Habari Rafiki’s (Hello friends) ,
This past weekend I was able to travel to Mwanza, Tanzania. Also known as The Rock City. I was able to enjoy the beautiful landscape, meet many friendly locals, and take some time to reflect on my experience so far. I am so thankful to have been granted the ability to study abroad with the help of the Fund for Education Abroad.
In Mwanza, I was able to witness what seemed to me as gravity defying rocks, I had never seen anything like this back home in Kentucky. I’ve always been the type of person who likes to do activities indoors, but now I’m considering becoming a person who enjoys spending more time outdoors, because my perspective has changed. I’ve always enjoyed the beauty of nature, but after being in Tanzania for almost three weeks now, I have gained a new appreciation for the environment and the world around me.
During my climb up the mountain, I encountered some of the nicest adults and children I’ve ever met in my life. The people there were so willing to help us get up to the top of the mountain, even stopping what they were doing just to be friendly. I was able to see what their work and home lifestyle was like on the mountain as well. The locals catch sardines and set them out in the sun to dry, so that they can sell them later for others in the community or to ship them to different surrounding areas. It was very amazing to see how well everyone worked together, and I was able to feel the sense of unity that the Tanzanian’s have to help their community thrive. It was a piece of their culture that I wish to take back and input into our American culture. I enjoyed being in such a caring and passionate environment, I plan to visit Mwanza again in the future.
Being in Tanzania, I noticed how connected everyone was. It didn’t matter what part of the country you came from, there was a sense of unity everywhere I went. Everyone saw each other as family and friends rather than just neighbors and strangers. In American culture, we are more independent, and we don’t expect much help from members in our community. A lot of people want to do things on their own, but I have learned that isn’t how life goes on in Tanzania. Helping others is seen as a high expectation. It made me realize how connected we could be in America if we took a few lessons from the people of Tanzania. They take so much pride in being known for being friendly and helpful.
Studying abroad has allowed me to grow on a professional level. Before this, I wasn’t sure about the type of social work I wanted to do. Now it is clear to me that I want to help immigrants and their families adjust to life in America by assisting them with their needs and services.