Introducing Sang’orie Sangau and Kesuma Laizer (pictured from left to right). These two exceptional Orkeeswa students were selected to travel to the USA this year as part of our Cultural Exchange Program that runs between Orkeeswa School and Groton School in Massachusetts.
We were keen to gain a deeper understanding of how the trip personally impacted them, their thoughts on the USA and how they feel now that they have returned home to Tanzania.
We interviewed the boys over lunch in Orkeeswa’s school garden.
Q: What did you learn in the USA?
K: We got experience. I really liked meeting new people and sharing ideas and making new friends. I liked talking about my home country; we were asked a lot of questions. I liked talking about different places.
Q: Do you feel different now that you are home?
S: I feel different. I have had different experiences and learnt different skills. I have seen different things. A vivid example of this is that I met an Architect. I used to see and hear about Doctors and Teachers, but meeting an Architect made me know that there are other opportunities. You can have a different life.
Q: What was your experience like when you first arrived in the USA?
S: When we stepped off the plane in New York, there was so much diversity. We drove down the street and we saw homeless people, people begging, we saw people who were not mentally ok. The USA is a big country and we have learned about it for a long time, we only hear good things about it. I felt glad to see these things, to know that they have the same problems that we do in this country.
Q: Before you left Sang’orie, you spoke to the student body about taking advantage of opportunities that Orkeeswa School provides. How do you feel now about this opportunity?
S: I really value this opportunity. I wish that everyone could get it. I want to share everything that I have seen and learnt. Particularly with people at Orkeeswa, but outside of the school too. Going to the USA is a challenge, because people will think that we have come back changed. Being exposed to Western culture and to money, they will think we are different. But we didn’t go to earn money, we went as students to learn and gain skills.