A few months ago, if you asked me where I would be on September 1, 2012, the last answer would have been eastern Africa. I’ve always wanted to come to Africa but in my mind, I’ve always pictured that trip as a short visit, or a missions trip-type endeavor. But here I am, on September 1, in my first week of living in Moshi, Tanzania for the next 10 months! This blog will chronicle my experiences teaching 5th and 6th grade at a new little school here in Moshi. It’s an exciting time, and I’m entirely confident that God has led me here to join this group of people who love Him and love the people of Tanzania.
After seven weeks of preparation, I still had lots of questions about how exactly this all was going to work. Where would I live, who were my new co-workers (and housemates!), what would my typical day be, what about the weather, what is the city like? But there were too many questions to get them all answered and despite my love of all things organized, there was also something liberating in the unknown. All the friends and family who asked me, I had to shrug and say honestly, ‘I don’t know.’ I could worry about the details, or I could let it go. I could think about all the ways things could be terrible, or I could put my need to know on the back burner. So that’s what I did, I exercised that muscle of trust and just decided to go with the flow!
Of course, there were still some nerves involved as I packed up everything I would need for a year, and left my comfortable routine at home. I would miss my family, my friends, my bible study, my co-workers (and residents) at the Village of Hope, all the people in my life. It was a bit of a blur as I spent a few weeks getting ready; I think it really hit me that I was leaving about six days before my flight. I started to realize this would be the last time I ate here, or went there, or saw this friend. There was a brief moment of panic as I realized what a big commitment I was making – a year is a long time! And I knew only the basics about what I was doing! But I did it anyway, and I am here! So far, so good! Tanzania is beautiful and the people are friendly and so welcoming. Our house is amazing, and the other women I live with are wonderful Christian women who are also teachers at the school. God has rewarded my step out in faith, and given me a fun first few days.