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Ubuntu · Avery Pasternak, Sarah Fogh, Tarquin Opperman

Reflections on Africa Service Learning

Sep 8, 2019

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We’ve been back for a couple months from our trip to the beautiful city if Mwanza, Tanzania. Reflecting on our transition back into life working in Toronto and studying in London, here are a few lessons learned and some of our favourite memories:


Favourite Memories

Sarah: My favourite memories were our Swahili classes with some of our SAUT students! It was such a great way to connect with the students on campus and learn a completely new language.

Tarquin: I loved visiting the night market close to campus! Being able to try Tanzanian delicacies and practice our Swahili made me feel so much more connected to the daily life of Mwanzans.

Avery: My favourite memory was the last class and certificate ceremony. We got all 150 certified students together to celebrate their achievements and reward their hard work, so it was a great way to cap off the course!


Lessons Learned

Sarah: I learned how to be adaptable and flexible to last-minute changes. I came in with my own plans and schedules for how things would go, so when circumstances arose that prevented us from executing our original ideas, we worked on-the-fly to make sure we still delivered a great course.

Tarquin: The biggest lesson learned was the importance of learning to speak the local language. Being able to connect with students and locals through Swahili was a great asset and one I wished I invested more time in mastering.

Avery: I learned to manage my expectations, specifically around timing and attendance. This made me better at adapting to last minute changes while still being able to achieve the outcomes of the course.


As we transition into our final year(s) of university, these amazing memories and important lessons are sure to stick with us and we are forever grateful for the experience!