Hello (Hujambo), again. I am Hollie Brosky, but you may remember me as ‘teacher’. Although, I know you have a lot of teachers just like me come to your school in Moshi, Tanzania and teach you, so it is okay if you do not remember me. I came to visit you this past July on a service trip. Coming to see you in Tanzania, Africa, was my very first time leaving my country, the United States of America. When I came to see you, I traveled approximately 7,522 miles by airplane. You know, everyone I have told about my experience with you have all said things to me such as, “Wow Hollie, you really changed that girls life.” But, I think you have changed my life more than I could have ever hoped to have changed yours, Queen. I remember everything about my time with you, from the very first time I saw you, up until the very last second I had to spend with you.
It was my very first day coming to your school, and only my third day ever in your country. I was so excited to finally meet you and all of your classmates, which is something I had been waiting for for a very long time. However, I was nervous because I knew being your guys teacher would be challenging for me, because unlike you all, I did not speak any Swahili. However, I think that if I would have known I would meet you Queen, and be teaching you, I would not have been nearly as nervous. All of my partners and I got split up into groups by grade level to be your teachers, and fortunately enough, I received 5th grade. When I walked into your classroom, you did not stand out to me right away, for you were very shy, crouched down on your desk, and a tad bit smaller than the rest of the children. Boy, was that about to change though! As myself along with the rest of the group struggled to communicate to you and your classmates (due to the language barriers), you were the only student out of the entire class who was eager and willing to raise your hand each time. I couldn’t help but notice your enthusiasm and your incredible sense of pride with each and every hand raise, and this was JUST on the first day.
When my group and I had arrived back to where we were staying after that first day, unfortunately, due to all of the struggles we had with the rest of your classmates, we had to totally change our lesson plans. Because of the need to change our lesson plans completely, I was feeling pretty saddened and disheartened. You though, Queen, were my only sense of hope in that disencouraging time! I can honestly say because of your willingness to work with us through the language barrier and your brains, you made us want to continue on! We regrouped, replanned, and were ready to go for the next day. YOU Queen, to no surprise, were again, the star of the show! Every single time myself or the rest of the group would ask a question, your hand shot up at the speed of light, and you smile spread ear to ear, and you have no idea how much that warmed my heart. The eagerness you had to learn and be active in the classroom, which was full of other children noticeably bigger, older, and even jealous of you was jaw-dropping. This positive attitude you resembled, not only stayed throughout our entire time together, but only grew bigger and deeper!
Because Queen, you stood out so much to me, I always kept my eye on you in the classroom. Whenever I could, I would come over to your desk first and see how you were doing. To no surprise, you each day took phenomenail notes, without any instruction to do so, you copied everything down from the board into your notebook perfectly, and you answered every single question correctly, which was more impressive than all of your classmates. Right away Queen, I knew you were special, and each day more I got to spend with you, I grew to love (upendo) you more and more.
Thank you Queen, for being the greatest student I could have ever dreamed of teaching. Thank you for making me not lose hope and for not making me want to give up. Thank you Queen, for appreciating me and my hard work. Thank you Queen, for making me appreciate my education and my schooling back home, and for making me want to be a better student myself. Thank you Queen, for exemplifying the kind of student that all students should be. Thank you Queen, for not letting your classmates that could be mean to you sometimes get to you. Thank you Queen, for utilizing the education you are given and for making the most of it. Thank you Queen, for bringing tears of joy to my eyes with each answer you said aloud or wrote all by yourself on the chalkboard. Thank you Queen, for giving me hope in the future of Africa. Thank you Queen, for not thinking you are too cool or too good to succeed in school. Thank you Queen for being nice to me. Thank you for accepting me into your country and allowing me the utmost privilege to teach you. Thank you for being friendly and for being so incredibly happy, with the very little you have. Thank you for accepting my letter and my bracelet on our last day together, and for hugging me so tight. Thank you Queen, for making my last day in Africa that much harder to leave. Thank you Queen, for inspiring me to pursue both art therapy and teaching in college, and for inspiring me to dream of bringing art therapy to your country, Africa, one day in the future. Thank you Queen, for inspiring my idea of "Twisty for Tazania" yoga classes back in my high school, in which we are raising money for your school and students like YOU to have more educational opportunities. Thank you Queen, for changing my life. I know you will go so, so, so far Queen. I am so proud of you. I hope to see you again, someday. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! NAKUPENDA SANA!
Forever and Always,