at the camp touring the plantation and helping out at the camp to cook Tanzanian food and wash clothes. In the evening, we left to the Kilimanjaro airport and took our flight back to Warsaw.

Overall, the Tanzania Global Classroom Expedition was an unforgettable journey and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this project. After returning to Warsaw, due to all the experiences I have gathered, I have additionally been inspired to write my IB Extended Essay about Tanzania and the economic aspect of solar energy in the country.

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