Nice to Meet you, Tanzania!

Well, I’ve touched down in Dar and it’s hard to know where to begin.  My flights and layovers went VERY smoothly, and I actually enjoyed most of it and managed to get some good sleep in.  THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!

I’m starting to understand the definition of “culture shock.”  It feels like the minute you jump from a very high place into ice cold water and everything just sort of stops.  You can’t hear, see, or feel anything for a minute….and it takes just a minute for the senses to absorb and process it and start sending signals to your brain. That’s how I feel. Everything is just so different and so new.  There are some things that are similar to things I’ve experienced before, but some that I have completely no context for or way to process yet.  Because I think I’ll be able in the upcoming months to better understand and explain some of these things as I learn, I’m just going to touch on a few general impressions for today……

  1. Time zone….if you invert the time (meaning change day to night, and night to day) and subtract two hours, then you will know what time I am currently living in.  For example, if it is 7:00 pm your time, then it is 5:00 AM my time. Add to this the fact that my body thinks it’s still living in YOUR time zone, and imagine how it feels right now. Very confused!
  2. HOPAC (the school) – the campus is spacious and beautiful. I love it! And after meeting quite a few people today I feel like I’m going to love working here. From what I can tell these people love the Lord, love the kids, and want to be here.  It’s a fantastic recipe for a great staff.
  3. People– The people are very friendly and relational.  They are vibrant. They wear brightly colored clothing. Unfortunately, the little bit of language study I’ve done has been part of the “immersion method” of Rosetta Stone, so I really don’t even know basic greetings. 
  4. Environment – SO many sights, sounds, and smells that it’s virtually sensory overload the moment I step out the door.  I find myself having difficulty focusing on anything because the world around me is so much to take it. Don’t worry….I’ll take pictures and you can see what I mean!
  5. Gil and Amy Medina – I am SO thankful for these two Masters Alumni who have taken me in to their home this week and so graciously and patiently shown me the ropes.  I seriously would have been completely lost if it weren’t for them.

Please continue praying, especially for the upcoming weeks as I’m meeting my students and setting the tone for the rest of the school year.  Please pray for a thankful attitude and excitement despite exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed, and for continued health.  Your prayers have blessed me greatly already!


2 thoughts on “Nice to Meet you, Tanzania!

  1. Heather you are going to do great! They will all love you! And don’t forget that the younger middle school kids still like stickers 😉

  2. A picture is worth a thousand words!! 🙂 I want to see what it all looks like! *nag, nag*
    Anyhow, now that is out of way, glad things are going well so far and your flights were smooth. Have a blessed first week in Tanzania!!

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