This summer, I spent 5 weeks in Moshi, Tanzania, as part of a group of volunteers from the charity First Aid Africa. First Aid Africa provides vital first aid lessons to areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Here, I taught first aid to student of schools in central Moshi town and the surrounding rural communities.
A couple of the schools I taught at were +2 hours from the nearest healthcare centre or hospital, giving the skills we were teaching the students valid importance and relevance while providing a sustainable source of aid.
During my time in Tanzania, I learned much about myself, the people of the beautiful country, and the culture I was able to immerse myself into. So, to share with you my travels, and the lessons which I welcomed, here are ten things I learned in Tanzania.
*Disclaimer; A couple of these ‘lessons’ may be obvious to some, however not to my naïve and clueless soul*
- Reading is what you can do when there is nothing else to do
Sometimes, all there is to do is pick up book and read. Trust me, you will be better for it.
- Humans are all different, yet very much the same
The culture I witnessed was completely opposite to my daily life, yet as humans, our values and way of living is principally the same. Children play in the same way with each other. Everyone is happier when they are eating.
- Many problems we create on our own
Many of the things I deem to be issues at home were not issues here. My eyeliner wasn’t symmetrical because I wasn’t wearing any. My phone wasn’t working because there was no signal to be had.
- Things don’t always go to plan
I had to let go of the inner control-freak that told me everything must be perfect in order for me to be happy.
- Being able to learn from others is one of the greatest joys
What I learned from the students I taught was far greater than anything I could have provided them with.
- The opinions you hold will change, based on experiences you have
I no longer hold the belief that I am inherently failing if I do not get something right the first time.
- Rice is my favourite carb
Or wali, as it is known in Swahili.
- A common language is not necessary for forming friendships
I made many friendships, most of which we could not speak the same language. Yet this was not a factor which hindered me in any way from getting to know the person.
- Simplicity is key
Just cut out the frivolous things you need not concern yourself with. I was far more efficient in Africa, FAR MORE.
- Happiness is always a choice
There were times I struggled. Finding contentment and acceptance in these situations was always an option, and one I ultimately took. Only you can make yourself happy.