5 Photo Friday: Flat Stanley Visits Tanzania


The second grade class at Cambridge Elementary School in Cambridge, Illinois, is reading the book Flat Stanley. Do you know that story? Stanley is a boy who is flattened when a bulletin board falls on him, and his flatness allows him to travel the world by mail. So the second graders at Cambridge Elementary made their own Flat Stanleys and sent them to friends and family to take him on adventures and then write back to their class about it.

I am friends with one of the second graders’ moms and she asked me if her little boy Ashtin could send me a Flat Stanley to show him around Tanzania. It took Flat Stanley almost two weeks to arrive but once he was here he had a pretty good time, I think. For today’s 5 Photo Friday (six if you’re counting), here are the photos and letter that he sent back to the second graders at Cambridge Elementary:

Dear Ashtin and Friends at Cambridge Elementary School,

Hello from Tanzania! It took a long time for me to arrive here. Tanzania is in East Africa so it was a long way to travel!

When I arrived in Tanzania I was pretty tired and ready for bed. But I learned that here people sleep under bed nets to protect them from mosquito bites. Some of the mosquitoes here carry a disease called malaria and if they bite you then you can get very sick. But don’t worry the mosquitoes in Illinois and all around the US don’t carry malaria!


When I woke up the next morning, it was time to help with some chores around the house. A lot of people keep chickens to produce eggs. I helped to clean out the chicken coop and feed the chickens.


I am staying with the Kimaro family here in Arusha, one of the largest cities in Tanzania. Mrs. Kimaro is from the US and Mr. Kimaro is from Tanzania. They have twins, Max and Elly. Max and Elly were born in the US but moved to Tanzania when they were still tiny babies. So they learned to speak English and Swahili, the main language of Tanzania.

Elly helped me collect the eggs from the chickens.


 Some people have washing machines in Tanzania but a lot of people hand wash their clothes and almost everybody hangs their clothes to dry on a clothesline because electricity is expensive. The beautiful red and yellow cloth hanging on the line is called a khanga (KAHN-gah). It is usually worn by women as a skirt or apron, or to tie their babies on their backs to keep their hands free to do housework or work in their gardens.


Mr. Kimaro is a safari guide. Tanzania is home to the world-famous Serengeti where you can see lions and elephants and giraffes living in the wild. 


One day we went to a playground close to where Max and Elly live. This is me with Max and another friend we made at the playground. Kids in Tanzania are a lot like us—they like to play with their friends after school and on the weekends.


It’s been a lot of fun visiting Tanzania and I hope you like the photos I’ve shared. Maybe someday you can visit Tanzania and go on safari, too! To say welcome in Swahili, we say Karibu (kah-REE-boo)! So, Karibu Tanzania!

Your Friend,
Flat Stanley



This entry was posted in Crafts, Family Time, Photography, Tanzanian Culture, Twin Fun, Urban Homesteading. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 5 Photo Friday: Flat Stanley Visits Tanzania

  1. Janis Poppe says:

    I am familiar with Flat Stanley and I’m sure your friend enjoyed what you sent.

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