Note: This story will appear in the September issue of the Sho'men Club Newsletter. To become a member of the Sho'men Club, click here.
Women's lacrosse player Ann Eickelberg spent three weeks of her summer in Tanzania on the continent of Africa and writes about her experience on the East Coast of Africa. Here is her experience.
I recently traveled to Tanzania with a group of WAC students. We had an experience of a lifetime and bonded with the people of Africa. In Tanzania, we were able to do everything from teaching at local schools to visiting nonprofit organizations to hiking and going on sea and land safaris. We hiked to waterfalls with natives and learned their way of life within their villages. These villages, often consisting of more than one wife, were close-knit families that cherished their history and worked for a future. The local people changed our lives more than we could have imagined. I was able to observe and take part in many cultural events where the people truly showed pride in their culture. Every aspect of life in Tanzania is incredible because the people here are so community and family oriented, making me realize how the simplest things in life can make a person happy.
The safaris became a chance to see everything we've watched on TV. The trucks we drove in were an adventure within itself. As we traveled through the Serengeti, into the Ngorongoro Crater, and into Zanzibar's glistening water, we were able to get close to lions, elephants, monkeys, coral reef, and almost every animal you could imagine. It truly felt like the landscape in Africa continues forever.
I felt teaching the children of Tanzania was so honorable to me since they never took anything for granted. The students were attentive and excited to learn a lesson, and even more enthusiastic to learn about us. I was able to teach 7th grade English and 7th grade Mathematics at St. Thomas's School. At the school the teachers reached out to us and insisted that we shared our English with the students. This was a great chance for me to compare teaching styles in America to those in Tanzania, since I have been observing at Queen Anne's High School.
It broke my heart knowing that I could not stay for longer because every person opened their arms and welcomed us. This was something I will never forget and has allowed me to see so much more of what the world has to offer.
Established: 1964 (Merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar). Tanganyika became independent from United Kingdom in 1961 and Zanzibar in 1963 from UK.
Population: 42,746,620 (July 2011 Estimate)
Capitals: Dar es Salaam (Executive Capital) and Dodoma (Legislative Capital)
Official Languages: English and Swahili
Government Type: Republic
Lowest Point: Indian Ocean
Highest Point: Mount Kilimanjaro (Highest Point in Africa)
Countries It Borders: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia
Info Courtesy of CIA World Factbook