Week one in Tanzania

Last week two volunteers Matthew and Rebecca, set out to Tanzania where they will be spending the next six months volunteering in one of the Jesuit Schools. They have chosen to step out of their comfort zone and give their time to Jesuit Missions to experience a whole new culture, serve communities and put their faith into action.

Their first few days were spent in Dar Es Salaam, the most populated city in East Africa and former capital of Tanzania. Both Matthew and Rebecca then travelled to Dodoma, the current capital where they will be spending most of their time over the next few months.

Matthew, has given us an update of his first week…

Salama good people!

We landed in Dar Es Salaam. The first thing that hit me was the humidity and the heat. As a separate confessed rain fall and a proud northerner, I am not sure if I will ever fully adjust to the heat. Dar itself is a very beautiful and green place.  The streets are incredibly busy with markets and businesses and the roads are a chaotic free for all.

Today we visited Loyola high school run by the Jesuits and educating nearly 1000 young people up to the age of 18. It was such a beautiful school, full of hopeful young people like any other school I have been to. It was interesting seeing form VI in biology and chemistry, they were incredible in both their understanding and their obvious passion; one of the pupils I was glad to hear she wishes to study biomedical sciences at university!

 

Dar Es Salaam is not however all sunshine and rainbows. Like any large city in the developing world there are slums and places in need of development. Poverty is a universal condition experienced by so many people around the world; it is probably the one condition where everyone is genuinely equal, given both the desperate need they have and the lack of both resource and opportunity.

Top 5 things I should have done before coming:

  1.  Have US dollars to exchange
  2. Practice Swahili more
  3. Re read point 2. 3 more times

Things I am missing so far from home:

  1. The weather!!!

Today we have set out for Dodoma. I feel quite excited to be getting there, hopefully it means we can start work soon. For the most part we will be based in Dodoma and hopefully it won’t be too long before we start work. The weather has been more palatable today; there was even some rain!

For the most part the coach has driven through some epic scenery. Tall mountains and lush open savannahs. The landscape is very different from home and has its own unique beauty: I just hope my pictures do it justice. Dodoma itself is the up and coming capital, despite being a lot smaller than Dar Es Salaam.

The volunteer house is situated 10 minutes away from airport parish itself and unfortunately it does not come with WiFi #livesimply. This does present a challenge. It limits when and how long I can communicate with loved ones back home. On a happier note, we have finally met the other volunteers. They are great bunch with a unique blend of perspective and experience.

If you would like to read more from Matthew or Rebecca and follow their journeys, click on the links to read their personal blogs.

Are you interested in volunteering with Jesuit Missions? Are you drawn to serving others, while gaining experience with an International NGO? You can read more volunteer stories here as well as read more information about how you can get involved and make a real difference to the lives of some of the world’s most marginalised communities.

Posted on 28th November 2017

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