A Heartfelt Welcome

Today was our first day of ‘work’ at the high school our team will be working alongside this week.  I say ‘work’ very loosely because you can hardly call being entertained by 120 talented students in song and dance,  a tea and mandazi(Tanzanian donut) break, 2 hours of sports, and then a delicious tanzanian lunch (rice, meat, unknown tasty red sauce, mboga, and crest soda) a day of work. 

     Going in we were told to expect a welcome that might include some singing.  Our team, apart from Beth and Michael who have already experienced this sort of hospitality, could not have expected such a warm and beautiful welcome.  The sound of the drums and children singing and dancing could never be given justice by anything I could say right now.  I can only write about the karibu (welcome) that they did show to us.   

       When it was our team’s turn to entertain, our presentation was a little less put together, to say the least.  We tried to pull off running and singing the SJU fight song (When the Hawk Comes Flying In) for our grand entrance to gym period.   Perhaps we could have have benefited from taking the same time practicing our one song Thursday through Monday mornings like the students had done to prepare for the 10 or so songs and skits the students had mastered for our visit.  Once we recovered from our pitiful entrance, we started out gym class with some stretches and then we were all off to the field.  We had three stations set up with football (American soccer), kickball, and capture the bandera (flag).  The students had the football down, as to be expected.  But it was a challenge trying to explain the other two games that the students had never played in a language they are still trying to learn.  It was frustrating at first, and we definitely got a workout, but it was worth it in the end.  We all learned from each other and I’m really looking forward to “working” with the students throughout the week.  Tomorrow we are going to get down to business and split up into 3 groups of Form One students –  the equivalent of our freshman high school students – and practice English.  We will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Thanks again for all of your continued support and prayers.  It is great to know that so many family, friends, and larger SJU community are able to share in this experience with us.

Amani, Cassie

Note:Computers and Internet are temperamental things, especially here, so my apologies for any grammar mistakes that might be present in this blog as now I’m too tired to re-edit.  I had proofed it a few times and then it got lost somewhere in cyberspace when the internet quit on me, so I’m not sure which changes saved!

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1 Response to “A Heartfelt Welcome”


  1. 1 Marianne Grace July 16, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    What a great day! Perhaps you all can practice the “SJU Fight” song and do justice by your fellow Hawks! All kidding aside, I am sure that you too are making a lasting impression on all of the lives you are touching and are creating a memorable summer for your friends in Tanzania. Thanks. Marianne


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