ISTEP Tanzania 2015 – I have just concluded my second trip to Africa with NSCC International. I feel very fortunate to be given these amazing opportunities that doubtless provide me each and every time with a greater connection to the world we live in and the NSCC colleagues that I share the experience with. I have spent days reflecting on this journey to arrive at one meaningful anecdote, always a great challenge when every day is filled with learning, laughter and fond memories. When we began this journey 6 months ago with our partner VHTTI, I knew that this experience would take me to interesting places in Tanzania, introduce me to new people, and teach me about a culture that is deeply rooted in historical practice through its rich diversity of communities. Last Monday, we journeyed to a small town just outside of Arusha and found ourselves trekking in a banana plantation. I had no idea that there are over 1000 varieties of bananas and how entrepreneurial you could be with this great fruit!
The walk through the banana plantation was incredible, it felt like we were immersed in a rain forest, one that was opulent in insects, birds, and of course lush greenery. We stopped at family homes and businesses along the way to learn more about the economic impact the banana has on the town and the various types/colours that were grown in this community. One value added banana product that caught our attention more than any other was banana beer, which is made with green bananas. We were asked to taste the beer at an outdoor banana beer pub, we did without hesitation, but the unique flavor profile limited that consumption to just one small sip. The beer is embraced by locals, particularly those seeking to quench their thirst after a hard day’s work, pubs are plentiful and filled with good cheer. It will be awhile before I likely feel the need to taste banana beer again, but nonetheless an experience that I am grateful to have had.
Manager, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management