It’s hard to believe that it’s already May – the time since I applied for this program last November has flown by. Thankfully, the journey to Tanzania has gone equally as fast. We just arrived at the KIA lodge outside Kilimanjaro airport after a very, very long day of travel. I think we are all excited to finally be setting off after months of planning and meetings in Winnipeg. It’s started out well so far – all of the flights were on time, my bag was only slightly overweight, and all of our luggage made it here with us. After a positive, albeit somewhat teary-eyed goodbye to my dog and my family, I am very ready to see what Tanzania has in store for us.
When I think about my expectations for this program, I hesitate to set concrete goals. My past experience working overseas has taught me to expect the unexpected, and to lead with an open mind. So, rather than setting specific goals for this experience, I’d like to set a list of hopes. First, I hope to create an open, inclusive and safe environment for the students to learn. I hope to give exciting, relevant and engaging lessons, and that we are able to inform and encourage students to make healthy, positive decisions. I hope to learn — about the culture and traditions of the village that I’m in, about the wants and needs of the students, and about my own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. I plan to take all of these hopes and set out on this journey ready to give all that I have to give, and take away all that I can take.