I am back in Tanzania for year four, and already through the first week of school. My class schedule is significantly lighter than last year, which was a pleasant surprise when I arrived on Thursday. I am still teaching English Literature for grades 10-12, Philosophy of Service and Research Paper Writing to grade 9, and helping with swim lessons for Kindergarten through grade 3. For the first few weeks, I will be assisting with and covering some of the middle school P.E. classes, but I am no longer the primary P.E. teacher for middle school (something I quite enjoyed last year, and will miss doing this year!).
Some highlights of the first week back:
- P3 (Praise, Prayer, & Pilau)
Friday evening, The Ocean Church hosted a young adults event that they call P3, which stands for Praise, Prayer, & Pilau. It was exciting to reconnect with friends I hadn’t seen in two months, and the message was convicting and challenging. This month’s topic was purity, and we had a moving time of prayer and confession as we joined together as young Christians with a desire to be pure.
- Surf Sunday
One of the things I love most about being a part of YoungLife is that it “requires” me to do something that I already enjoy: be a part of the lives of young people. That looks entirely different depending on the person, and with two of my “Young Life kids” (aka. friends), it looks like going to the early service at church together so that we can spend the rest of the day surfing. The waves were perfect, and we had a blast surfing together–something we decided should become a monthly tradition. #surfSunday!
- Kweli & Kitesurfing
I don’t know who was happier at seeing the other–me or my dog Kweli. Having a giant, “tiger” dog who loves the beach, has unquenchable energy, and provides protection is a fantastic gift. We celebrated my first weekend back in Dar by spending all Saturday afternoon at the beach–swimming, playing fetch, and kitesurfing (Kweli had to be tied in the shade for that part!)–until we were both exhausted. I honestly couldn’t think of a much better plan for a Saturday afternoon.
When I arrived in the Dar airport last Wednesday evening, I was surprised to find that I was able to speak Swahili almost effortlessly. Even as I’ve made calls to various fundis and drivers this week, I’m shocked at my own ability to put together sentences after not practicing or studying Swahili at all in two months. There are certainly things I still have no idea how to say in Swahili, and I’ve already scheduled weekly Swahili lessons, but I’m excited that progress is being made and that after four years, I at least know something! 🙂
That’s about it for now. In some ways, I still feel like I’m in a bit of a daze, though the “transition week” should be coming to an end shortly. Nevertheless, I’m excited about the year ahead and can’t wait to see what God is going to do here in Dar this year!