The group joined dozens of other students from Nord Anglia Education schools around the world in Tanzania, and in their first day traveled to the Kitefu School to volunteer.
The BISB group worked to improve teacher accommodations at the school, laying bricks to build walls, mixing cement and a lot more. The group shared their reflections of the journey to Africa and the work on their first day on their trip blog.
Year 10 student Victoria wrote:
"It is incredible that in such little time - less than 24 hours - we can realize so many things that seem obvious yet are not, here in Tanzania.
The more people we met at the school, the happier they seemed. Incredible to think of, knowing that their lives do not revolve around having access to electricity or the privileges many of us have been very lucky to have. Hence, houses here do not require electricity or plumbing. This made me think that we are extremely dependent on the materialistic side of our lives, and in turn value it.
More than me learning about Tanzanians' way of life, I have learned more about my own. I have learned that it is possible to be happy without access to any of these so-called essential things. I feel that we overly value the materialistic side of our lives. We do not realize that sometimes this can cause more harm than good. Materials can bring only so much happiness, so when there are no more things we can 'buy' then that 'happiness' is gone. Materials are only one part of our lives that can always be present, but should not shape it."
Year 10 student Kira shared similar sentiments after seeing the way people in Tanzania live, writing, "I think the way they live and are raised here is amazing because they all get so close together. Their minimalistic lifestyles bring their community closer together."
Year 10 student Goncalo said he was most impressed by the Tanzanian people's ingenuinity and creativity when it came to using the resources they had, writing:
"The topic that impressed me the most was the simplicity and value given to basic raw materials within the community. I realized how simple natural resources, such as water and sand, are fundamental for the sustainable development of the community. It was impressive to see how the "fundi", skilled workers, are able not to only use these natural resources but then how to apply their creativity to build structures that will then be beneficial to the development and growth of their society. This efficient use of raw materials shows me how mindful we have to be when thinking of wasting something that might be extremely useful and important to others."
We look forward to sharing more reflections from our students' time in Tanzania. Be sure to check back here and read their blog
to see regular updates over the next two weeks.