After many hours of travel, we were greeted with big smiles, bottles of water and beautiful single roses. It was such a warm welcome from Paul (our driver) and some of the MAD students.
Warm welcome from the MAD team!
Upon arrival to the MAD house, we were happily greeted by Theresa and Janeth. We settled into our accommodations and enjoyed a traditional Tanzanian lunch of plantain stew from Pina, our amazing cook! Although a few of us were a bit weary of the idea of plantain stew, it was absolutely delicious!
Plantain stew for lunch by the amazing Pina!
After lunch, we had our first tour of Moshi Town. It was fun to take a quick stroll around town to get our legs going and get acclimated with the weather and the town. We then unpacked some of our donations of shirts, backpacks and books. We were excited to give out some of the shirts to the students that were with us our first day. The students were very thankful for the gift of shirts!
We then enjoyed a great Tanzanian spin on tacos with chapati, fresh guacamole and salsa. Soon after, we settled in for the night.
The next morning, we were awakened by roosters and the laughter of children heading to school. It was exciting to enjoy a meal with students enjoying their first taste of French toast. The French toast was accompanied by fresh fruit and the best coffee I’ve ever had.
Up next was Swahili lessons by mama Frida! What a treat! We learned popular greetings like “Hujambo” (How are you?), “Asante” (Thank you!) and “Habari za asubuhi!” (Good Morning!)
Swahili class with Mama Frida!
After class, we took another stroll in the town which gave us the opportunity to practice our Swahili. We found ourselves teaming together to ensure we had the right response by the locals. Some giggled by our responses but most were appreciative of our attempts at speaking the local language.
Walking with the students, practicing our Swahili!
In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to finally meet the rest of the MAD students we will be working with throughout the week. I was so excited to meet my students: Esther, Mwenda (Stanley), Gift and Ben. We completed ice breakers with the students and practiced interviewing one another to get to know one another. Some questions that were asked were “What is the greatest advice you’ve ever been given?”, “How would you spend $1 million dollars?” and “Who is your hero and why?” My students have such great aspirations to be engineers, business men and politicians. It was inspiring to hear how much they value their education and recognize the impact of MAD has made on their lives.
My team – Mwenda (Stanley), Gift and Esther (Missing Ben)
After our afternoon session with the students, we walked them to their bus stop and headed back to the house to prepare for the next day.
Our first two days in Moshi and MAD have been nothing short of AMAZING. I am definitely looking forward to meeting the students at the school tomorrow!
— Jessica de Leon, IG: @jessicaideleon