Taren Hastings, who has been a GETheatre intern for over a year, has recently been promoted to Administrative Assistant!  Taren has proven to be an invaluable part of GETheatre’s team and we were thrilled to have her join us for our GETZanzibar 2012 programming this past summer.  Read Taren’s final impressions on her first experience teaching with GET in Zanzibar.

What an amazing journey! The students of Kiembe Samaki did a great job performing their original stories. They added traditional songs and dance with African drums. The entire experience was unique to their culture and could not have been written or performed by anyone but them. Though the writing process was not always easy, all of the students were extremely proud of themselves after the first show. They were singing and dancing with huge smiles on their faces long after the show was over. It was a joy for me to hear them chanting my warm up over and over again and encouraging me to dance. As a performer, I was happpy to share my love of theatre with the students. I could see that they also enjoyed the sense of community and confidence that develops after the opening of a show. This may be the first and only opportunity for many of the students. There are no arts programs in their school. GETheatre is a welcomed and necessary program. Leaving Zanzibar was difficult. Though I tried not to so many times during the rehearsal process, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears as I said my goodbyes. I had tears of joy and gratitude for being able to meet such amazing young people. I left Kiembe Samaki full of hope for the lives and the community of Zanzibar. It was a humbling experience every time the students called us teacher. I feel like they taught Ashley, Yosefa and I so much about what it means to investigate a community need in order to truly be good teachers. I’ll miss the students and wish them well on next year’s English exams. I hope they continue to do my warm-up for years to come! I would like to think that they will need it to prepare for many years of public speaking.

-Taren Hastings

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