Habari za Asubuhi!
Good Morning from Tanzania. Today is Wednesday, October 2nd. On a regular Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I wake up at 8 am and miracoulously leave by 8:25 am to walk a short distance across campus for my Managing Community Development class, which starts at 8:30 am. Tuesday and Thursday are a bit different because I do not have class until 12 pm, so I spend my morning volunteering at Matumaini Women’s Center, an NGO that provides free vocational training to unmarried mothers and also a daycare and school for young children.
Our classes are held in the “CIEE Classroom” in one of the buildings at Ruaha Catholic University. Only CIEE students and faculty are allowed in the classroom, which has two water filters, a sink, a small fridge, some dishes and silverware, a bookshelf with both pleasure and educational reading, and a second bookshelf with various items like sunscreen, mosquito repellant, hygiene items, and other items bought by our directors or left by previous students for our use.
Managing Community Development ends at 9:30 and my next class, History of East Africa, is not until 11:00 am. During my break, some other students have Sustainable Rural Development, so I go back to my room to either do work or take a nap. On Mondays, 10-11 is a scheduled time for guest lecturers or NGO visits, and on Fridays, the same time slot is for a coffee hour where Justin, our director, brings us snacks and we all just hang-out or sometimes have wellness check-ins on how we’re doing mentally and emotionally. Every day at 12, we all take our Field Research and Methods class which is also taught by Justin. This class is by far the most challenging as the main assignment is developing a research proposal, and we do little by little each week.
Tanzanians eat lunch a little bit later than Americans, so our lunch break is not until 1 pm. Most of the time we all go to a restaurant called Clock Tower (see blog #3 for a review of restaurants). Most of us order their veggie curry (which is actually just veggie stew) which is affordable and good. RUCU does have a cafeteria, but students have been on break since September, so that cafe has been closed since then.
Habari za Mchana?
How’s your afternoon? After lunch every day I have Swahili class until 3 pm. As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, Paulo is an amazing language teacher and though Swahili can be a tough language to learn, he makes it fun and less challenging through his teaching methods. Some days we learn by flashcards, others we complete worksheets, and even some days he makes us speak in front of the whole class, which is never fun but you learn quick!
After Swahili class, I return to my dorm, which is a girl’s dorm for other students at RUCU. There are seven girls so three pairs of roommates, with one girl living by herself. When the break is over, we will have Tanzanian students as our neighbors, but for right now, the nine of us are alone in the dorms (the two guys in our program stay across campus in the male dormitory). All our rooms are beside each other– we often yell questions to each other and communicate that way because our voice carries through the walls, and especially if the windows are open.
Lastly, I could not end this blog without officially introducing my roommate. Her name is Caroline and she is a junior at Trinity University. She recently spent the summer in Ecuador working with a nonprofit called Amigos. She is intelligent, funny, and independent and she listens to me talk random thoughts out loud. She is a friend I never knew I needed. Next week, she will climb Mount Kilimanjaro while the rest of us spend our semester break in Zanzibar. I have the COOLEST roomie!