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Melissa Randell’s BlogTanzania

Oral History Project in Tanzania – Oral history is a field of study that involves communicating with an intention to interpret the stories of people. As Faculty Lead for the Oral History Project in Tanzania, I had the opportunity to engage in the collection and documentation of the memories, life stories, and past events of student participants at VHTTI and VETA training colleges in Arusha and Mikumi along with tribal elders at both locations.

Three students from Akerley Campus – I like to refer to them as the dream team – spent two weeks working with Tanzanian students to document stories. Extensive learning occurred. Our daily debriefs were filled with experiences that reflected awe and wonder and gratitude. We learned about culture, not only the visible pieces, which were especially wonderful because we wore traditional clothing and learned dance moves and songs, but also the invisible aspects. We learned about the continuity of people, and that is what culture is truly about. Tanzanians make up the culture and the stories we were working to document, and they are the most beautiful people imaginable. The interesting thing about unique experiences is that we often require processing and reflection time to unpack the learning. I have a sense the students and I will continue to process our learning from this experience for all our days to come. 

Melissa Randell

ALP Faculty

NSCC Akerley Campus

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