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.