Day 6: Karibu

Our last day in Dar we swam in the Indian Ocean, and with the hot temperatures it was so refreshing an fun! We also worked more at Watoto Kwanza and painted their fence and did yard work while getting the kids involved.
We then traveled about 7 hours to Lushoto where we are staying at SEKOMU, a university here. Their largest program is bachelors and masters in special education, and then students will specialize in a certain disability (blind, deaf, cognitive impairment, physical). Students here will learn Braille and sign language too! Besides just having lots of degree programs in special education, the campus is very inclusive- having ramps, inclusive language, education about disability, and some students here have various disabilities. College classes are actually taught in English here, and throughout Tanzania classes in school are taught in Swahili until kids are 14 or 15 and then it completely switches to everything being taught in English. However, Swahili is definitely always spoken with friends and family. I’ve actually been taking quite a bit of Swahili lessons here at the university too for several hours a day.
Karibu means welcome, and I’ve felt so welcomed since coming here. I’ve been able to talk to quite a few of the students here, which has been great! It’s Tanzanian custom to always greet people you meet while walking down the street, and if you know them or they are visiting you are supposed to stop and talk to introduce yourself. For them, talking to people you run into is much more important than being on time for your next destination, and many people will be late to things just because they consider these relationships to be more important and they think it would be rude to cut off conversation and leave.
The university itself is very beautiful. It is a good walk away from town, and it is high up in the mountains with a ton of greenery and so many trees and plants.

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