One of the first days we were in Tanzania I was having a conversation with Ambrose, a Kenyan man who was living in Tanzania working with the UAACC. We were talking about music and sharing some of our favorite songs. After listening to one of the songs, Ambrose asked me what type of music it was. For lack of a better term I told him that is was “indie” music, short for independent. We listened to music for a while, before taking a walk down the road to visit with the children at Good Hope Orphanage. After meeting the children we began to play with them, and before long one of the younger boys began playing the drums with sticks on turned over buckets. Before long 3 or 4 other children grabbed buckets and joined in, and then Ambrose and I walked over and began to play our own makeshift instruments. Ambrose started to sing and we all joined in. After a few minutes of this improvisational jamming, Ambrose looked at me and said, “Now this is independent music.”
This was one of my favorite moments of the trip. I was so happy to be able to make personal connections with the people I met in Tanzania, and found that music was a great way in which to do that. Besides conversations about music, we found common ground with the students at the center through writing raps in Swahili about HIV/AIDS and the importance of getting tested. I honestly feel that making personal connections and realizing fellowship is the most important thing that we as students can do in service, and is the aspect of service that keeps me returning again and again.