Just another day…

5:00am: Woken up by Call to Prayer from the mosque, if the roosters were nice enough to let me sleep that late.
6:00 am: Stop pretending like I fell back asleep and finally get out of bed to start another beautiful day.
6:10 am: Bathe using a bucket, 5 L of room temperature water and a small pail.
6:30 am: Drink chai and eat 1 egg, 2 pieces of bread with butter, an orange and a banana.
6:50 am: Go greet Sam and Lucy’s families as I gather them for our morning walk to school.
7:03 am: Show up a little “late” to our meeting spot to find a disappointed Andrew.
7:03 – 7:30 am: Walk to school while debriefing last night’s homestay experiences and greeting seemingly everyone in town. Find John at his palace across town.
7:40 am: Pretend like we know what morning assembly is about.
8:00 am: Begin Swahili lessons.
10:00 – 10:30 am: Drink more chai and eat chapati and cassava.
10:30 am -12:30 pm: More Swahili practice, and maybe teach a lesson if scheduled/our teacher doesn’t show up.
12:30 pm: Lunch time! Eat a “Tanzanian burrito bowl” of the day, consisting of rice, beans, peas, and maybe some beef. Eat mangoes or oranges for dessert.
1:30 – 3:30 pm: Even more Swahili practice. Begin to lose your mind if you haven’t already.
3:30 – 5:00 pm: Lesson plan for the next day and catch up on any notes that were missed due to the teaching schedule overlapping the learning schedule.
5:00 pm: Walk home and greet every person in town once again.
5:30 pm: Option of doing homework, going for a bike ride or walk, or learning how to survive at site through cooking and cleaning lessons.
8:00 pm: Eat dinner while watching the news in Swahili.
9:30 pm: Retreat to my room to get ready for bed. Lay under mosquito net while I write in my journal or do my homework.
10:00 pm: Fall asleep before I finish writing in my journal or doing my homework.

This is a pretty standard day so far in Tanzania. My day looks exactly like this 6 days a week, and we have Sunday to rest. Rest here means to do laundry (also in a bucket with about 5 L of water), go to the market, go for a hike, do homework, and learn how to cook over a charcoal cooker. Keep in mind that all of this is done with very little, if any, English instruction from our host families.

I have been living with a host family in a small village called Ngombezi, near Korogwe, Tanga, Tanzania. I am in a “Community Based Training“ group with four amazing people named Sam, Lucy, Andrew and John. We have an exhausting schedule but in all honesty, I love every minute of it. Sam keeps asking me, “When will we not be tired?” … Maybe in two years, but they are going to be the most rewarding, fun-filled, adventurous, exhausting two years of our lives.


Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Just another day…

  1. Becky Sibley

    Hi Ryan,
    Sounds like you are having many adventures already. Are you starting to dream in Swahili yet? As you go through the ups and downs of cultural adjustment, I hope you are finding time to laugh and enjoy the moments also! Thanks for taking the time to write things down, it will be a treasure for you to have done so.


  2. Lt Col P.

    Jeez… I got tired just reading about your ‘typical day’!! 🙂 Very neat start to your two year journey!!!! I guess the good news you’ll know Swahili so well that when you come back for our St Louis boat ride, we’ll be able to communicate with them and ask them for gas in their native language!!! 🙂 BE SAFE AND PROTECT YOUR LEATHERMAN!!


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