We’re spending our first days in Tanzania in the community of Maji ya Chai and experiencing village life in Tanzania. On our first day, in preparation for our time in country, we talked about the difference between a traveler and a tourist. Travelers immerse themselves in the local culture. They try to learn the local language and eat local food. They respect local traditions and appreciate the surroundings. Tourists, however, tend to be invasive. They don’t take the time to learn the regional culture and they bring their own culture into the country they are visiting.
To really understand the value of a traveler, we put together a song to show what we learned.
On our first full day in Maji ya Chai, we helped dig a well and remove dirty water from the bottom. We also spoke with some of the locals and learned about their daily lives. This experience was a great way to connect with the community. It was tiring, but it was also extremely rewarding!
On Sunday, we went to church. It was very intense and emotional. Everyone agreed it was vastly different from anything that we have seen before. It was definitely a cultural experience we won’t forget. After our church experience, we went back to our house where a traveling batik company gave us a workshop so we could make our own batiks. The batiks were beautiful, and nearly everyone bought at least one.