This summer I travelled to Tanzania to teach first aid with the organization First Aid Africa. I spent four weeks teaching in a secondary school located on the outskirts of Moshi town at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.
After three days of traveling from all across Europe the team was finally assembled in Moshi for our training weekend, where we brushed up our Kiswahili and tried out some local food before being divided up into our placement groups.
My placement was located at Majengo High school in Soweto. It’s one of the best schools in Tanzania so the students’ English levels were fantastic. We were originally a little disappointed with its urban location as I had looked forward to rural life, however we learnt to be greatful for our incredible accommodation, and the luxury of having a real shower, even if the frequent power cuts meant these were often cold.
We spent our first day at school working out lesson plans and preparing lessons to ensure we had time to teach the whole curriculum. We also learnt to get used to Tanzanian time as we waited for our timetable to be prepared.
Our first weekend and our first experience of public transport. We took a Dala Dala to Kilimanjaro national park. Apparently there is such a thing as an MOT in Tanzania although you’d never have guessed it!
We also visited an incredible flamingo lake near a Maasai village at Sanya Juu. It was the first time we really felt like we were in Attenborough’s Africa.
Week two and we’re teaching treatment for bleeding. This picture shows Fiona demonstrating the treatment for a horizontal cut to the hand on me. The classes loved our acting out the injuries, it’s quite unusual for a teacher to scream and jump around in front of the class in Tanzania. Not surprising considering our classes could be up to 126 people, it’s more like a lecture than a conventional high school class.
This picture shows “Domestic Sciences” or Home Ec, which was where our office was when we weren’t teaching.
Time for tea break, with Mandazi. These are traditional African donuts and taste incredible, they ought to be sold in Britain as they’d be perfect. If there’s any entrepreneurs reading this, you need to get on the Mandazi business in the UK. The tea was incredibly sweet and prepared with condensed milk, week one we had tears in our eyes it was so sweet but by the end we were so used to it we could’ve added some more sugar.
Safari time and we headed out to the Ngorongoro crater, a national park and conservation area on our third weekend.
We were back in the Savanna and surrounded by animals, we even saw a rhino’s bum through binoculars and a heat haze!
Driving home from safari we experienced a beautiful African sunset. Also it’s worth noting that the one upside to the frequent power cuts was the chance to see more stars than it’s ever possible to see in Britain.
Exam time and most of our pupils passed. Exams were very stressful to run but the pupils were ecstatic to receive their certificates which made it all worth it. Although now that we were no longer teachers we had to turn down an awful lot of marriage proposals.
Time to say our emotional goodbyes to our lovely hosts at the brother house. We were made to feel incredibly welcomed and grew to love the salama (peace) of the brother house and to miss it at the weekends. It was called the brother house as it was basically a convent, although not quite as you’d expect a convent to be as the brothers all drank beer and turned up to dinner in board shorts.
The Majengo team, 4 of us for the 3000 students at the school, pictured at the school entrance on our last day before starting our journey home. Pictured with our friend the school gatekeeper who would check up on us when we were leaving to make sure we weren’t going far and would be safe.