And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

Oh hey there, we meet again! I skipped a week of blogging, so we have a lot to catch up on. This time last week I was sipping on a Piña Colada in a pool, so there was no chance I could whip out my laptop to write a quick entry.

Since we last spoke I spent a couple more weeks dealing with my cold. Today is the first day I felt almost normal, so that’s a good sign, because it was draining my energy. I also took out my African braids after one week, which is a shame but it was giving me a headache and my braids were getting messy. During this time we also had to say goodbye to eight more volunteers from Twiga House, which is always a sad thing to do when you’ve become so close. Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to Kelly, one of my close friends, and next week I say goodbye to a couple more friends. Twiga House is like one big family. We do everything together and there are so many people to get to know that you are never bored.

I have seen a lot of progress in my interaction with my class at Jitihada School. I now know the names of every student in my class, which makes teaching ten times easier. The children are relatively well-behaved and listen to me when I use my angry teacher voice. The age I am teaching is between ages 8 and 9, and they are keen to learn. On Thursday I gave my students an English test because they had finished learning about adjectives. After their test I was supposed to teach them Maths, but they all asked me to give them a Maths test. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. My class now has their own real teacher whose name is Abswai. He and I are working together to teach the class. I am teaching English and Maths, and he is teaching the rest. For the last two weeks of my placement we will be teaching art on a Thursday afternoon, which will be heaps of fun. We intend on using the children’s art to decorate the classroom. I cannot wait. I am really enjoying teaching here, but of course I don’t have to do all the preparation that you would normally have to do as a real teacher, so that makes it a lot easier.

Last Friday eleven of us took an eight hour bus ride to the coast of Tanzania. The bus ride was not as bad as I expected, and we took a “luxury” bus with air conditioning and a couple of screens that displayed music videos. We arrived in an area called Tanga, and took a 45 minute taxi drive to a resort called Peponi at a beach on the Indian Ocean. Peponi was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. We all stayed in five different tents, and I got the pleasure of staying in a luxury ‘Safari’ tent because the resort could not provide enough budget tents. So we got to stay in a fancy tent for the price of a budget one. Three of us shared a massive bed, and we got our own fan, which was well needed in the 33 degree heat. We spent two full days (Saturday and Sunday) in Peponi and we all stayed in our togs and walked barefoot all weekend. It was the dream.

I spent the weekend relaxing, sleeping, eating and swimming. There was a pool at the resort which was a cool temperature, good for the hot and humid weather we were dealing with. Most of us got burnt from the weekend, which was not surprising. The most surprising part of the trip was when we took a dip in the ocean to discover that it was like a hot pool. Swimming in the ocean was like taking a hot bath, it was incredible. The highlight of the weekend was on the last night when Andrew played a song for us on his ukulele. He wrote a song about Twiga House to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock. It was a brilliant song that truly describes the Twiga House experience and we all recorded it on our phones so as not to forget it. On Monday we sadly got on a bus and left for home in Arusha. We also had to say goodbye to Andrew and his Ukulele which was a sad moment. The bus ride home was sad and tiring but I got introduced to a podcast called “Gilmore Guys” where two guys analyse each Gilmore Girls episode (10/10 recommend). That had to be my best weekend so far!

I have another awesome and exciting week ahead of me! Tomorrow a group of us leave for Zanzibar for six days. I am so incredibly blessed to be able to live the dream in this beautiful country and I have had the time of my life. Less than one month remains of my volunteer stay and I know it will be so difficult to have to leave. I just have to make the most of it. I hope you are enjoying hearing about my adventures and I cannot wait to tell you about my next one!

Until next time,

Ailish

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