Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PeaceTags in Tanzania!

It's always amazing to learn what PeaceTags' wearers are up to in the world! Recently I had the chance to chat with Tiana D. She's pictured here during a recent volunteerism journey to Tanzania. Her experience in the East African country was a powerful source of life lessons. (Scroll down for the interview.)
Question: Why Tanzania Tiana?
Well, I was always drawn to Africa. A college class on the culture and beauty of the region really intrigued me. Tanzania is home to the Serengeti, the people are fascinating, and the need for volunteers seemed clear.
Question: What was your job there?
I was a teacher in a village called Karanga, just outside the city of Moshi. The school was for disabled people and my students ranged from 5 to 35 years old. The disabilities ranged from major physical challenges to slight learning dysfunction such as dyslexia. Mainly I taught math and reading. (scroll down)

Question: The photos of the kids with your PeaceTag are so great!. Did you wear it often?

Tiana: I wore it almost every day--the kids loved it! And I learned how to say "All we are saying is give peace a chance in Swahili!!!!"

Question: Why did you choose that PeaceTag?
It was a gift from my Mom who happens to LOVE John Lennon! And as teacher, it was perfect. I found myself constantly thinking "give peace a chance, give peace a chance" when I needed more patience! (Scroll down)
Question: Where did you find peace in your experience?
Tiana: I found peace in the community. The people were so warm and welcoming and had the biggest hearts! No matter how little a family had, when you entered their home they prepared food for you. Sharing a meal was a true way of connecting and showing honor and respect.
Question: Was there anything that made you feel less at peace?
Tiana: Sometimes when we made home visits, I realized that they were sharing the only food they had. That made me uncomfortable, but it would have been seen as very disrespectful to reject their hospitality. (Scroll down)
Question: What else did you learn from volunteering in East Africa?
It's daunting to realize how great the need is for education and economic resources in third world countries. To see it firsthand really impacted me. I felt as though my time there was not enough. I want to return. Volunteers can make a difference but it takes a lot of time and effort.
Thank you Tiana for living out the PeaceTags motto: think about, talk about and work for peace!