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Tanzania | Connections Are Made

March 14, 2016

The cement needed a day to dry, so today we planted five trees at each family’s house instead of our usual routine. The seeds of the trees, when harvested, are used to help purify water, among other practical and valuable uses. One of the trees was planted in a spot that stuck out quite a bit, and the mama of the household told us that it would remind her of us forever. That day we also met students our own ages from St. Jude’s High School in Arusha to conduct a health survey at a school that is in the process of building water tanks. The survey’s purpose was to evaluate the health of the children so that a clear change could be seen once they had access to clean water. We connected immediately with the high schoolers and learned much about their lives both in and out of school. Many of us made lasting friendships and hope to stay connected by means of social media and email. The experience was both humbling and exciting because we discovered that although our lives have many differences, there are many similarities in our dreams and hopes for the future. During our time spent with the students from St. Jude’s, we were swarmed by a flock of smiles as the euphoric nearby schoolchildren came to kiss our hands and join us in games, singing, and dancing. It was heartwarming to be welcomed so enthusiastically, especially by such young children whom we had never met before. Throughout the day, we made lasting and meaningful connections that we will all cherish for the rest of our lives.