the day has arrived we have been preparing for months and its finally here!
i got up around 8 to take my last 30 min shower i ate my last "american" breakfast and sat to watch the first game of the FIFA CUP 2010 Mexico v.s. South Africa. we had to be at the airport by 12 but since i was watching the game i left home at 11:30 i still got there on time. my brothers and my mom walked me inside to meet the group.My mom gave me a blessing and left with tears in her eyes. I have never been away from my mom for more than a weekend, so 3 weeks is pretty intense.
+& about 22 hours of traveling later.....
i have never been on an airplane and each flight was about 8 hours long! everyone was very supportive so that calmed my nerves. the first flight was not that great i had seat 44J meaning it was on the last row middle seat, i am 5'8" i need room to spread my extremely long legs. but i guess i was okay i sat next to some cool ppl lindsey and jacob. i did not sleep at all during the flight lindsey on the other hand slept like a baby. though i should have slept during the flight because when we arrived in Amsterdam at around 8 in the morning i felt horrible i had the worst headache ever but i tried to enjoy the 4 hour layway we had. the gift shop at the airport had some very strange things. they sold fish and big chunks of cheese. but the thing about Amsterdam that i loved the most was the toilet paper, it was ORANGE!!
i absolutly loved the second flight. it went so much smoother than the first one i had an isle seat and i slept through the whole flight i promise as soon as the plane took off i fell asleep and when i woke up we only had 3 hours left what a way to kill a 9 hour flight! i tried watching Avatar but that movie put me right back to sleep so i was really only awake for the last 30 minutes so that made me more and more anxious knowing ill be in Africa in just 30 minutes. we finally arrived in Tanzania at 8 pm. The first thing we did was take a group welcoming picture. As soon as i got off the plane though you knew you werent in America anymore just by the way the air smelled and all the bugs and bats we saw at the airport. the bugs and bats freaked me out at first but i guess i forced my self to get used to them. i mean i am going to be spending 3 weeks with them right. We got through customs and got our luggage. we headed out to meet our leaders Peter and Aaron. they are truly very welcoming people. we all clicked with both of them right of the back. They took our big backpacks out to the the bus and they through them up at the driver who was on top of the bus so they can lay them out and tie them up, which i tought was pretty neat. Everyone was sooo excited just to get to where we were going to stay at. it was pretty dark so we couldnt see what Kilimengaro looked like so that build up the suspense. But we had a good time on the bus we sang some tunes.
when we reach our home i was extremely surprised. I had not expected it to be as nice. the house has about 5 bedrooms. I am in the Embe room which i believe means mango. My roomies are Rachell, Lexi, and Camryn, our room is the biggest which is great because we all have alot of stuff. The restrooms are Co ed 3 bathrooms stalls, 3 shower stalls, and 2 sinks. the restrooms are soo much better than what i expected. they are regular similar to the ones from home which is nice. the first thing we did was set up the mosquito nets. it was quite a challenge because i have bottom bunk and the net does not rise at the end. after we were done we got our plates and headed out to dinner . our mamas cooked us pasta with sauce, chipatta which is a Tanzania breakfast kind of tortilla, and chicken. It was delicious. Aaron and Peter gave us a brief intro on how some things work in Tanzania and we headed off to bed.
it was soo hard to sleep at night since we are not used to the time change yet. i woke up 3 times. good thing Aaron and Peter let us sleep in until 7 and made the honors to make breakfast.
Sarah and Jacob helped make the eggs they turned out so good and Mrs.Bottoms and Mrs.Hartman helped with the pancakes. Breakfast was good aswell. So far the food is not bad. We all headed to our rooms and got ready for church. the girls wore our long pretty skirts and the boys were nice and clean looking in there button up shirts. before heading out peter and aaron taught us a couple of words Jumbo which means Hello and Jeana langu mimi, which means my name is.Our walk to church was long but i really enjoyed it. all the little babies were running towards us to see us. they call us mozungos which means white ppl. Every one is soo friendly they all greeted us and welcomed us to they town. the little kids are so curious they all walked with us and held our hands. i love that friends here hold hands while they are walking or having a conversation without anyone thinking its more than just friendship. There was so much to see on our way to church everywhere you turned your head there was a beautiful view. when we got to church we all sat in the front row. the older ladies were singing im guessing a praise song. after that a group of girls went up to sing and dance. the girls were all beautiful Tracy said they reminded her of Americas next top model. When they were done we had to sing back. we all got up in front of the church and sang our homes theme song. We left church early because Aaron says it runs for 3 hours. We came home and had our first Swahili lesson
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Okay so we are at this internet cafe to upload our blogs but our flash drives arent showing up on here. So i just want to let my friends and family know that i am okay. I am learning many new things and many new words. I love it here it is way more than what we expected it to be. We do have toilets and showers. The only thing is it is very cold. I love our leaders Peter and Aaron they are very helpful and they make sure we are safe. Our guards are the best Babu, Munissi, and Domique. The food is great so far. The people here are so friendly they always saying hello (Jumbo). Everyone has strong respect for the elderly every time you come across an older person you say Shikamu Mama or Shikamu Baba which means you are older than me i am below your feet i respect you. The children here love us they love for us to take pictures of them. They call us Muzungos which means white people. We also came across one older man who said this.."Americans are very peaceful people, sometimes missionaries come here but to colonize, but you are here to help. So now we are one, like the sun and one like God.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Its the final day in summer school and the last day the group will be together until the big day! I want to thank every single person who has made this trip possible for me! I wanna thank National Geographic for honoring me with the $10,000 scholarship, I would not even be sitting here if it wasn't for them! Also, I want to thank a very special family. They have really put every effort they had to make this trip more special for me. Well so long, I'll be back soon!