April 29, 2009

Jakub Kalinowski

Jakub is 25 and had been teaching in Auckland for the past few years. After extensive travel and a recent experience on the India Immersion trip he decided to commit to 3 months in Tanzania at Mt Sinon school. Below are his reflections of the first 6 weeks, please contact us if you would like to produce this material elsewhere.

“My volunteering experience is now 6 weeks underway. I reflect on this
time and find that is has gone very quickly but been filled with many
adventures, surprises and learning experiences. Living in a village in
Arusha, Tanzania with other volunteers from around the world has been
fantastic. Being surrounded by other dedicated and well serving young
people has provided me with support, fresh ideas and new perspectives.
Being immersed into Tanzanian village life has put us all out of our
comfort zones but we cope well with the tasks that need doing (e.g.
fetching water, disposing of waste and general household duties).

My duties at Edmund Rice Sinon Secondary School have varied at times
(i.e. teaching History, running Fourth Form Retreats and assisting
coaching the school soccer team). All of these things have provided me
with a chance to get to know local students better and allowed me to
share my skills with them. However, I have learnt a great deal from
them in return. One thing that stands out is how central God, family
and education are to the lives of local children. They appreciate
their
opportunity to gain an education and spend hours each day studying
and up-skilling themselves.


I have found Tanzanian people in general to be very warm, polite and giving.
People always greet you on
the street and ask how you are and where you’re from. They appreciate
little efforts to speak their language (Swahili) and I have been
working hard on learning some phrases. Finally Tanzania is a naturally
beautiful country and I have and will explore some of its wonders
(e.g. safari, Mt Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar). To those who are
contemplating volunteering abroad, I say “just go for it”.

If your intersted in learning more about Edmund Rice Volunteers click here

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