The Ota Initiative, aiming to foster critical thinking skills that students can use to excel academically and in life general, wrapped up its inaugural program for elementary school students in Karagwe, Tanzania in December. The Ota Initiative aims to build skills that students can use to become confident, successful, engaged and inquisitive citizens.
In my previous blog post I mentioned Visions Global Empowerment, Amizade’s on-site partner in India. I did not; however, describe Visions as an organization.
What comes to mind when you hear someone mention the word “India”? Do you think of unfamiliar settings? Strong religious influence? Spicy food? These were all things I conjured up in my personal pre-departure expectations of the country. I imagined a colorful landscape with crowded streets.
Once upon a time, there was a traveller named Mzungu who visited Karagwe, Tanzania. Mzungu did not speak any Kiswahili, but he was full of questions about the area and was curious to explore. Upon arrival, he decided to take a day and tour the town and the surrounding mountains and villages. The landscape was amazing, nothing like he’d ever seen. The hillside sloped down into a river that snaked through the valley. Past the river, the green mountains rolled on into the horizon.
Writing about something that has had such a profound effect on your life – personally, academically, and professionally, is a daunting task. You want your readers to feel, see, and hear the same sights, emotions, and experiences that you felt. You want them to understand the connection you feel to the library, the clinic, your homestay family, and the community as a whole. You want to accurately answer the question you are asked on a regular basis, “Why go back to Ghana?”
One of the many sites Amizade volunteers visit in Petersfield, Jamaica is Roaring River Park – home to beautiful scenery and swimming holes, rich in culture and history, and the site of world-renowned limestone caverns.
We have spent the last three days helping out in various classrooms in the surrounding communities. Our students have been out and about supporting the students and teachers at Coke’s View Primary School, the Galloway Early Childhood Institute, Ferris Primary School, and the Petersfield Primary and Infant School. It certainly has been a rewarding (and challenging) few days for our students. Over they last three days, they have assisted teachers in the classrooms, graded papers, gave the students some much needed one-on-one support, and interacted with the hundreds of students attending these four area schools.
We were all ready for our break in Bukoba. The students were excited to do something new and leave their studies behind for a few days. Paul and I were happy knowing our budget would allow for some exciting adventures. We set out on our journey from Misha walking with our backpacks ready for adventure. After waiting for the Bunda bus to arrive in Kayanga, we boarded and were off to Bukoba.
This blog entry is part of a series of blogs from Marvin and Martie Wachs, long time friends and supporters…
One night over spring break this year, I was lying on the hood of a car in Tuba City, Arizona, in the Navajo Nation Native American reservation. Gazing up at the stars above, unobstructed by trees or buildings, I reflected on my week with new friends doing the same by my side. The stillness and peace was broken seconds later as one of our friends proclaimed, “the more you stare, the more you see.”