We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
Unofficial Ambassador Fiona Lloyd-Muller will be teaching English to high school students at the English-Speaking Muslim School in Zanzibar, Tanzania! Continue reading to find out more about her pre-departure reflections.
The original post was written Fiona.
It is May 15th, and I am a ball of emotions. Excited and nervous are just two of the emotions I am feeling right now, but they are the ones that remind me what this day means in terms of the next few months, and the rest of my life. Less than 10 days from now, I will be in in Zanzibar, Tanzania teaching English at the English-Speaking International Muslim school and learning Swahili and the ways of life of Zanzibaris.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted two things very badly in life: 1) to travel, and 2) to teach. Maybe this was because my mother grew up overseas and still travels for her job, maybe because I was lucky enough to be exposed to many different cultures within the U.S., or that I have the privilege of having traveled out of the country before. Whatever it is, I have ALWAYS been passionate about traveling, especially to East Africa, and the same applies for teaching. I have never had a classroom of my own, but I have worked with kids in many capacities my entire life, and always felt like it was something I could do in the real world. Now that I am in college, I am minoring in education, and already am so excited to put the skills and knowledge I am learning about teaching further into practice! In short, this opportunity is something I have wanted for a very long time – and I can’t wait to experience it!
My expectations for this experience are sort of complicated. Since I have never done anything like this before, I am trying not to have too many or too specific expectations. I think that it is better for me to go into this experience trusting that it will be amazing, different and life-changing, and leave it at that instead of worrying about what I think may happen, or how I see things going.
I know that Zanzibari culture is much, much different from what I am used to. My experiences at home in Seattle and in college in Greensboro are going to be totally different from my experiences in Zanzibar. In fact, that is exactly what I have been telling people who ask – That I couldn’t have picked a more different place to go this summer and do an internship. And that is exactly why I picked it! And as much as that scares me right now, I am also excited beyond words to begin this adventure!!!