Today, our participant Valerie tells us about her time at the Village Community Banks in the Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania. Let’s listen to what she says about her exciting time abroad:
‘3 months in Tanzania ..
… three of the most beautiful months I have ever experienced in my life.
If I had to summarize my time in Tanzania in one word, I would say, it was ENRICHING – in every aspect.
I have lived in Moshi with a wonderful host family. My host family Sululu has not only given me a real cultural insight into Tanzanian life, but even treated me just like their own daughter from the minute I have arrived. Through Mama Caroline, Baba Aloyce, Kaka Frank and Dada Glory I have found a second home.
With their help, I have learned Swahili faster, got to eat delicious African food every day, never felt alone, and could enjoy special experiences, such as attending a Maasai wedding.
In general, my decision to live with a host family allowed me to experience an authentic Tanzanian everyday life. For example, Sunday mornings we went to church for three hours, and at nights my host parents were curious to listen to what I had experienced throughout my day. This was never never a duty, but an opportunity that I was happy about. I am still in touch with my Tanzanian host family.
I volunteered at Kivinet, the Village Community Banks of the Kilimanjaro region, which was an enriching, interesting and important experience for me. With Mama Mwingira, Dada Rose, Mustafa Mushi and the four Tanzanian trainees John, Frank, Rahimu and Sophia, I have gained a lot of insights into the operational work of KIVINET. We did not only work in the office but also attended business trainings for members in the region, visited local Vicoba meetings or went to other districts for meetings.
In Moshi I took Swahili lessons after work. Theo, my language teacher, was not only my teacher, but also became my friend. We shared a lot of conversations and lots of laughter before and during the actual lessons.
Also the support from my local coordinators Miriam and Adelina of World Unite! was just great. It was possible to approach them with any kind of concern, they were always there for me, organized everything I wanted, or I could just have a coffee and chat with them, visit them at home, and make them listen to my small everyday issues.
Through regular meetings organized by Miriam and Adelina, volunteers who like me don’t stay at one of the apartments shared with other participants, but live with a host family, still can easily get in touch with other volunteers, with whom I quickly became friends and with whom I did many excursions. For example, we visited a Maasai village, the Marangu Falls and the Hot Springs.
In also went on safari, where I was able to get to experience the pure wilderness and beauty of Africa.
At the end of my trip, I left Moshi with a heavy heart and travelled to Zanzibar for almost two weeks, where I snorkelled on beautiful beaches, did some sailing, and let the soul dangle. In Zanzibar I was also staying in one of World Unite!`s accommodations.
All in all, I can say that it was a wonderful, educative, sometimes personally challenging, but deeply enriching time, which has resulted in many friendships, a second home, and a very personal bond.
… I even extended my stay – instead of a seven weeks planned stay, I stayed there for full three months.
Asante sana kwa kila kitu na nakupenda Tanzania!`
If you are interested and you want to know more about volunteer or internship possibilities at the Community Banks in the Kilimanjaro region, follow the Link: