Q & A with Waega Samwel, Tanzanian Visitor

October 16, 2019 / Andrea Wenger
Waega Samuel

Waega Samwel, a teacher from Nyantira Mennonite Academy in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, is serving EMS this year as teacher assistant and administrator Intern. Mr. Samwel is in the United States as part of the International Visitor Exchange Program of Mennonite Central Committee. During a recent chapel, Lee Good, science teacher, interviewed him.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Tanzania, a country in East Africa. My home town is Bunda Mara northern part of Tanzania. It is a small town located eastern part of Lake Victoria. The main economic activities are fishing, agriculture, transport and communication and trade.

When many people think of Tanzania, they think about game parks, a volcanic mountain called Kilimanjaro, and lots of wild animals. Are these stereotypes true? What else should we know about Tanzania?
There are many others things such as Zanzibar Island, kind people, a lot of local foods like Ugali, Makande, Michembe and many other more.

What church did you attend when you were growing up?
The church I went to is Mennonite church of Tanzania. It’s found in many parts of Tanzania. Since I was born my parents were going to that church up to now, and I was baptized in 2017. I have been attending the church service every Sunday and I teach Sunday school to young children.

Tell us about your family.
My family includes father, mother and four children. I’m the oldest. I have two sisters and one brother. My parents are working in farms. My father also works as an assistant pastor at the church.

What is school like in Tanzania?
Ah, school, now that is a very interesting subject. Thanks for asking! In Tanzania we have public and private schools and our education system is 7-4-2-3. We have primary school 7 years, secondary school 4 years, high school 2 years and university 3 to 5 years depending with your major. There are few schools compared to number of students so most of the schools are crowded by number of students such as 100 students in one class.

What are your interests? What do you like to do for fun?
Watching movies, going hiking, eating and Watching soccer games.

Why did you want to take part in the IVEP program? What IS IVEP?
There are many reasons such as learning new culture when meeting people from different parts of the world like how they eat, what they wear and their languages, increasing vocational experience, broadening my horizon and views, meeting new friends and experiencing how Christian life is in USA.

What do you hope to gain/learn from this year?
I hope to make new friends, learn how to work with different people across the world, improve my English speaking and grammar competence because that will be valuable in teaching back in Tanzania. I also hope to help youth in the church in different projects.

How can we make your time with us more meaningful?
By giving me cooperation at school and outside the school.

Thank you Waega and welcome!

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