Tanzania – Rolina KwaSadala

Shelby here – it’s been a while since I’ve posted and I am excited to share my recent trip to Tanzania.  I’ll share various photos and stories over a series of blogposts this week.

Experiencing a new country is why we travel, but having an experience that changes who you are as a person is extraordinary – and that is how Zach and I felt after returning from Tanzania.



Zach’s fellow teacher and friend, Jeff, invited us to join him in Tanzania this summer (Jeff has visited every summer for the past few years).  We stayed at Rolina Orphanage in a town called KwaSadala at the area at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  Octavian (in the photo with Zach below) grew up at Rolina; he was our constant companion and friend while we were there.  Everyone calls him “Zawadi,” which means gift in Swahili.


Rosmin and Paulina have taken in kids that are in need of family and a safe place to stay for 17 years. (Rosmin + Paulina is how their home became “Rolina”). They estimate they have had over 500 kids pass through their home over the years and when we were visiting there were about 30 kids ranging in age from 4 to 20 years old. The kids were the most incredible part of this trip. They have nowhere near as much as the typical kid in America but they are the happiest kids I have ever met. They are filled with joy. They sing all the time and they have beautiful voices. They loved playing jokes on Zach and Jeff and spent hours teaching me how to say words in Swahili.