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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Graduating with a Different Plan: Volunteering in Tanzania - Page 2

Written by Meredith Chait
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He seemed to enjoy the little things in life. A few times, I saw him studying a piece of something that looked like it was a computer part. He smiled as he showed me how it worked. 

About 250 students attend the elementary school, half of whom live at the school. Those that board at the school either live too far away to go home, come from poor families that cannot support them, or were abandoned by their families. 

I stayed at a convent that was about a 20-minute walk from the school. I had breakfast at the convent, which usually was bread and tea or coffee. Sometimes we had plantains. 

I walked to school through a neighborhood and over a river of trash. At the school, I would have tea at 10 a.m. and build them a website. After a few weeks, after I finished the website, I spent the mornings in the kindergarten class. 

In the afternoons, I would usually study Swahili Sign Language with my tutor at the school. The students also taught me Swahili Sign Language by writing the Swahili word in the dirt and then signing it. 

The best part of the day was spending time with the students, especially after I knew enough Swahili Sign Language to communicate with them and not have to write notes back and forth in Swahili, which slowed the conversation down. 

The students’ school day ended at 2 p.m. After their classes, the students had lunch, ugali and beans, everyday. Ugali is like a hard Cream-of-Wheat. 

I would have dinner at the convent with the other guests and sometimes the nuns. Dinner consisted of rice or ugali, meat or fish, three vegetables, and a piece of fruit for dessert. (Good thing I had a stash of chocolate in my room!) 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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