The screams of excitement from familiar voices, sounds of waves and the glowing night skies are irreplaceable. Even the annoying sounds from the mosquitoes and lake flies’ wings fill me with joy in my return to my other home. Everyone says ‘there’s no place like home’, but what do you say when you have two homes? Going to JBFC is never a vacation or trip, it is returning home. However, even after spending nearly two years at JBFC, every time I return I am constantly surprised with new things that have developed on campus.
Before I left in 2015, a new science lab was being constructed for Joseph and Mary’s Form 4 graduates, in order for them to complete the necessary practical experiments required for the national exam. The original science lab, an open area with multiple windows and walls decorated by paintings of the periodic table and colorfully filled chemistry beakers, had only one table in the entire room. A far-cry from the picture you see today.
Today, the entire room is filled with sink holding, granite topped tables, Bunsen Burners and every type of chemical equipment a high school could ask for, much less a rural Tanzanian school. I sat in on a couple labs in my most recent trip and had the chance to watch Mr. Mikera (pronounced Mr. Mikela) demonstrate an experiment to a class of wide-eyed students. He poured one clear liquid into a beaker filled with another clear liquid, and the beaker turned pink. The amazement and pure fascination displayed on the student’s faces gave me a smile, and then subtle tears. I knew what that room was before and what it was meant for, but nothing prepared me to see first hand what that room was actually doing.
To further add to the education experience that JBFC offers its students, JBFC has constructed a new set of classrooms, which will be home to a VETA (Vocational Education Tanzania Authority) program. Here, we will teach and educate students in hotel management, accounting, English, computer fundamentals and basic business strategies. Upon completion of the two-year program, graduates will receive a certificate in Hotel Administration. This will be a wonderful option for students who may not have the opportunity to go on to Advanced Secondary for Form 5.
Seeing the original plans and ideas for the science lab and all of the dreams JBFC had for hands-on learning come to fruition only validates my excitement for what the future of JBFC will entail.
Guest Blogger, Travis Purser, is JBFC's US Expansion Coordinator.