The text from the recent post about homestays didn't upload, so here's a description to go along with the photos!
Homestays are one of the the key aspects of the Tanzania Spring Intensive experience. The homestays began on Saturday, as Berkeley Carroll students were paired up with students of the G/Arusha Secondary School. While some students headed off to their homestays individually for 6 nights, other BC students opted to pair up and stay in one Tanzanian student’s house for three nights, and then move to another’s for the next 3 nights. This differs from past trips, as normally, homestays would only last for 2 nights.
Even though the Tanzanian way of life is much different than ours, there tends to also be many similarities as well. While listening to the experiences of other students with their homestays, we began to realize how the way of life between each family differs. While some families have very traditional lifestyles, some are very Westernized. One of THE big differences between households is religion. While many families are Christian, a few others practice Islam. These religions are practiced differently depending on each household, which leads to a varying experience amongst BC students.
The food that these families have provided us has been amazing, and there has been more than enough of it. Some popular foods include chicken, rice, spaghetti, potatoes, eggplant, and other meats. A popular Tanzanian dish is ugali, which is made by mixing maize flour and boiling water to create a paste.
Pretty much all of the families do not have running water, but hygiene and using the bathroom has not been an issue. It is much different than what we are used to, as we use a bucket of water to bathe and there is only a hole in the ground to use the bathroom. We are also unable to use Tanzanian tap water, even to brush our teeth, because we are not yet adjusted to the microbes in it. This means that we have been drinking and using bottled water for everything. It has also been a big adjustment to not have a sink, as we have been washing our hands with a pitcher of water, and occasionally, a bucket with a spout.
While there have been many aspects of the homestay experience that are very different to the Berkeley Carroll students and that have pushed them out of their comfort zones, the bonds that have been created and the learning of other cultures and ways of life will never go away.
⁃ David & Oliver