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Carter Thurber’s BlogTanzania

Oral History Interpretation and Documentation Program in Tanzania – What an enchanting couple of weeks. Our project carried on exemplarily; packing so much fun, work, and excitement into such a short time. My team could not have been more positive and supportive of each other during our stay in different regions of Tanzania.

My experience here has been one unlike any other in my life. I was able to try new foods, meet new people with different perspectives and complex opinions, gaze at stunningly beautiful sights, observe lions, monkeys, and giraffes up close for the first time, and documented it all!

This trip was a daunting, yet a highly enticing prospect.  I first learned about NSCC International and the many ongoing programs they have through my instructor, Janet Hawkwood, back in Fall 2016. Despite my nerves and fears, I saw the opportunities this trip presented: to add another unique experience-filled chapter to my memory, to aid in a project larger than any one person, to help in furthering the relationship between my college NSCC (Waterfront) in Canada and the institutions we visited in Tanzania, and to be able to prove myself and my abilities as a filmmaker.

I am so very proud of my team; I would say we all showed great spirit, energy, and openness and understanding; all of which will serve to make our time here remembered fondly by the friends and people we gained here, and better their opinions of NSCC and our country as a whole.

To know people with names like Happiness, Hope, and Love, it is so beautiful. Unforgettable.

I loved my time here, I loved the students and the opportunity to give back to them for their unbelievable hospitality by helping to document their rich cultures and allowing them to be preserved and archived using the skills I have gained and developed at NSCC.

Despite my initial nerves, I have come to be so comfortable here and will be sad to leave. Our journey has seemed long at times, especially when hiking or sitting in the heat, or traveling, but, looking back, it is as if it all went by in a flash.

The greatest challenge of all was communication. Asking questions and interviewing people, as well as day to day interactions, can be hindered greatly by a lack of understanding or misinterpretation due to a language barrier. I overcame this through patience, focused listening, and molding my wording of questions to match the english vocabulary of different people.

The film project brought with it many challenges. I had to be ready to set up and adjust the camera, microphones, and tripods at a moment’s notice. I had to be able to switch roles throughout the documentary process several times in a day. Tanzania was in its long rainy season during our stay, which meant the weather could go from brightly sunny to an intense downpour in minutes. I learned to prepare for anything we might need: putting tarps on equipment, having tools to attach pieces of equipment together, and having charged batteries and memory cards ready to go.

I challenged myself, every day we were here, to go out and talk to new people, to try new meals, to get up and dance, to speak in front of hundreds of people, to live and interact in a different environment. I learned that I can be resourceful when something is asked of me, and that I can be strong and determined when I ask things of myself.

Through this experience, I have learned that I am adaptable and focused in a variety of scenarios. I remained open to doing new things required of me, such as when I had to conduct an interview alone (and I was so focused on the speaker and asking questions, I was completely unaware of a screeching chicken nearby that annoyed everyone else). 

I will never forget these days and will especially remember the lessons I learned and how they have made me a better filmmaker. I will use what I have learned to teach and mentor others, and will share my experiences and changing perspective on Tanzania and its people with those back home.

For more details of my trip, my personal blog can be found here: http://carterintanzania.blogspot.ca/

Carter Thurber

Screen Arts Student

NSCC Waterfront Campus




For more details of my

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