I arrived in Jambiani on Monday, January 19th to begin my African adventure at the Zanzibar Community Outreach project. Jambiani is a small village located on the east coast of Zanzibar. When I arrived with three other new volunteers, we were immediately greeted by the staff. Our first evening we had a meeting where the staff introduced themselves and told us about the project and the people living in the village.
My new home was a bungalow on a white sandy beach that looked a lot like my version of heaven.
I spent the next six weeks teaching English at two nursery schools, and an adult class. The people in Zanzibar were awfully poor, but at the same time they seemed to be the happiest people I had ever met. They all really appreciated our work.
We road to school on our bikes almost everyday unless we wanted to have a walk on the beach with a company of one or two kids in each hand.
Every Wednesday we had dinner at a local teachers’ house – sitting on the floor eating with our hands. It was definitely the highlight of my week even though sometimes there was no electricity and we couldn’t really see the food.
The village also had a piece of land, which they bought in order to build their own school so we helped maintain the garden by watering the plants and digging to plant some new ones. It wasn’t easy, but when you know its for a good cause then you don’t mind. We always had fun working and sweating over there.
The weekends were full of adventures – we visited the Jozani forest and saw some red Columbus monkeys, we visited prison island and saw some enormous tortoises, we went on a safari blue excursion and got to snorkel. We also visited a popular music festival in Stone Town and the monthly Kendwa Rocks Full Moon party.
Yet, the most important thing was that I did all of these amazing things with a bunch of extraordinary people from all around the world, and had unlimited support from the amazing staff at the Zanzibar Community Outreach project. It was hard saying goodbye to this amazing village, but I’m sure I will be back.
Don’t miss the opportunity of volunteering in Tanzania- there’s no better place to be and I promise you won’t regret!