A Teacher’s Experience
I did a lot of research before choosing to volunteer teach at Maasai Joy. Two factors drew me to the school. First, was the incredible story of how the school was founded by an altruistic Kilimanjaro guide who wanted to give back to his Maasai community. The second factor was purely economic. For what I saved by not booking through a third party corporation, I was able to expand my Tanzanian experience to include a weekend safari and Maasai cultural experience, which I arranged for through the school’s director.
Most mornings I decided to forego getting a ride to school and instead chose to take the scenic 2 mile trek on foot, walking down the unpaved road through fields of bright yellow and black sunflowers and majestic stalks of golden corn while observing firsthand what life in rural Tanzania is like. The final quarter of a mile is breathtaking as it leads you into a beautiful and fertile valley that lies in the shadow of Mount Meru.
Once at school, I focused on teaching in my area of expertise, English. Although, I certainly helped out by teaching any other subject that was needed. In the course of the first few days, I was given the opportunity to teach each level of student from Kindergarten to 7th grade. With each new classroom I entered, I fell more and more in love with the school and the children. The students are incredibly determined, hardworking and so very appreciative and respectful of their teachers. I could not walk into a classroom without the students spontaneously greeting me with a greeting “Good morning teacher.” One morning, I walked into the classroom only to be met with a song that the children had planned for me. This is a very special place and I will always cherish the memories and pictures from my Maasai Joy experience. ~Bruce Fryer, ELA teacher from NJ