Maggie Tydings ’20 and Jeffrey Chen ’19 share the groups lengthy travel journey to the Mainsprings campus in Mwanza, where the group will reside for the next couple of days.
We kicked off our journey to Tanzania at 4:10 am on March 10th. It is now 11:00 pm on March 11th and we have just arrived at Mainsprings in Katanga, Tanzania. After a four-hour bus ride to JFK we boarded our first flight to Dubai. Upon arriving at Dubai we boarded another plane to Dar es Salaam where we took our last flight to Mwanza. We were greeted by Jonas, the assistant director of Mainsprings at the Mwanza airport. We split up into 3 fully equipped safari-vehicles and embarked on our last push towards our final destination.
In the 1.5-hour ride from the airport to the campus we got our first taste of life in Tanzania. We drove through the city of Mwanza and saw countless street vendors and families congregating for dinner outside of their homes. We passed a cow farm and saw lots of dogs lingering on the side of the road. The ride to the school was the first time it sunk in that we were about to embark on this rewarding journey. We felt fully immersed in life at Mainsprings from the second we got out of the cars, as fifty of the most welcoming girls you can imagine greeted us with open arms, quite literally. Their hugs were the best remedies for us after thirty-six hours of travel. The girls and the staff could not have been more gracious in welcoming us to their home.
As a group, we have already bonded so much during our short time together. Whether it was playing Cards Against Humanity on the ground of the Dar es Salaam airport or belting Taylor Swift on the way to the school, we have already made this group a family. We cannot wait to get to bond more as a group and to get to know the girls of Mainsprings better in the coming days!