Through our eyes

Last week we took a brief pause in the 8th Grade Curiosities section to talk about malaria. However, the curiosities are back! Here are four more questions from the inquisitive 8th graders!

One student shared that she has a friend who has a brother adopted from Africa. She said that he was six years old when he came to the U.S. and that he was very scared. “Why do you think he was so scared?”

Think for a minute about how it feels when you go to a new place. Maybe think of your very first day of school, or your first day in a new school. You were likely anxious, scared, nervous, and uncertain about what might happen. Although we might think that coming to the U.S. would not be scary because we are familiar with the place, being in a new place is always a bit scary. When Melissa resettled refugees in the Denver, Colorado, she picked refugees up at the airport. She rarely picked up a family that did not feel anxious about arriving to their new home. They find different food, a new language, a new home, new smells, new sounds, a new way of life, and an entirely new environment. For us, the experience of living in a new and different culture has not been as dramatic, but we had a strong desire to come here. We were not forced to leave our home as refugees are, and we were not brought to the U.S. by new parents. For your friend’s six-year-old brother, we’re sure he was very scared about what might happen, what his parents would be like, and what his new life would be like. We imagine that he was also very excited for what might lie ahead. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why he was scared, but we encourage you to ask your friend’s brother if you get the chance. Maybe ask what it felt like to come to the U.S. We are sure that he has quite the story to share!

What do the children in Moshi do in their free time?

In our neighborhood, there are children of all ages. On average, each woman in Tanzania has 4 children so there are many children in Moshi! When we are in the community, we often find children playing on a dirt mound, playing soccer with a deflated ball in a small field with no grass, or helping their parents sell fruits and vegetables at a stand. It is rare to see children with toys as most children do not have any toys. Because the average income is $40 a month, even very small toys are very expensive. Likewise, books are extremely expensive and are rarely found. Children make do with what they have and seem to always be full of spirit and laughter. When we talk down the street, the children always greet us. They are usually running, playing and making their own fun.

Do men help women in the fields?

This is a very good question. We are not sure about the ratio of men to women, but men definitely work in the fields. We recall that we told you we read in a book that women comprised of about 80 percent of the labor in the fields in Tanzania. Thus far, we have only seen Northern Tanzania so we cannot report on the entire country of Tanzania, but we see both men and women in the fields. In fact, we often see men waiting in certain areas to see if they can get work in the fields each day. Both men and women work extremely hard in this country.

What do the people do about wild animals there?

Lions, elephants, zebras, hyenas, wildebeests, giraffes, monkeys, and the other wild animals that we often think of when we think of Africa are truly in the wild. Similar to the U.S., the animals do not live in the cities, but rather in wide open areas such as Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, and Serengeti National Park. These areas are where people go for safaris and are generally how people see so many wild animals in Africa. However, we did run across one “wild” animal while eating lunch in a grassy area one day! Check out the video to see this creature!

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