Coming from America, I was obviously different. Maybe not culturally, as there are a couple of Indian people at the school, but definitely different in other perspectives. I’m going to be outlining those differences and my experiences in this blog.
For one, there are big differences between what I am used to and what my friends at St. Constantine’s in Tanzania are used to. For example, it is $6 in Tanzania for a movie ticket compared to at least $15 in California. I would love to get these prices in the US. Life would be cheaper, simpler, and happier.
Furthermore, many people here are applying to colleges in North America, but they’re not going to the United States. Now why would the ‘land of opportunity’ be driving people away? I’ve found that one word can sum up the reasons why many Tanzanians are not going to the US–cost. Maybe the reason that I find it to be cheap here isn’t because it actually is cheap, but because it is way too expensive in the US. It is expensive enough that people don’t want to go the ‘land of opportunity.’
Finally, I came to Tanzania with the expectation that it would be free of pollution. I knew that the infrastructure would not be as good as the States, obviously. For example, when it rained for one night and about the same amount as average in California, the streets the next morning were flooded…like hurricane season flooded. The drainage system was overflowing and water was touching the side of the car. I expected that, but I did not expect there to be as much pollution as I’ve witnessed in my short two weeks here. Vehicles release so much smog that when we are driving next to even a motorcycle, it smells. There is so much trash on the side of the roads in Tanzania. Water bottles, plastic bags, garbage bags, and food containers pollute the waterways and the streets. I’ve seen roosters, baby goats, dogs, and cats eat this trash, not realizing that it will harm them in the future. There is no regulation against pollution and even the police litter.
Overall, I miss everyone from Athenian and the cozy environment at school. No couches to sit on, no listening to music on breaks, and the teacher-student interactions are very professional and not as friendly when compared to Athenian.