Asante Tanzania!

Matt and Ryan tell us about their final week in Tanzania. To find out more about our GEO global internship programme for Newcastle University Business School Stage 2 students, visit our website.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun! It’s weird to think that this time five weeks ago Matt and I were strangers, about to venture into the world of unknown and now we are leaving with an experience I will never forget (and we’re now the very bestest of friends). Despite being ready to come home I know I will miss this place very much, missing the comfort of having the sisters and missing all the children and the happiness this place brings. We have already agreed with the sisters that we would come back and although this may not be in the near future, with our research project coming to end it would be a pleasure to come back in a few years time and see how the Elizabeth Center has improved.

The last week has definitely been an eventful one. We learned how to make mandazi (see picture), which has become one of my favourite things to eat. We revisited the famous hot springs as we just couldn’t resist not going back one last time. And the highlight of my week was definitely going to the Rivertree Hotel for what we thought would be a quiet couple of hours by by the pool, to only come across a family of monkeys who followed us everywhere. We also managed to fit in two lots of two hour football games, which became very competitive and with Matt scoring two goals in each match he really did end up living up to his nickname of ‘Messi’. We also did our last bit of teaching in our final week teaching the kids about comparison, in which they drew some very accurate yet funny pictures of Matt, Bart and myself. To end the experience we had a fun game of Twister with the sisters, which was very amusing.

Although this week has been fun and eventful it has been sad to say bye to this place. We were gifted with a surprise from all classes who wanted to say bye to us. It entailed singing, drawings, speeches and even some acrobatics which will all feature in this week’s final vlog!

In order to celebrate our five weeks here we decided to take the sisters out for what we liked to call ‘our last supper’ at the local restaurant. This was a weird and enjoyable experience as just four weeks prior we sat in the same restaurant getting to know the sisters and our fellow students. It was good to end where we started and as we waved Bart off last night it was really starting to feel like this experience was coming to an end.

Despite such an eventful last week we have been working very hard on the report, bringing all our research together and forming our final recommendations to put forward to the Florentina Foundation. The research project has definitely been eye opening and we can only hope that our recommendations help and can make a real difference.

This experience has truly been unimaginable and I will take a lot of life lessons home with me. The Elizabeth Center truly is a place of happiness and there was never a dull moment. The children always managed to make you smile and despite only having each other it shows money is not the main requirement of happiness. The whole internship has been so much more than I expected and the Elizabeth Center really is an experience in itself, and I will never forget my time here. All that is left to say is Asante sana (Thank you very much) to everyone at the Center and we will see you again one day!