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Reflections from the Global Classroom Tanzania Expedition

In February, students from the British International School, Abu Dhabi, and other Nord Anglia Education schools took part in the Global Classroom Tanzania Expedition 2014. Watch the video below and see how they contributed to the Arusha community in Tanzania, what they learnt, and what the experience meant to them.
  • The Global Classroom Tanzania Expedition 2014

In the build-up to the expedition, students enthusiastically contributed to discussions, challenges and webinars in the Global Classroom online community. They learnt about the culture, traditions, geography and economy of Tanzania, as well as the Millennium Development Goals and the role of Non- Governmental Organisations.

During their time in Tanzania, students lived and worked together in Arusha to develop their understanding of life in Tanzania. The student spent a lot of time at Maua school completing a range of tasks such as renovating the school buildings and teaching local pupils aged from 4 to 16 years old.

They learnt about the Masi tribe’s nomad way of life and how they rely on cattle farming to support themselves. They have also learnt about animal conservation and what is being done to protect animals in this region. They had a chance to experience some local customs and traditions such as beading, dancing and Swahili lessons. They have interacted with local business  people to find out how they are supporting Tanzania.

In addition to supporting the community, the expedition also helped our students develop as high performance learners. Professor Deborah Eyre, Education Director at Nord Anglia Education, commented: "In Tanzania, they had to adapt to unusual circumstances, collaborate, cope with adversity, think creatively and flexibly, and learn from different perspectives. All of which help them to develop as global citizens.”

The benefits of the expedition where not all for the children in Tanzania, as our students have also reaped the rewards. They returned to school to inform our school community on not only the differences they have made during their trip, but plans to support Maua school in the future.  Please enjoy their reflections below:

REBECCA, Year 12

Before I went to Tanzania I was extremely excited and nervous about going and experiencing this ‘life changing’ event. Yet when I got there I felt right at home, the students from the other Nord Anglia Schools were extremely friendly, I made so many new friends- some in Switzerland, Bangkok, Prague etc… . One of the activities there that I had really enjoyed was meeting the children and the Maua English School, they were very welcoming and loved to spend time with us. Teaching them was a great experience for me, not just for them. They taught me so much and showed me how lucky I am to live in such a developed country and have all the utilities that I have. Where ever I turned there was always a smiley face right in front, which brightened up everyone’s day. Being back at BISAD certainly makes me feel lucky but I also feel out of place because I’m so used to the Tanzanian atmosphere. Although we weren’t away for long, I was welcomed back with hugs from all my friends and got asked a plethora of questions such as; What did you do? How was it? What was your favourite part of the trip?, which I tried my hardest to answer with the best possible description, however, words can not describe the adventure we had derived from.

AREEBA, Year 12

Tanzania, was an experience of a lifetime that can never be forgotten, it’s engraved within my heart and an opportunity which had changed my prospective to life forever. Whether it be learning about new traditions and culture to experiencing a phenomenal lifestyle of the young children, honestly bought me to a whole new world on its own.  Whether it was teaching them or spending quality time with them, every second was worth it, just seeing their joyful young content faces smile in pleasure and happiness. Reconstructing the school, as well was an extraordinary moment for me, the second we can all completed the painting, the way the children’s eyes  unconditionally and irrevocably lit up, the smiles stretched out wide, the excitement now unable to be contained just made me feel that every blood, sweat and tear we lashed out was worthless in comparison to their solitary happiness. These 9 days, taught and unleashed so many things from within of me; whether confidence, patience to even learning to be persevered, and also how grateful I really truly am. But most importantly it has taught me to love and care, because at the end of the day, that’s what truly puts a smile on someone’s face.

GABRIELLE, Year 10

Already Back! Going to Tanzania was an incredible experience, but the days flew by quickly. I truly feel privileged that I was able to embark on such a wonderful adventure, where I created great abiding relationships with the children of Maua School, friendships I will never forget, from the way the children touched my heart and helped me to see the world from a deeper perspectives. I can’t say that it was drastically life changing, but having that opportunity to come out of my comfort zone, be independent, and mingle with new people has definitely made me want to make some changes and has changed me as a person in many ways. I believe having had this experience will not only help me improve myself but has given me the chance to help improve things for others, to raise awareness to the best of my ability as a team with my group and to continue making a difference.

IMAN, Year12

I think Tanzania was an experience I will never forget. The chance to see how the school life of children there really forces you to have a never ending appreciation for what we have here. Also the opportunity to meet great people from all around the world, and to make friends from different cultures and backgrounds was a great experience. I hope to one day repeat this journey, and strongly recommend it to anyone else who is considering it.

SHADY, Year 9

Wow; I’m truly amazed. I had never ever thought in my life that I would have the opportunity to experience such an amazing event. A big motivation that led me to apply for this trip was that we would get to teach and play with children. Personally, I adore children, which is why seeing Class 2’s happy little faces was probably the highlight of my trip. Overall, it was a truly amazing trip; however it would have been much better if we could stay a bit longer.

Please enjoy a poem written by Areeba while in Tanzania:

Tanzania Tanzania
Africa’s homeland
surrounded by it greenery
Within the seas and the sands
The serene atmosphere
The joyful faces
It’s where all nationalities intertwine their races
 
Picturesque mountains
yet the bumpy roads
It’s a place where you can always feel at home
It’s so hard to describe it, and put it into words
yet the feeling it gives you, should passively be heard
 
The young passionate faces
Their smiles stretch out wide
Their innocence, their laughter is something you can’t hide
 
The rusty building, deteriorating
It’s just a problem in which their facing
Doors and windows wear away and yet they call it a place to stay
Wearing muddy clothes and torn up shoes
but its just a memory we’re scared to lose
 
As days flew by,
the moment came to say goodbye and emotions rose up high
The pain, the tears was something we can never deny
Their desire to see the world was just one of their dreams yet to be uncurled
This mystical journey in which we all embarked truly left us breathless like a shooting star
 
We’ve thought of ways to make a change,
just a start to end their pain.