My Tanzania volunteer experience changed everything
Two years ago, I set foot in Tanzania for the first time as a Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer. And now, I'm writing this from my home in the middle of a Maasai village in Tanzania. I never thought that a six-week volunteer program could change my life so drastically, but it did!
My volunteer assignment was at a juvenile detention center in Moshi. Of course I was nervous when I got my assignment, but on my first day, I quickly fell in love with my students. They were some of the sweetest and most hard-working kids I had ever met. Each day, I'd have them write in their journals on a new topic. One of my favorite days was when I asked the boys to write on their own life story. Some of them shared with everyone, and it was incredible. They had all been through so many hardships, but no one had ever asked them to tell their stories before. To be able to offer these wonderful kids a safe environment to share such personal stories was amazing. And I couldn't have created that environment without the guidance that I got from CCS.
I fell completely in love with Tanzania during my time with CCS. So much so that when when I left in 2011, I knew that I had to return. So after I graduated college in 2012, I moved back to Tanzania and have been working at a school for Maasai children for almost one year now. The experience that I had with CCS changed my career goals, and my life, drastically. I now plan to go into public health so that I can continue to help people around the world for the rest of my life.
I will never forget the CCS staff members, local volunteers, and all of the amazing people at my volunteer placement and around the country. They all made such an incredible impact on my life!