We've landed at Dubai and have nearly four hours to wait for the next flight ... all in good spirits so far.
The students have all been amazing ... and if the worst thing that happens on a trip is a lost room key costing me 20,000 Tsh then you know that it's been pretty good. What I liked about this team was the fact that they started in very different places and yet from the first singing in the bus to Heathrow you could tell that they had the potential to be more than their respective parts ... that there could be real synergy ... and so it proved ... the outcomes with regard to the teaching/learning and relationship building with Umonga secondary and Kaloleni primary schools far exceeded my expectations ... and that was down to the students but also to the great work done by Mrs A who was great support on the trip ... and a dollop of great luck meeting Kathryn at church!
As is my way I would like to suggest awards for the students on the trip ... they won't know about this unless they read the blog ...
Best lyricist (and having hidden depths that I want to see more of in school) Dan
Most eloquent public speaker and person most likely to make the other students cry (because of his moving words ... but what an exceptional young man) George
Best dance performance and twerking (well received by Umonga students) as well as being the DJ for the trip - Max
Person who most defied my pre-trip expectations in a very positive way (more of that in school too please) Alice
Most use of social media/messaging and person most likely to use their phone Tanzanian style (e.g. Rose Msafiri answered hers half way through her thank you and farewell speech to us in front of the whole school ... but it's the Tanzanian way!) Eloise (have to congratulate her on her bravery as well because of having to do all those injections before and during the trip so she could come - well done)
The Day-glo award for most sun burnt student (but did brilliantly in so many things throughout the trip and was the first student to go up and write on the board in our first observation lesson - really gutsy) James
Most popular student amongst our Tanzanian friends, both students of any age and teachers ... and who played a strong leadership role with the whole team throughout - Beth
Most attempts at breaking the hospital duck (urchin spines, stubbed toe, sun burn but all with no complaints) Ellie
The person who really embraced being out of their comfort zone the most (quietly concerned at the start of the trip to confident speaker and teacher after a few days) Miles
Person most reluctant to embrace the Tanzanian culinary experience (although still managing to eat pretty well) Oli W
African fashionista and person who made the best progress in embracing the African culinary experience during the trip (from zero to full on!) Oli T
Person most likely to end up in a role that involves negotiation and peacekeeping and definitely not phrenasthetic (😎) Anna
Most humble and deep leadership award (leading and supporting his team very well from the back and even sang when we performed our song!) Josh
Person most likely to be an MP in the future (as well as developing good self evaluation skills and always being willing to climb down with an apology ... probably not MP qualities!) Faith
Obviously the awards are just a bit of fun and there were many more facets to each persons contribution than I can mention here ... the most important thing to me is that they have opened their eyes and their hearts to people who have a completely different culture, life style, colour, economic viability, education and opportunity and they have treated them as equals and given what they can to assist those people ... and hopefully I have given them an opportunity to be globally grounded, recognising where they sit in the world and what most of the world really feels and looks like so that they will, throughout their lives, consider those less well off than themselves. Selfishly I hope it has ignited a desire to learn more about Africa and Tanzania because those are places close to my heart (but it's not about me it's about them). Mr L