Blog Tanzania

Life as a help2kids volunteer



Hi, my name is Tara and I am from New York. I’ve just begun my second week as a help2kids volunteer, and I cannot believe how much I’ve done in just one week. Since arriving in Tanzania a week ago I have had so many awesome experiences. The children are sweet and adorable. We start each day (the volunteers) by riding our bicycles to the school to pick up the children. When we arrive there we gather all the children, but pay special mind to the youngest of the bunch. The children take the bicycles and ride them home… or well try to ride them home!  The other children try their hardest to be the first to you so they can hold your hand. Even children who do not belong to our orphanage walk home with us and want just as badly to receive our attention for a few minutes. A simple ten minute walk from the school to the orphanage often takes up to 45 minutes with the children finding treasures on the street, singing, dancing, and trying to ride the bicycle. We arrive to the orphanage tired, hot, and sweaty but always happy and smiling. We play for a while and then the children wash their school uniforms and we all settle in for lunch cooked by the mamas.


After lunch the children take a nap and the volunteers plan English lessons for the afternoon, which take a lot of patience to say the least. We reviewed animals the other day and whenever the kids weren’t sure they would yell out “rabbit”! The children struggle to pronounce my name (Tara) and I get a mixture of Sara, Tyra, and Tyler on a daily basis. Now that the kids know that I’m from New York they have started calling me Teacher Obama, and I just cannot help but totally crack up whenever they do.   


The fun doesn’t stop at the orphanage… living at the guest house is great – each day is always different. I have met so many people just in a week and I love sitting down to dinner each night with a table full of people from different countries. During my second weekend here I went on a safari with Amandine (the guest house manager), Manuela (another volunteer), and three guests from the guest house. The trip was full of unexpected moments and we laughed the entire time. So far being a help2kids volunteer has totally surpassed my expectations. Even though I am totally exhausted at the end of each day and there’s always the daily tribulations like electricity cuts, horrible traffic jams, and the occasional gigantic insect I wake up each day excited to see the kids and to share some love with them… they just soak it up. The people of Tanzania are so warm and kind, and both the orphanage and the guest house feel like home. Someone I met here said, “It’s always good to have a sense of humor” – this is so true, and there is undoubtedly a dozen crazy things that happen each day that deserve some serious laughter.

Tara Martin (USA)
help2kids Volunteer