As I sat aboard the airplane as it descended into Africa, the view outside the window was breathtaking. I gazed upon the eastern part of Africa out to the most beautiful emerald green sea. The ocean was dotted with many small islands like precious gems glimmering in the sun. I was so excited! It was my first visit to Tanzania and I was filled with overwhelming anticipation.
I was travelling to Tanzania for two reasons. First, I was participating in a charity event to provide the people of Tanzania with much needed mosquito nets. Second, I wanted to share my skills by teaching swimming to the local children.
Bagamoyo, which is a suburb of Dar es Salam, the capital city of Tanzania, does not have any swimming pools. Therefore, I had to teach my swimming lessons to these children in the ocean! The water was amazing! The temperature of the ocean was above 30℃. Approximately 30 students from a boarding school in Bagamoyo came together to take part in a ceremony to celebrate the establishment of a brand new varsity swimming club. This was their first swimming session and they didn't have any swimming gear. They didn't even have swim suits! But they were so excited to learn to swim that they jumped right in in their underwear! I was so happy to see how excited these children were. And very surprised too! I had brought swimming goggles for the children to use, but if I would have known, I would have brought swim suits instead! This was my first time teaching swimming to children in their underwear, but their enthusiasm was amazing!
“Lets try swimming the breaststroke!” I said.
“OK! No problem!” they said. However, they could not swim at all! They just dog-paddled by kicking off the ocean floor.
At this point, I began to realize how inexperienced they really were. But their ambition was incredible. They could not even dip their faces in the water, so I knew they would need to learn some basic swimming techniques. ....... TBC(maybe)