Our experiences with Global Volunteers in Tanzania have exceeded anything we could have imagined. Each trip has been uniquely rewarding, yet always filled with wonder, fun, and fulfillment. Having traveled with my teenage sons, each of our teams have been incredible mixtures from all walks of life: from college students, parents and retired professionals, to current teachers, engineers, and medical professionals. There was something to tantalize the interests of everyone on our teams.
In the village of Pommern there are many opportunities to become involved in the community and the team manager, Edward Mgeni, works tirelessly to meet your interests. On different trips my sons and I have:
* taught kindergarten, grammar and conversational English to primary school children, and computer skills and geography to secondary school students
* worked on labor projects to build a new kitchen for the secondary school, repair dorms, planted tree seedlings, and worked on a village water project.
* assisted in the village clinic with maternal and baby well visits, assisted doctor in record keeping and taking vital signs, and assisted with immunization program at a remote village.
* made friends with staff and other villagers who have taught us to cook traditional meals, honed our water-fetching and fire-building skills, invited my sons to join the village soccer team, and hosted us in their homes for dinner and basket making lessons
I smiled to myself when the review survey asked me to rate the "social life" opportunities. While it may not be Picadilly Circus, Pommern has given us many experiences beyond compare. For example, during the 2010 World Cup, the local Catholic Church rented a satellite dish, generator, and projector. Each night as the games of the World Cup were projected onto the wall of a small village store, we were thrilled beyond words to cram together with the rest of the village and cheer on each goal and flop! Quieter, yet no less thrilling, moments included having tea in the home of the oldest woman in the village, playing with the kids, and learning enough Kiswahili in order to successfully barter and buy vegetables at the market!
What has truly made our trips with GV the most impactful (and has kept us coming back for more) has been the friendships we have formed in the village of Pommern itself. The team leader and staff treat each volunteer as if they are treasured members of his family and village community. They took great care to teach us about their country, village, language, and customs, constantly striving to provide for us the best experience possible. The village of Pommern is a long journey from the US, but your all of your efforts and expense will be repaid beyond measure once you embark on the journey of a lifetime!