Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hapana Sama Hani!

Well, I have survived my first week in the class and two weekends here in Moshi!

The class I have is....wonderful. I can't even begin to explain how well-behaved and adorable they all are. I have students from: Tanzania, India, USA, Holland, UK, and France. There is quite a range in academic level (even a bigger one than I had expected being with two grade levels). I am a little nervous about that because that requires a lot of extra planning but I am up to the challenge and am extra glad that I will have help from an experienced teacher. Speaking of my cooperating teacher, she is...GREAT! Not only in the classroom but out, she is making me feel so welcome. Her and her husband have helped me in so many ways so far and I don't know how I would have lived these past couple weeks without them. 
I will be teaching the "Wonderful Me" unit. The unit will have the students reflect on why they are the way they are and how they got to be that way. It's a way to get the students to start thinking in a deeper way. I already have some small plans but I still need to sort through them all. That's the tough part ;) I know at the end I want to create a video of all the students with their reflections... I'll post it when it's finished. Hopefully, it all works out as planned! 
This weekend I will be going on a hiking trip with the middle school students. Should be a great experience. I looked at the pictures from last year's trip and the sites are just beautiful. I will be sure to post picture of that online here for those of you who don't have me on Facebook. There is also a staff camping trip coming up at Lake Chala. It, too, looks beautiful. I feel very lucky already and I've only been here two weeks. With my class and outside activities, I couldn't ask for a better experience! Except, I am struggling with the time difference when it comes to talking to people at home. Well, the time difference and the lack of reliable phones and terrible internet. It's just something that I have to get used to, though! Miss you all! 

Tutaonana,
Ashley

P.S. I am still not used to being a "blogger" yet so just deal with me! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hello Moshi!

Jambo!

Well, I have been at ISM for about three days now and I am still suffering from jet lag! It's all good though.. I'm managing. It was really rough the first day, though, because I got in town late the night before and got up and met everyone and had my tours. Needless to say, Tuesday was kind of a blur. Yesterday and today were great, though. I attended some meetings here on our Moshi campus and got to know the staff a little better. All of them have such great stories and I can tell that they are all great teachers. I just know that I am going to learn so many new things!
Today, we drove to the other ISM campus in a town called Arusha. It was about a 2 hour bus ride... along the way I saw so many different things. There is a large amount of poverty around here so I had a chance to witness that today. While we were in Arusha, we had some people come up to our bus and try to sell us things through the open windows, we ended up closing them. I also got the chance to see just how beautiful Tanzania is. There are so many different kinds of trees and other plants that it's so colorful! I also got to see the mountains. I was most excited about finally getting to see the peak of Mt. Kilamanjaro! I've been told that it's a hit or miss trying to see it because of the cloud coverage up top but since I can see if from my campus I will have plenty of chances! Some of the teachers at the school have been here for years so we got a little background of some of the sites we were seeing. It was like our own personal tour guide.
I was able to sit down with my cooperating teacher today about the first unit we will be doing. That means that things are just about to get real! The students start to arrive this weekend and school starts on Monday. I am excited to get to know all about the different students. They are coming from all around the world and they all have very different experiences. I have a feeling it will be a challenge incorporating all of these differences in the lessons I'll plan but I am ready for that challenge! After a few days of freaking out, I am welcoming this new experience. It's a hard adjustment from home (to put it lightly) but I can handle it. The only big thing that is getting to me is the lack of internet and cell phone. I miss talking to everyone.. easily. However, it will give me some time to reflect and plan super, wonderful lessons, right? 

Well, I should be off. I should try and do something productive while I can!

Ash :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Hi all! So, it's been awhile since I've posted and I apologize for that. I am about to start my Tanzanian adventure on Sunday, yes, SUNDAY! These last few months have flown by and there has been many big changes that happened during that time.

I walked across the stage as a "graduate" (I won't fully graduate until after student teaching) back in May. I walked with many close friends and I am so proud of us all. It was a pretty emotional day but also a day full of pride. I will miss UNI and Cedar Falls so much. The people I met and the experiences I had made me who I am today and I am very thankful for it all.

This summer also brought many changes for some of my closest friends. I had two move up to Minnesota. Beth is working at Mayo and Eric is working at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis. Then my partner in crime all throughout school, Trinity, moved all the way to Colorado. With my friends still around the QC and Cedar Falls, Jane in Atlanta, and Michelle in Chicago, I guess it's safe to say that I have plenty of destinations to visit when I get back. I am so proud of them all and it is definitely weird to think how we're the grown ups now.

My flight leaves from O'hare at 4pm on Sunday (8/5) and then it's off to Amsterdam for a few hours and then I arrive at Tanzania! I am so excited for my adventure to start and I plan on keeping everyone updated through this blog. I will post pictures and stories, hopefully, once a week. I now have a twitter (@smashash89) and will probably update that a lot, too. Wish me luck with the rest of my packing!

Til next time,
Ashley