An Independent School • Grades 5-12

By Abby E. '17

Almost everyday, after many hours of discussions, research, traditional dancing, or whatever the day entailed, the twelve of us Lakeside students and our two leaders try to take some time to ourselves to reflect at our ANCHOR meetings. I look forward to these and always find them to be a nice little detox from our busy schedules. And in this blogpost, I hope to share a beloved ANCHOR meeting with you all.

A for Appreciation:

  • I appreciate my wonderful host mother for relentlessly cleaning my trashed sneakers everyday after school since the day I have arrived. And trust me, the red soil that dusts every surface in the village is not easy to scrub off.
  • I appreciate my host sister Getruda for always looking out for me. She makes sure I know when a motorcycle (or peke peke) is racing down the road and warns me to be careful racing down mountains.
  • I appreciate the G/Arusha girls for trying to teach us incapable American girls how to dance and shake our hips.
  • I appreciate my little host-sister Cesilia for always entertaining me with animal drawing contests, puzzles, modified dodgeball, and tic-tac-toe.
  • I appreciate all the good food that I have eaten prepared by the school chefs, my host mother, and various restaurants.
  • I appreciate the stomach/digestive system gods for keeping most of the group happy and healthy.

N for New Information:

We got lots of new information at our latest ANCHOR meeting we held, mainly concerning our upcoming schedule for the next week.

Interesting tid-bits:

  • The Lakesiders are holding a celebration with lots of fun American games like musical chairs, doughnuts on a string, and limbo this Sunday at 2 o'clock. If any of you happen to be in Tanzania around then, feel free to stop by it will be a lot of fun!
  • We get to buy, carry, slaughter, butcher, cook, and eat five chickens on Wednesday. That ought to be exciting.

C for Concerns:

  • I am concerned about all the weight I'm gaining from the endless carbs such as fried sweet potatoes, rice, green bananas, ugalia that my host family is feeding me.
  • I am concerned that my clothes will get splattered with fresh blood when we slaughter the chickens.
  • I am concerned that there will permanently be meat stuck in between my teeth.
  • I am concerned my host mom will keep feeding me goat which is not my favorite.

H for Hopes:

  • I hope this last week goes quickly because I am still homesick yet slowly because I know I will miss being here in Karatu with the G/Arusha students.
  • I hope the chickens won't be mad at us after we kill, cut, cook, and eat them.
  • I hope we see some rad animals on the safari this Saturday, specifically some albino rhinos and warthogs.
  • I hope my host mom decides to save some goats' lives and doesn't feed them to me anymore.

O for Observations:

  • The stars here are incredible. There is so little light pollution that as soon as the sun sets, the stars come out. The moon didn't show up for the first couple of weeks but on the 7th a tiny crescent shone in the sky and it has slowly been moving higher in the sky and getting a little bit bigger each night.
  • Punctuality doesn't exist here. If we say meet at 7, that means everyone will be there by 8 (on a good day).
  • People are happy here. They know some countries are more advanced and that the government and infrastructure does not support the eager population but within their daily routines and time with their family, the people are very happy.

R for Reading/Quote:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails, Explore. Dream. Discover." – Mark Twain

This quote, or the general idea that I will regret the things I didn't do rather than the ones I did, has guided my whole time in Tanzania. It's surprising how easy it is to turn down different activities, but with this attitude or quote ingrained in all of our attitudes, it's much easier to jump or push people, climb mountains, get pegged by dirt sock balls, kill chickens, and eat everything put in front of you.