The student news site of Stockholm International School

The Quirky Quibbler

The student news site of Stockholm International School

The Quirky Quibbler

The student news site of Stockholm International School

The Quirky Quibbler

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My Transformative Trip to Tanzania


Over the summer I had the opportunity to travel to Arusha, Tanzania where I volunteered as a teacher at a local school. The experience was nothing short of amazing and it left an incredible mark on me. 

In the month of July I set off to Tanzania, ready to embark on my solo volunteer journey. The anticipation was mixed with nervousness, as I had no idea what to expect from travelling to a new country, immersing myself into a new culture and meeting new people. I stayed at a volunteer home in the centre of Arusha where I met other volunteers from diverse corners of the globe. It allowed me to meet wonderful people who shared my passion for teaching in classrooms worldwide. 

The first days involved embracing the local culture which enriched my understanding of the country immensely. I tried new dishes such as Ugali, a type of cornmeal made from corn flour, and I even picked up some basic phrases in Swahili, the local language. We travelled to different locations including a vibrant Masai market, a captivating coffee plantation, and a busy trip to the clock tower, located in the city’s centre.

I taught at a school located 10 minutes away from my volunteer home. Each morning, I embarked on a rather bumpy tuk-tuk journey, humorously referred to by locals as “an African massage.”  The village surrounding the school was very rundown with the majority of houses being built out of dirt with no electricity nor any windows. In contrast, the school itself was a colourful structure built out of concrete.

Arriving at the school was undoubtedly the highlight of each day. The warm embrace of my students, greeting me with hugs was an unforgettable experience. The school I taught at had a total of around 60 students which were divided up into three classes. I taught the oldest class which had about 20 students a

ged around 6-7 years old. Each day I taught both English and maths. What we worked on in English class was learning how to spell words in English, how to properly pronounce certain words as well as rhyming words. In maths class we tackled addition and subtraction as well as worked on a variety of methods for solving these problems.

After the students went home I worked in the kitchen where I was assigned the duty of washing dishes and preparing meals. During this period I had the opportunity to establish some bonds with the other staff members. We had conversations about our own families, our hobbies and differences between our country’s.

The volunteer days flew by so fast and suddenly it was time to say goodbye to the school, the students and the staff. Saying goodbye was incredibly hard as the connections formed during my time in Arusha were so strong. Before my trip I had founded a fundraiser entitled “Raise for Tanzania” where I raised money for educational materials for all the students. On the last day I gave the director of the school everything I had purchased, which included everything from books to Legos, coloured pencils and even bubbles. The director was immensely grateful for each donation and the children loved receiving all of their new toys. After multiple tears it was finally time to say my last goodbye and go back to Sweden. 

I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to go back!

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