Welcome to my first blog post! I might be jumping the gun on this a bit since I won’t leave for a few more months, but I thought it might be nice to share some details about what I will be doing and so forth. So, let’s begin:
Where: Kilimatinde, Tanzania. If you search this town on Wikipedia, the entire entry is one simple sentence, “Kilimatinde is a village in the Singida region of Tanzania,” if that gives you any idea of how small of a place it is. It is almost directly in the center of Tanzania, and while it is fairly rural, there are larger cities like Dodoma that are only a short road trip away. There are two distinct seasons, wet (Dec- April) and dry (the rest of the months). I’ve heard it’s incredibly hot, but more of a dry heat, so maybe it will be more pleasant than the Mississippi summers I am already used to. Tanzania is a gorgeous and diverse country that is home to many attractions such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, and beautiful beaches along the Indian Ocean. I really cannot wait to call this place home.
What: St. John’s Seminary. This school is made up of a nursery, primary, and secondary school along with the Seminary, and it is located in the Rift Valley Anglican Diocese. I do not have a set job within the schools yet, but after some discussions with the people in charge, they think I would be a good fit working in the nursery, leading after school activities and sports for girls, reading in English with some of the younger students, and acting as friend/mentor to some of the older girls in the school, along with anything else they throw at me. Working with kids has been a passion of mine for some time, so being able to continue that ministry in such a different place is truly a dream come true for me! While serving there for a year, I will be living in a house created for the volunteers that work at the school. I’ve heard that the volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, so I’m really looking forward to meeting people from all around the world. Honestly, learning that I will be living with roommates was a nice surprise and will be such an interesting experience. Knowing that I won’t be living alone in a totally new culture is pretty comforting.
When: August. The official date is not set yet, as they are trying to coordinate the arrivals of multiple volunteers so as not to have to take the 11 (!!!) hour bus trip to the Dar es Salaam airport more than they have to. As I learn more about my departure, I’ll let you all know.
For now, that’s basically everything I know about my placement. I am beyond excited to take this new step, and am fully prepared to be completely out of my comfort zone. Living well means taking risks and doing something a little crazy. Taking a year to move halfway around the world is just my kind of crazy, and knowing that I am doing it for such an amazing cause makes it all the more worth it. Service for God has become a passion of mine over the past years, and I thank Him for the opportunity to do His works in Tanzania.
I’ll leave you today with Galatians 5:13, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”