A young person’s view of life in Tanzania

Posted on June 25, 2011 by Global Mission Support

Megan Stubbs, 17, is the oldest daughter of Randy and Carol Stubbs, ELCA missionaries in Tanzania where they teach music at Makumira University College.

Megan Stubbs playing cello at a wedding in Zanzabar.

Megan Stubbs playing cello at a wedding in Zanzabar.

What do you like about Africa?

I like the general attitude of the people: “You get there when you get there, take your time, you are always welcome in our home.” The pace of life is also slower than that in America. I also enjoy being able to go to the local market.

Do you know Swahili?

Yes. I’m basically fluent.

What do you miss about America?

First, I miss my family (grandparents, cousins, etc.) and our friends. The other thing I really miss is playing in an orchestra. I got the chance to go back to a summer music clinic in Madison, Wis., last summer, and I scored first chair in the honors orchestra! That was a really good experience. Little things that I miss once in a while are ice cream, bike riding and tree climbing (here you don’t do that because of the monkeys).

Do you like America or Tanzania better?

I don’t like either better. They are so different that I don’t even begin to compare them. However, I definitely feel “at home” here more than in the States.

What is the most wonderful thing and the most undesirable thing about being here?

The most wonderful thing is that we are always welcome anywhere and people are so warm and friendly. The most undesirable thing I would have to say is that when I venture out of Makumira and the surrounding village I am in a fish bowl. Except for the people that know me, I am just “the white person.” Sometimes I would just like to fit in, just a bit, and maybe go to a market or some place and not be charged at least twice the price because of my color (this is where bargaining comes into play). But even though sometimes it’s a bit wearing, I wouldn’t leave for anything!

What was your reaction when your parents told you “We’re moving to Tanzania”? Did you miss your friends?

Well, I thought it was AWESOME! I couldn’t wait to get here! I didn’t think much about leaving my friends because “we were only going to be here for one year.” Ha. Of course, once we got here, I loved it so much that when we were told we could stay longer I was elated!

What are you planning for college?

To be honest, at the moment, I’m not. I will concentrate on finishing high school first, and I am planning to stay here in TZ as long as I possibly can. If that means taking a year or two or three off between, that’s fine with me!