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Oral History Interpretation and Documentation Program in Tanzania – I’ve been struggling for the past week, since I came back to Nova Scotia, to answer everyone who’s asked how my trip to Tanzania was.  I say “It was amazing!” because it was, but maybe here I can explain why. 

I traveled to Tanzania with the Oral History Interpretation and Documentation program, which included both Tourism Management and Screen Arts students.  There were five of us, and our goal was to visit different cultural tourism sites and conduct interviews with tribal representatives in order to record oral histories and stories.  We were staying at two different VETA campuses, one in Arusha and one in Mikumi.  There are over 120 different tribes in Tanzania, but due to many different factors Tanzanian youth are losing their tribal languages and stories.  Our team’s footage will be available for students at VETA institutes who may not know much about their tribe’s culture, or who may not understand why tourists find cultural tourism so fascinating. 

We were lucky enough in Arusha to live for a week in student residences at the VETA campus.  We worked with a group of about a dozen Rooms Management students, who visited tourism sites with us, ate meals with us, lived alongside us, and taught us to dance (or tried to).  These students were so exceptionally kind, and kept us so busy, that we never had a chance to feel homesick. 

For our second week, we headed south to the VETA campus in Mikumi.  The institute is located just outside the Mikumi National Park, so when we weren’t busy working with tour guiding students, we were able to go on safari.  This was a once in a lifetime chance to see giraffes, elephants, zebras, hippos and lions in the wild.  It was incredible to experience the beauty that Tanzania is famous for, and to also meet the young people training to share it with the world. 

Before I knew it I was back on another long flight headed home.  Now I’m looking forward to graduating, and whatever comes next. 

Margaret Macdonald

Tourism Management Student

NSCC Akerley Campus

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