I’m now 6 weeks into my 9 month stay in Tanzania. I am volunteering in Don Bosco Secondary school Didia, in the North of Tanzania. The school is primarily a boarding school run by Fathers, brothers and sisters from the Salesian community and takes students from the English equivalent of Year 6 through to Year 13.
The students were so welcoming to me when I arrived and I am already starting to feel at home in the community. I love spending time with them, learning about the music and dance that they enjoy and I am trying my best to learn some Swahili – they are very good teachers! At the moment I am helping one of the sisters to teacher English Grammar to a year 6 class. It is their first year of learning English – as their mother tongue is Swahili – so the lessons can be challenging, however I find them equally as rewarding.
The students wake-up at 4:30am to study before mass at 6:00am and they study until 10:00pm so their schedule is very full. On a normal day I get up at 5:30am, go to morning prayer and mass, attend classes, play sports and go to rosary with the students, however my main role is to interact and get to know them, what is going on in their life and just help in anyway I can. I definitely find the early mornings a challenge!
Although I will be missing home I’m looking forward to experiencing more of the culture here over the Christmas period.