“I need to come back here”


We’re back from Keura Primary School (located in a mountainous region called Kirua) and our lives were humbled and enriched by the people we met over the last week — especially the children, who reminded us of the importance of play, human connection, forging relationships, and singing…LOTS of singing.

Group-KEvery morning, our students took upon the challenge to aid local construction workers to repair the foundation of two classrooms and the floor of one classroom. Without a single complaint, the students worked hard to move rocks, sand, and water to be used to mix cement. The headmaster, teachers, and students were very appreciative of our work. Whispers of asante (meaning “thank you”) could be heard as the students walked by. Our students also gained some insight into the challenges of teaching—especially the importance of being prepared, timing, and the language barrier. However, they rose to the occasion, utilizing their new Swahili vocabulary to teach Keura’s students a combination of songs, English, and geography. All of this came with the hard truth of acknowledging how privileged we are. They often pondered: Should we be helping more? Is being here causing more harm than good? Is our help actually effective?

One of the trip’s highlights was an afternoon hike in the surrounding area; we saw much of Kilimanjaro’s flora and, despite the challenging terrain, made it to the base of a beautiful waterfall. Our last night was spent by the campfire, where our guides and hosts treated us to a traditional Tanzanian celebration complete with roasted goat and cake to say thank you.

We also made plenty of time for academics! Our World Issues course is well underway, as we’ve continued to explore Population and Urbanization. Students have also used their deeper knowledge of rhetorical devices and Aristotle’s Appeals to write and perform their rants (a few topics included: “All crime should be punishable by death”, “Taller people are more successful”, “Humans are innately evil”, and “Aderol should be taken by everyone”). Students also engaged in their first Book chat on Damned Nations, by Samantha Nutt.

We have returned to Honey Badger for two nights, and we can confidently tell you that your sons and daughters have a new found appreciation for showers and porcelain toilet bowls!

We are only sleeping over for two nights, because we head out on safari Tuesday morning – (UPDATE) Tarangire National Park first, followed by Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater. Everyone is quite excited!

Love from Moshi,

The JTA Family

P.S. Jamie snores loud enough to keep 7 tents worth of people awake.

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