Danielle and I have been extremely busy these past few weeks. Whether we are working at the Umoja centre, exploring what the city of Arusha has to offer or spending time with our host family, we are always enjoying every second of our time here. We have been sure to take advantage of our amazing location by walking through the town of Arusha, learning Swahili from family, visiting the Masai markets (where we have been practicing our bargaining skills) and experiencing the local food at the various restaurants.
Since arriving, we have taken on a number of responsibilities at the Umoja Center. In our Key Skills classes, we have just finished our personal hygiene and environmental sanitation units in which the students learned how to properly care for their body and their surroundings to prevent diseases and illnesses.
This week, per the request of Umoja, we began our much anticipated unit: Sexual Reproductive Health, where we delivered “the basics” of anatomy and the function of sexual intercourse. Sexual education tends to be disregarded or overlooked in Tanzanian’s regular education system so we anticipated a high level of curiosity. The students were extremely enthusiastic with an abundance of questions and concerns. We were eager to proceed with this unit, covering topics which range from fertilization and pregnancy to contraception and family planning.
We were also asked to begin a weekly career workshop for all students in which we hope to better prepare them for the job search and workplace after they graduate from Umoja. We are teaching the students strategies for achieving their dream profession, the process of resume writing and how to deliver a successful job interview.
Our weekly Community Development project has also progressed quite well with the students. We have spent the last two weeks teaching the basics of the compost process as well as the practical application of both compost sacks and compost pits. The students are currently planning compost workshops for their local communities. Within their groups, each student has a specific responsibility whether it is organizing with community leaders, delivering refreshments or actually hosting the big event.
Danielle and I have also become very involved in the school’s extra-curricular activities. We have enjoyed assisting and participating in Sports club as well as Theatre Club and have created a Dance Club on Friday afternoons for the musically inclined. Each week alternates boys and girls and we create a short choreographed routine for the students which focuses on a specific genre of music or style of dance.
Caroline, the Co-founder of Umoja, also runs a group home here in Arusha called The House of Happiness. This children’s home is filled with 13 young and amazing children who, for various reasons, no longer live with their parents. Caroline and the children welcomed us with open arms. Each weekend, we visit the children, play games, cook meals and even go to church with them on Sundays. Danielle and I have fallen in love with every single child; we are never going to want to leave.
Our first month here has already flown by, as will the rest of our time here, but we can both agree that we wouldn’t change a thing. We have already fallen in love with this city, our co-workers, our family, and our students and can’t wait to enjoy another month!
– Bhreagh Bauer, Youth Ambassador, Tanzania, 2013
YCI is currently recruiting for a number of projects in Tanzania this Winter- check out our Program Calendar for more information!