On the inward visits, the Tanzanians stay with local families. This is an opportunity for everyone to really connect, share stories and learn about each other’s lives. Typically 9 Tanzanians come to Cumbria, 6 of who are students.
Back home in Rungwe most of the students live in very basic homes with no electricity or piped water. As can be imagined, it’s quite a shock to see how we live and explaining what all our machines around the house do can be very eye opening. It can seem quite a daunting undertaking but people taking part have found it a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.
Here’s what Sarah said: Being a part of CRCL was a great experience for me, but hosting Belitha topped it off completely! I was always interested in being a host but I was nervous too. I had a lot more responsibilities than I had perhaps anticipated, and I was worried about the language barrier and how well they would settle into my home and family life. However, I soon realised that there was nothing to worry about at all. Belitha was such a lovely person and having her stay with me made us very close. I hosted in the final week of the inward visit so I already knew Belitha well by this time, and we were already very comfortable around each other. Belitha was 19 and I was only 17 so I was a bit nervous about the slight age gap but in reality this changed nothing. Belitha loved to paint nails and she also liked the programme Merlin so we watched that a lot! We also went to the beach often as she really liked the sea and spending time there. With Belitha living with me, we were able to just spontaneously choose whatever we wanted to do together which was great.
I think the most important thing to remember as a host is that your guest is not used to life in England and might be nervous about staying somewhere completely new. It’s therefore good to be very friendly, helpful, supportive and considerate to make them feel more comfortable in your home and enjoy the experience more. Belitha felt comfortable around me and was happy in my home which made us even closer. I am so glad I hosted as it made the whole CRCL experience even more amazing!