By CHRIS BISHOP ‘18
In the month of December, the Saint Ignatius community is blessed to receive students from St. Peter Claver High School in Dodoma, Tanzania. Saint Ignatius has had previous mission trips visit Tanzania. I recently had the pleasure to talk to Mr. Wilhems, project coordinator, and a couple students, Macrina and Peter.
Mr. Wilhems had no previous ties to the school; however, Saint Ignatius had ties for three years. Ignatius faculty went there for three years, and it is the second year for St. Peter students coming here.
The students are here for fourteen days. Weekends are for the host families. One weekend, the students are visiting the Kalahari Water Park. Saint Ignatius has ten days for the students, just a few of the activities the students partake in are shadowing schools, such as Toledo St. John and Walsh Jesuit, touring Cleveland, and local service in Ohio City.
I asked the students, Macrina and Peter what the best part of America was, and they both agreed that America was great and they appreciated the openness of the people. They also appreciated the way the whole city backed the Cavaliers when they attended the game against the Kings.
Next I asked what was the biggest difference between America and Tanzania. Peter and Macrina both agreed that they appreciate how the schools are connected, referring to the Jesuit relationship of Saint Ignatius, Walsh Jesuit and St. John’s. They also said that the teachers are much more serious in Tanzania, and there is very little room for joking around in the classroom.
Finally, I asked what they will take back to Tanzania from this experience. Macrina said she wanted to take back the appreciation for the arts and singing, which Tanzania lacks. Peter, as the student body president, wanted to bring more clubs back to his high school. He said he liked how the students have a role in the school. On a lighter side, both liked American foods such as pancakes and McNuggets.
All of the student visitors are stepping into a new world by coming to America. With a great itinerary, it should be a good time for the students. Peter and Macrina are both excited to be here, but can not wait to go back with this experience.