Our New Member, Casey, traveled to Tanzania this summer for the first time. We are so proud of her amazing volunteer work and we are grateful to call her a member of our team!
I was so incredibly lucky to have the chance to spend a month in Tanzania, volunteering with Cross Cultural Solutions in Moshi, which is an hour outside of Arusha, nestled in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. I spent my time at the Magereza nursery school, with 64 incredible kids. How can I sum up an entire month into a few sentences? How do I portray how I feel about this amazing country in a paragraph? I came into this trip selfishly, I only thought about how the kids and the people would affect me. I didn’t think I would have any impact on their education or influence them in a lasting way. Magereza is the cheapest nursery school around so the kids come from a variety of backgrounds. But these kids didn’t need sympathy, they didn’t need pity, they just wanted to be kids. They wanted to be loved. And even if I was a terrible teacher, I could provide that love for them. After a week at the Magereza Nursery School, I knew I would remember each one of these kids for the rest of my life. After a week in Tanzania, all my selfish ideas about my trip had been thrown out. I wanted to have a real impact on their education, even if it was just to give them a sense of confidence in the classroom. I saw the quieter kids shed their shy exterior and begin to answer questions in class and even solve difficult math problems. I hadn’t realized that my short volunteer trip would have a lasting impact on the children. These kids rely on volunteers to provide their education, and I learned that my group’s mission to instill confidence in them greatly impacts them in ways I didn’t think it would. The purpose of my trip changed, it wasn’t for me, it was for these kids. And as I go through my life I know that this experience with these kids will always be in the back of my mind. But one of the most uplifting parts of this trip is knowing that I am lucky enough to go back and keep a relationship with this incredible country.