To My Local Friends: Asante!

This semester I have gotten to know some pretty awesome locals here in Iringa who have made this town feel like home, and have contributed in huge ways to how great this semester has been. Here are some asante’s (thank you’s) to some of my favorite locals! Dear Agnes, the first Tanzanian I got to […]

A Change of Pace and My New Family

Karibu Kidete Village! Welcome to Kidete Village! The nerve-wracking, exciting, much-anticipated part of our CIEE program finally began last Sunday: moving to rural villages to live with homestay families for a month! Many of us have different assignments for this month; mine are conducting a needs assessment in my village, conducting interviews and focus group […]

Can I Be Honest for a Minute?

“Why Africa? Why wouldn’t you just go to Europe where you won’t have to worry about typhoid and malaria and unsafe water, and can actually take a hot shower?”  I wanted something different from everyone else. I wanted to live with less; to martyr myself for the sake of learning and helping, and being one […]

Pumzika Time!!

First things first, here’s a pro tip to anyone looking to study abroad: go in the fall because, while it’s tough to miss out on the changing leaves and apple-picking, getting a full spring break in both the fall AND spring makes up for it! Though I’m not sure every study abroad program offers this, […]

And It Was Very Good

“Mambo, Caspert!” my friend Lyric and I say as we climb into the back of his bajaji outside of our campus’s gate. A bajaji is a three-wheeled, quick and easy form of transportation in Tanzania with an appearance quite similar to the cars I used to race back in the Mario Kart days. Caspert picks […]

A Day in the Life

I open my eyes to bright sunlight beaming in through the barred windows of my dorm room. The sun rises at about 6:30 every single morning, and by 7 it’s bright enough to wake me up. I climb out of my mosquito net, and grab my water bottle and toothbrush and take two steps across […]

Far From Home But Never Alone

Before coming to Tanzania, I had a lot of questions about a lot of things, and so did most of my family and friends considering I had never traveled to Africa before and the longest I had ever been outside the U.S. was two weeks.  One of the most common questions I was asked before coming […]

Learning the Comical Way

I think it goes without saying that East Africa is a very different place from West Michigan and the U.S., in general, and this is something I knew coming in to my study abroad experience. However, I wasn’t sure in what ways specifically, but I am quickly learning. A lot of cultural differences can’t be […]

Karibu Tanzania!

I’m currently sitting in my tiny 3rd floor dorm room on my mosquito net-covered bed as the hot African sunlight streams in through the barred windows onto my face. “Did I put on enough sunscreen today?” A question I’ve been asking myself a lot, along with other questions like: “Is this the right way to take […]