Wow, I can't believe it has been almost four months since I've been home in the states! As is too often true, time has slipped away so easily. However, the chaos of every day life has not imposed on my thoughts and memories of my time in Tanzania.
As I mentioned to so many of my friends and family, I never expected to be so "Tanzania sick" when I returned home. For the past few months, I have struggled with feeling a lack of closure on the experience. Like, its unfair of me to hop on a plane and leave this culture, these wonderful people behind. So instead I have decided to take on a project, the next phase in this cultural experience.
I headed back to my big-hearted seventh graders who wrote letters to my Mtanga Secondary School students back before the bulk of this journey began. I recruited them to help, and they more than willingly obliged. As a collective, during one of the last days of school, we spent some time cleaning out yucky lockers. Students sorted through crumpled papers, moldy snacks, long lost winter scarfs, and best of all, gently used school supplies. Any supplies deemed valuable yet unwanted, students donated to large brown boxes. I took these boxes home, filtered out any un-useable item, and neatly packed the rest into two large boxes. All together, thanks to my generous soon-to-be-eighth graders, we collected over fifty gently used binders, 15 folders, 8 notebooks, bags full of pens and pencils, various sticky notes, and a large pile of loose leaf paper, all of which will be sent to my students at Mtanga Secondary School. While I did have to toss out some of the donations (I don't think Mtanga students need the wool caps), I love that my students acknowledge that there are others that need these things more than they do.
Unfortunately, as I went to research my shipping options, I came across a semi costly hurdle. I understand that overseas shipping is pricey, but I wasn't quite expecting $900.
At about this time, I started wishing that I had found closure after my trip, saving myself from this oncoming headache. That lasted a few deep breaths and one reminder that I am doing good in the world, specifically for people I have come to love. Instead of giving up, I went back to the drawing board and redrafted a new plan, this time for fundraising our project.
Educakes, delicious cupcakes for education, also known as my new project, will be sold to earn money to ship our school supplies to Tanzania. As of right now, I will be selling these treats on July 20th in New Hope, PA. Over the next couple weeks, I will be posting updated information about the Educakes plan, hoping many of my followers and supporters will make it out for this little event. Please stay posted and contact me if you have any questions!