I gave myself a "gap year" for my 60th birthday and spent four months of it in Africa.
I arrived at Give a Heart to Africa the beginning of October 2022, which is springtime in Tanzania. I was surprised by how lush and beautiful Moshi was. There were so many flowering trees and plants. (It reminded me a lot of Southern California.) And the views of Kilimanjaro from in front of the school were spectacular - when it decided to show itself!
As a older, solo female traveler, I was very concerned about safety. Now that I've been to GHTA, I can tell you that you will be 100% safe and sound. The volunteer house is within the school's complex, which features a high wall, an alarm system, and two wonderful security guards who you will quickly think of as family. (Seriously, they are the nicest guys.) It's also within a university complex, which has its own security. AND, you will quickly realize that Moshi itself is a pretty nice town. Tanzanians treat everyone like family. You will feel very welcome. I also appreciated that the vendors were not super aggressive. Just say you are a volunteer and they will leave you alone - and thank you for coming to Tanzania.
The volunteer manager and her grandson live in the house with you. The volunteer bedroom has a bunk bed and I was very happy to discover that the mattress was well-supported on wooden slats. The volunteer bathroom has a western-style toilet! (You will appreciate that in East Africa.) And there's an electric point of use water heater on the shower. Because I was the only volunteer, I had it all to myself. Although there was no air conditioner, the ceiling fan had a turbo speed, so even as spring turned into summer, I was comfortable under my mosquito net. (And it drowned out the time-challenged rooster next door - LOL!)
I taught for the last two months of the school year and was able to attend graduation (which involved a lot of dancing) and help interview students for the next school year. I travelled during the December summer break, then returned to GHTA for another two weeks in January. The Tanzania co-workers are so nice, helpful, and welcoming. I still keep up with them on WhatsApp and social media.
Besides my December overland tour (camping in seven southern and eastern African countries), I took some short trips on weekends, led by a fabulous and enthusiastic guide who was once a GHTA student. I also hired a Swahili tutor for a couple of hours four days a week. It was lots of fun and helped me understand some of the problems my students might have learning English.
Whether you travel with friends or solo, whether you are young or older, and whether you have teaching experience or not, GHTA will be an unforgettable experience and you'll make lots of friends. I'm already thinking about returning!