A few impressions by Matthew attending his first school in Tanzania:
At the school we arrived and all the teachers were there to meet us. We introduced ourselves to the teachers and then preceded to the take a tour of the school when we rounded the school we were greeted by 190 kids singing a welcoming song.
After the song was over Erna had some photographs to hand to the kids. The thought of being able to get a picture of them was the best thing ever to them. As soon as a kid got a picture everybody else mobbed him trying to look at the picture.
The next thing we did was hand out plastic bags to each kid full of school supplies. The kids would get their bags look you in the eye and even though they didn’t know how to communicate the thanks that they had you knew that they were overjoyed.
Watching first graders skip away with something that you prepared in your bedroom in America that you’ve taken all the way across the world to a small school that has nothing in Tanzania. As I handed the bags I first felt joy.
…….. and then I felt anger an anger that was so bad I started shaking. This anger was caused by how I remembered back home when I see kids complaining that they didn’t get the Jonas Brothers notebook or the colorful pencil. It made me sick knowing that 1 tul pen can pay for a bag full of school supplies that will be received with joy by the kids in Africa that will receive a gift for fewer than 5 dollars. So little can give so much. Basically I realized that Americans need to be more appreciative even for stuff that seems to be a pain for us.
Another set of insights : Going to church to some kids is taking an hour out of their day to zone out. When you go to church in Africa you see that the people have to depend on God for everyday for their strength to get through the day and keep their hope that they would be able to support their family. The people have intense pride in what they have done for themselves, they don’t want to be rescued they like where they live they need support to complete the goals that they see for themselves. Being a Believer In Action we will use our talents and are blessings to better those of people in our community and in Africa.