I’m halfway into my second volunteer abroad adventure with African Impact, this time as a Teaching and Community Support volunteer on the island of Zanzibar, Tanzania.
So far it has been amazing! Beautiful. Crazy. Exhausting. Pretty. Paradise.
The water here is clear blue, the sun is bright yellow and most of the time when the sun shines, it’s freaking hot. The rainy season has finally started, but thankfully we still get some really nice days with sunshine. The rain does make it more adventurous though, as when it’s raining here the streets flood and cycling to the schools where we work becomes all that more fun!
Here in the remote fishing village of Jambiani, Zanzibar, I teach in two nursery schools. I support the teacher for the ‘juniors’ class, where children are around 5 years old. It definitely makes the teaching a challenge, but I like it! There is nothing like arriving to the school every morning to hear the children calling ‘Teacher! Teacher!”, with big smiles on their faces.
The most interesting part about teaching in the nursery schools is working alongside the local teachers; who are also volunteers and don’t get paid. Aside from their love and passion for teaching the children, these ladies normally have at least one or two extra jobs to support themselves and their families.
The class I enjoy the most is my adult class every afternoon, where I teach a group of around 10 adult students the English language. I love spending time with them as they are funny, eager to learn and always up for a conversation about anything. What’s better is knowing that the students who graduate from our adult class have a greater chance of finding employment in the local area, as the resorts, restaurant owners and other villages know the quality of English our students gain from our classes.
Downtime in Zanzibar:
Our weeks are quite busy and sometimes we don’t have that much time to relax, so our weekends are everything. Most of the time we go to Stone Town for a day to explore like a tourist, and the other days we choose to just chill on the beach, or at the pool in one of the neighbouring resorts.
There are two things I would recommend every future volunteer joining African Impact in Zanzibar:
1. Go sailing with Haji – you will reach lots of amazing coral reefs where you can go snorkelling!
2. Go to the Eco Lodge in Zala Park. It’s a beautiful lodge far away from anything. You even have to kayak to it! It’s a great way to get some peace and quiet, and enjoy Zanzibar in its fullest as you are able to kayak and explore the beautiful mangrove forests!
Like I said before… Volunteer in Zanzibar means volunteering in PARADISE!