Hujambo!( Hello!) My new adventure in Tanzania is about to begin. I am preparing to embark on an opportunity of a life time. Now that finals are over at Saint Mary’s, I can concentrate more fully on preparing for departure. That is not to say, that I have not been preparing for the whole year and a half that I have been working to make this trip possible. In less than three weeks, I am heading to Tanzania for an entire college semester abroad! I am attending a program through CIEE (Council on International Education Exchange). They have a program that was a perfect fit for my career goals. The focus of the program is Language (Swahili), Culture and Development. The amenities will be quite primitive compared to what we are used to here in the United States, but I am looking forward to this great adventure. Here are a few of the preparations I have been working on since early in 2014.
Scholarship applicationsImmunizationsMalaria Medicine Leave of absence from work/manual creationSaint Mary’s Non-Affiliated Study Abroad RequirementsSurvival Swahili (self study) Alternate Money/Phone/Electricity NeedsVisa and Residence PermitMedication and Supplies for 18 weeksResearch on cultural differencesPreparing my family for my absence
This wonderful opportunity has also been made possible through the generosity of the scholarships that I have been awarded. The challenges of being a non-traditional student have been eased greatly by these awards. I am so grateful to have been awarded a generous study abroad scholarship from the Fund for Education Abroad. Organizations such as this encourage the growth of students through international study and cultural immersion experiences. I hope that you will join me (virtually) on my journey as I continue to post blog entries, pictures, and videos of my experiences. To start, I have included some photos and a map of where I am going, to help familiarize you with the region.
Our group will start out in Dar es Salaam for the first week or so to experience some of the culture of that region and attend our in-country orientation. Then we will head to Iringa for the majority of our semester. Courses include: Beginning Swahili Managing Community Development Projects Field Research Seminar (Research Theory and Practicum at Foxes NGO) Contemporary Educational Issues in East Africa (Elective) Poverty Analysis for Socioeconomic Development (Elective) The final month or so, will be spent at a rural NGO called Foxes NGO. Here is Foxes NGO website. Foxes NGO Site As you might be able to tell. I am so pumped for this experience! Here are a few pics of Iringa including what I think is the Catholic church in town. I hope to get some of my immersion here as I attend Mass. Tanzania is about 1/3 Christian, 1/3 Muslim, and 1/3 Hindu and other local religions.
Here is a picture of one of the buildings on campus. I believe the center is an all purpose lecture and gathering hall. The University is Lutheran so I believe they also have services here as well.
University of Iringa Website I am so blessed to be able to take advantage of this opportunity and plan to make the most of every minute. Thank you to all of you who have helped to make this possible! Kwa heri, Tutaonana Baadaye (Goodbye, See you later)