Mambo! My name is Kayla Freeman and I am a part of the Mikumi Solar Water Project, and what an experience it has been! I am currently on my second week of the project and I already don’t want to leave! The residents are extremely friendly and they truly make this place feel like a home away from home. I am a part of the disinfection team for the project and the goals were to disinfect the wells, and the holding tanks for the drinking water, as well as implementing a rain harvesting collection prototype.
When I first arrived I genuinely did not know what to expect, this is the first time I have travelled far away I have never really left the Maritimes. I didn’t know how I would transition, but what I didn’t expect was how smoothly I adjusted to the time change and the new surroundings. I was surprised how adaptable I became; however I am always being challenged and experiencing something new every day, which I love! A challenge I was faced with on this trip was seeing how little residents have but they still manage to utilize everything they have which is very inspiring; I found something so small to me that I use in my everyday life could be something so large in theirs. A challenge I was faced with on the project itself is not having all the equipment I am used to using that I would normally have so easily accessible in the lab at school. My lab partner Haley and I were quickly able to utilize the resources available to us.
I am beyond grateful to have this opportunity, because I get to expand my knowledge every single day from the group of colleagues and faculty I work with and the residents themselves! A highlight from my trip is very hard to choose because I have enjoyed every day so much and it becomes almost indescribable. One of my favorite days was when I was able to join in with students and play some volleyball, the bottom of the volleyball net was above my head so every time I would go to spike the ball it went directly under, I enjoyed laughing with them and at myself. Another highlight of my trip was going to a farm on the way to VETA Mikumi, this gentleman was reusing cement bags and water jugs to make gardens and he was teaching the locals around him how to keep a sustainable garden using all the resources available, I was honestly in awe on how resourceful he was, this man was truly inspiring because of how kind he was and how much passion he had to share his knowledge with everyone.
This project has shaped me to become more adaptable and to work collaboratively in a group setting, I think this is an important skill set to have when working in the industry. A personal skill I have further developed is communication, although my Swahili isn’t the best I have still managed to enjoy a conversation with the people around me.
Tanzania has been an amazing experience and I don’t think I can ever express how truly thankful and grateful I am to the residents, NSCC International, my faculty, and my colleagues. This experience would not have been this extraordinary if it wasn’t for everyone making me feel so comfortable and encouraging me along the way.
Environmental Engineering Technology Student
NSCC Ivany Campus