Since concluding our journey with Amizade we have encountered many individuals who were traveling with service in mind, from people who resided in the areas to others who were tourists like us looking to make a difference even if it is a small one. In some areas, people were looking for guidance as to start up an organization. We met two men in Kilwa Masoko, Tanzania who were interested in starting up an organization that places emphasis on the importance of organized sports in the community. They wanted our guidance as to who they needed to get in touch with in the States to gain support and information.
Through traveling we have come to understand that one of the most important aspects of the non-profit sector is exchange of information, whether it is between organizations, from the organization to the people it works to benefit, or the organization to its supporters. Meeting with various NGO's and through getting to know individuals along the way we understand that open communication and conversation can go a very long way. One of the most important lessons that has effected us, is learning not only to communicate but to listen attentively. I think as students it becomes second nature to sit and listen to a lot of information being thrown at you. What becomes imperative to understanding the world, is really learning to listen and comprehend what is being said. Before embarking on our trip to Tanzania, we both had majors in African Studies and have taken classes on global development. During our travels it became clear that as students we may have been listening, but not truly comprehending. We had many discussions in our Amizade group about how we had all read about water problems and food shortages but never took the time to really understand how important understanding these issues and communicating them to people in our community was. What we hope this blog accomplishes and what we hope to continue when we return home is to provide our home communities with the knowledge we have gained and the lessons we have learned from Amizade and individual travels.