Bravery is a term I feel I have encountered several times during my gap year. I had to be brave entering into a new environment, trying new things, learning a new language, making new friends, and leaving it all. I was brave when I first came to Tanzania with my mom and 3-bags having no idea of the challenges I would encounter. I was brave deciding to stay with a family that was not my own. I was brave connecting with Lightness, Solomon, Cheja, Karen, Sabali and baby Sky as I did. I was brave trying dance classes, basketball, volleyball, and football (what Americans call soccer). I was brave trying to speak Kiswahili even when I had no idea what I was saying. I was brave going on a hike up Mount Meru with my friend Brenda and acquainting myself to her friends. I was brave meeting Winnie and walk with her around downtown Arusha. I was brave connecting with my friends at Arusha Dance Company. I was brave speaking to that group of kids hanging at the park and meeting my life long friends: Clasvahn, Shazen, Annalisa, Brian, and Hilary. I was brave traveling to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar for my first time. Finally I was brave leaving it all behind: a life, friends, and a community. Tanzania has taught me many things about bravery, but it also taught much about love.

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