My time in Tanzania with Oyster was the most important thing i've ever done in terms of my personal growth - in terms of my personal development (my growth in confidence etc) and my career trajectory, as I am now about to pursue a master's and career in International Development, having spent a year working in the Development sector. All this was inspired by my time in Tanzania, which gave me a love for all things Africa and a desire to work towards helping developing countries improve.
I was based in Sekei in Arusha. I lived in a small house with 3 other volunteers, and our house had no electricity or hot water - the only house not to have electricity out of the 4 host homes. This was often a point for making jokes at our expense but I loved it - it was great for moral all coming together with our headtorches and buying candles, and it creates a great sense of resiliency within you. You genuinely do come to think "Electricity? No big deal". It's easy to charge your phones in town in an internet cafe or somewhere else, or at the other volunteer's houses.
Teaching was incredible. I taught two classes who were all eager to learn, as well as leading after school clubs for activities such as football. It could be disheartening if students couldn't grasp a point I was trying to make but this wasn't very often, and the classes usual teacher would always sit in with me just in case something was lost in translation. I was generally allowed to do as much as i wanted and this made it all the more fulfilling. We also visited several children's homes which was good for when you had day's where you weren't teaching a lot.
Being in a city it was easy to go into town to keep in touch with your family over the internet and buy anything you might need - from goods at the Supermarket "Shoprite" to thigns for your camera - I bought an extra memory card specifically for climbing Kilimanjaro...
... which brings me onto trips and stuff. A fantastic luxury safari is organised for you for a snip of the price of what it normally would be, and it's a trip you'll remember forever, seeing the very elite of sights that Africa has to offer. Simply: do it. You're a numpty if you don't.
Over spring holiday we went to Zanzibar, whcih was great fun and easily organisable. I climbed Kilimanjaro which was arranged through a private company recommended to me - Ajabu Adventures, run by Judith, a lovely dutch lady! If you want to take time out from teaching that's fine - and me and a few others went to Mwanza in Lake Victoria to explore for a week which was really beautiful, and we even stayed on an island on the lake for a night. I've never met anyone else who's done the same.
Social life with your pother volunteers is great - you can visit them on weekends or even midweek in town if you want and go to orphanages together. We went out every thursday to a club called Via Via every thursday where we met volunteers from other agencies which was really fun - obviously if you're not into this sort of thing, you don't have to do it :)
I also had a incident back home which I required support for and the rep was tremendously helpful and supportive for me and helped me through it - and was available whenever I needed her.
All in all, a wonderful experience and it was pretty much my favourite thing I;ve ever done. If I hadn't, I would absolutely not be the person I am now and would not have done the things I have done or be going on to do what i'm doing now. Couldn't recommend Oyster Highly enough!