Since we have arrived in Tanzania, we have noticed many things here that are not as big a deal as they are in America. One of the first things we noticed was that in our guest house there is only one mirror to share among 9 girls. Because of this, many of us are less concerned about our appearances and wearing make-up. We can now go all day without looking in a mirror as opposed to being at home in America, where we look in the mirror first thing in the morning and several times throughout the day.
In addition to the mirrors, we had another thought that went along with this. We have noticed that women do not wear make-up to the extent that Americans do. Maybe this is because of the lack of mirrors, or the simple belief of natural beauty. We both agree that we haven't needed to wear make-up here because we are not constantly looking in the mirror and criticizing ourselves. We also feel that everyone here is more accepting of others not wearing make-up, whereas in America, not wearing make-up is not as common as wearing make-up is.
Another interesting finding is women's clothing here. We quickly realized that women here are not as concerned at quantity of clothes as much as the quality. Walk-in closets are definitely not as common in Tanzania as they are in America. In America, girls are pressured to have a vast amount of clothing and to not wear the same outfit twice. Here in Tanzania, women buy fabric of their choice and bring them to a tailor and have exactly what they want made. Therefore, they have what they need and are happy with what they have. On Sunday's, everyone wears their best to chapel. We were all amazed with the beauty and detail seen in these dresses. We wish things could be more like this in America.
The last thing we want to mention is our new appreciation for laundry machines at home. We just completed our laundry, Tanzanian style, and we have the upmost respect for people who do their laundry this way. We had to fill a basin with water and detergent, scrub our clothes in the mixture, empty the basin, and hand rinse each article of clothing. Then we wrung out our clothes and hung them on the line outside. This may sound simple, but it was hard work.
We hope to remember and hold onto some of these concepts as we head home to America. Sometimes as Americans, we take things that seem so simple for granted, as well as forget that some things should remain simple.
About the authors: Katie Hurley ‘17 and Lexi Giannone ’17, are Misericordia University Nursing students participating in a two-week service trip to Karagwe, Tanzania.
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