Jambo from Tanzania! At 6:30am the sun rises just beyond my balcony overlooking an incredibly gorgeous Christmas tree (no, not an American Christmas tree – a vibrantly gigantic tree with intricate red flowers) and a fishing village in Kunduchi Beach, which is a small village in Dar es Salaam.
The mystical beauty of this “paradise” includes intense smells of fish, children smiling brightly,
dala dala’s (buses) racing about on the roads, women walking with all sorts of buckets on their heads
and fabrics brighter than imagined.
Frogs chirp loudly at night and in the early morning, I am woken with the rising sun and a plethora of roosters crowing and birds chirping. Just beyond our parameters, men, women and children walk about getting their water for the day, preparing for fishing and adventuring to whatever their task at hand may be.
The weather is HOT and sticky, oh so very sticky.
The mosquitos like my skin a little too much – I don’t think I’ve worn this much bug spray in my life.
At this point, I have yet to find the words of the reality I am witnessing, as it is something never before seen by my eyes – a combination of absolutely beauty and sadness. Tanzanians are so community oriented, so friendly, so welcoming. We walk about the streets and little children jump up and down saying “Jambo” or “Hi” or “Karibu” (welcome) and an occasional “Mambo Vipi?” (What’s up). A simple pause, looking at their face and responding with “Poa” (cool) brings about a huge smile on their faces. Greetings are extremely important here as you typically hear three to four when meeting a person.
We spend majority of our days at a place called Maui Beach Rest House in Kunduchi Beach, as this is where our training is taking place. Lessons begin at 8:30am and continue through dinnertime, typically around 7:30. Our training includes anything from Swahili lessons to cultural training to afternoon siesta’s where we have group swimming sessions in the pool and lots and lots of “Genki English” lessons, which is a large portion of what I’ll be teaching my students starting next Thursday.
I find out my placement tomorrow, where I can either be placed at a school on Mafia Island (off the coast of Tanzania) or Kilwa (on mainland Tanzania, south of Dar es Salaam). We gave recommendations the other night at dinner as to our preferences for schools, working with a local Tanzanian volunteer and room accommodations…. we will see where these recommendations take me.
Yesterday was a time to adventure out of Kunduchi Beach and into a town called Bagamoyo about an hour away from where we’re staying. I spent the hour standing up in a very crowded dala dala talking to a local Tanzanian who volunteered to guide us around for the day about her American interest. Once we got into Bagamoyo, we visited an old slave dwelling where slaves were held before getting sent to Zanzibar – a combination of absolute depression from seeing where slaves were hung to absolutely joy when hearing the pride in Raymond’s (our tour guide, a local Tanzanian) voice as he expressed his countries history. The dala dala ride home was spent in silence staring out the window as we passed through town after town – a sense of melancholy overcame my body as I am living a dream I’ve had for as long as I can remember, yet am seeing the struggle of the people that live this reality every day.
Well, this is it for now. There is so much more to say, but at this time, this is all that needs to be said. I cannot wait to begin sharing the pictures of the reality I am living – it is truly a paradise and beauty I have never experienced. Sending so much love and positive light to all of you. Much love! Until next time….
Jambo from Tanzania:
Living & Teaching abroad in Mafia Island, Tanzania
In June of 2012.... a dream came true.
I was accepted into a WorldTeach program to teach English in Tanzania on Mafia Island. In late December of 2012, I embarked on a 3 month journey to the motherland! Enjoy this blog as it was designed to share my photographs and adventures while living and teaching
on Mafia Island, Tanzania.