Learning About Yourself
During the project we have had the opportunity to practice public speaking. We introduced ourselves to the village leaders when we first arrived in Kitunduweta. We also lead training sessions with our entrepreneurs daily, giving us the opportunity to work on our presenting style and confidence in front of a large group of people. Many of us have not had previous public speaking experience and have been pushed outside of our comfort zone. We have learned to adapt, be creative, open and confident in our own ability. By the end of the eight week entrepreneurship training programme, everyone in the group will be a confident public speaker. Additionally, every day we do a de-brief where we discuss how everything went and how we are feeling. This is a great opportunity to express ourselves in a supportive environment.
Learning from other cultures
We are a team made up of both Tanzanian and UK volunteers and team leaders. Each team member has a counterpart, giving everyone the opportunity to spend time learning from one another. Matt from the UK commented:
“Living in a rural village and staying with a Tanzanian homestay family offers the UK volunteers a chance to experience Tanzanian culture firsthand. We have had to adapt to the way of life as well as learning to communicate when we do not share a common language.”
Dennis, a Tanzanian volunteer is looking forward to working on his language skills, “Working with my team mates from the UK gives me the chance to improve my English language skills. I am also really enjoying getting to understand a different culture better.” The work we are doing in Kitunduweta relies on co-operation between us, our entrepreneurs and the wider community. We have been playing lots of ice-breaker games to get to know one another between training sessions. We will also hold an action day where we can introduce ourselves to the whole village.
Learning to live without technology
One of the biggest differences for both the UK and Tanzanian volunteers in Echo 2 is living without access to the internet or electricity. We are learning to entertain ourselves without technology – leading to some really inventive and hilarious games and stories. Ambre, a volunteer from the UK said, “A lack of technology forces interaction and allows us to build stronger relationships and get to know one another better.”
In Echo 2, we are away from social networks and our phones. Although at first we all missed these daily interactions, we have learned that communicating this way can be superficial. The relationships we have formed so far and the connections we have made will be sure to last much longer than the end of programme. We have already learned so much about ourselves and are all looking forward to continuing to build our personal communication skills. For now, we will continue to forge friendships and learn more about expressing ourselves without technology – we cannot use emojis today!
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