Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thanks Again

Hello everyone! I’ve been back for nearly four weeks now and I greatly miss Tanzania. Once I got back I spent one day relaxing and catching up on sleep, and the next day I went right back to work for my Dad at Grove Landscaping. It has been great to be back home to see friends and family again, but now I also have friends and family half way across the world in Tanzania that I also miss.

My experience in Tanzania taught me more than I could ever have imagined. I learned countless lessons about life in general that I will never forget. I will always argue that traveling abroad is the best way to broaden your horizons. It allows you to see the world in a whole new way and to look beyond our own borders and see how life is lived by the people of other nations. Traveling from the U.S., the richest country in the world, to Tanzania which is one of the poorest countries in the world, really put things in perspective for me. It made me realize how fortunate each and every one of us are.

I have been asked many times since I have been back, “What was your favorite part of the trip?” This is not an easy question to answer as I experienced so many incredible things, but hands down, my favorite part of my travels was the people that I met. This includes all of the close friends that I made as well as many strangers I came in contact with. It was not unusual for me to ask someone on the street for directions, and instead of just telling me how to get there, they would personally walk me to my destination even if it took fifteen or twenty minutes. The people of Tanzania are incredible and they are full of generosity and kindness.

Traveling completely on my own for two months was not easy, but it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about myself. I learned to challenge myself and put myself in situations that I knew might be uncomfortable. I think that this can be incredibly valuable as it forces you to learn how to deal with adversity.

With all of your generous and loving support, I was able to reach my goal, and donate $2000 dollars to St. Margaret’s Academy. The school is currently in the process of building a new cafeteria and new classrooms, and this money will most likely go towards the continued construction of these additions. To put things in perspective, $2000 U.S. dollars is enough to pay for nearly two teachers’ salaries for an entire year. Everyone at St. Margaret’s Academy is incredibly grateful for your donations and support, and greatly appreciates everything that you have done for them. Following is a thank you note that Mama Tesha gave to me to share with all of you;

A word of thanks,

With sincere appreciation, thank you so much for the thoughtfulness you have shown. Thank you for your contributions to St. Margaret’s school in Arusha-Tanzania.. We feel blessed by your kind hearts.

With much love and gratitude,

Mama Tesha & the St. Margaret’s Academy Community

I made my donation to St. Margaret’s through Friends of Africa Education (FOAE) which is the non-profit organization based out of Minnesota that has significantly helped support the school. If you would like to continue to support St. Margaret’s and FOAE, please visit their website at www.foae.org.

If any of you would like to hear more about my trip, or just learn more about Tanzania and East Africa, I would love to sit down and talk with you. Once again, thank you for all of your support over the past several months. I greatly appreciate your help in making this experience a reality.

1 comment:

Mark Leppa said...

Hey Matt, Great stuff. Very inspiring.

I'm working on the next version of the FOAE.org website. I would love to use some of your incredible St Margaret's photos for the new site.