CULP Tanzania teams one and two continued to teach in the secondary schools during the third week in country. Cadets Jackson, Weber, Noffsinger, Brice, and Paradis worked with Form Four students, ages seventeen to eighteen, at Air Wing High School where classroom instruction was centered on conversational English skills.
The Air Wing cadet team taught between three to four hour-long classes a day. A daily 10a.m. “Chai Time” was a welcomed break, but more importantly, a reminder of a Tanzanian culture that appreciates a slower pace than Americans are accustomed to. The cadets befriended several local children during a break in the schedule and began a regular game of ball in the street with their new little “rafikis”.
Cadet Noffsinger headed several introductory classes on American football, while Cadet Paradis never failed to make his students erupt with laughter. Lesson topics ranged from American and Tanzanian music to informal and formal greetings. All classes emphasized speaking English with confidence in front of peers and the retention of vocabulary. The cadets will never forget the animated spirit of Air Wing High School.
After the cadets reluctant good-byes at Air Wing after our three weeks, an African safari seemed to be the only activity worthy to follow. Roughly 200km northeast of Dar es Salaam the cadets were able to spend two days at the Mikumi National Park. Accompanied by their Maasai guide Saitoti our expectations were high, and there proved to be no disappointments.
Elephants, giraffes, impalas, and baboons were only some of the animals many of the cadets got to see for the first time in their life. The experience proved to be authentic enough that the cadets had to share their campsite with a group of elephants. But it was a good way to see how people and culture in parts of Africa differ from where we had been, and how one needs to keep adapting to ones environment. Twelve hours of driving later we arrived back at the hotel, still excited about their two-day adventure.
As the cadets prepare to leave this week they can reflect on the many experiences they have been able to share, from teaching English to exploring the African Bush. It seems to be the consensus that time flew by, but time well spent it was. All the cadets will remember the hospitality they experienced in Tanzania, the friends they made, and the knowledge they have gained. But now that Fort Knox is in sight all that’s left is to enjoy the final days in country. Tanzania will be missed.