Kelly Garber

The first few days

 When I arrived at the SACH house on Sunday morning, I was instantly greeted by a slew of children from various countries. I was excited to meet two children and a mom from Tanzania; I could practice my Swahili with them!

Within a few minutes of my arrival, I was already part of the SACH family, with one girl sitting on my lap while another one braided my hair.

Helina from Ethiopia is quite the hairstylist! Just don’t tell me Tanzanian preschoolers that they have some competition!

While the morning was very overwhelming and I was 99.8% sure I would never remember the names of the ten children I had met, I learned that the children came from countries such as Ethiopia, Kosovo, Uganda, and Tanzania.

 When it was time for lunch, I discovered that the children and mothers cook and sit by country and that they often invite the volunteer(s) to eat with them. Tendo, a sweet girl from Uganda, invited me to sit with her and her mother (who we call Mama Tendo) and enjoy some of their Ugandan food, which I learned is very similar to Tanzanian food… A lot of rice and beans, but very delicious nonetheless. Tendo and Mama Tendo quickly learned that I was vegetarian when I declined the chicken, but have graciously prepared lunch and dinner for me every day since the first day. Side note: if I come home looking like a crazy-big sumo wrestler, we can blame it all on Tendo and Mama Tendo who insist that I keep eating even when I’m full!

Other than food (obviously the most important topic), I’m happy to report that I’m having an amazing time working playing with the kids. We’ve done puzzles, coloring, games, dancing, singing, arts and crafts, and so much more!

On day four, I can say that I’ve officially learned the names of all ten children… Just in time for a new group of eleven children to show up today. I’ll go into detail regarding the new group in my next post, since I haven’t had much time to get to know them. I will, however, tell you that they’re all from Zanzibar so they speak Swahili! Yay for practicing my Swahili!


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