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Erica Meus-Saunders’ BlogTanzania

Oral History Interpretation and Documentation Program in Tanzania – Signing up for the Oral History Interpretation and Documentation Program in Tanzania, I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that it was something I wanted to do, needed to do.

History is important, because it teaches us so much about the past, and gives lessons for the future. Coming from a Caribbean country, I understand the importance of preserving Oral History and Traditions, so yes, this trip was a MUST. I was also seeking personal answers for myself.

Tanzania has taught me so much, in so many areas. I’ve re-learned a part of my history and added to that knowledge with new stories, ideas, a new way of being. I’ve worked in my group and along with the locals and have gained skills in documentation, of working on the ground and being able to problem solve quickly and efficiently.

From a missed flight at Toronto airport, to an unplanned trip to London and then arriving in Arusha, I’ve seen my teammates grow and learn. We’ve been through a few ‘unexpected events’, but team spirit has always been high, through sickness, tiredness and uncertainty. Our two major stops – Arusha and Mikumi.

In Arusha, we were greeted by the students who welcomed us with cool local drinks, a lovely lunch and an impressive performance. We shared the student quarters and interacted with them daily, we even participated in a dance performance. This created an instant bond and sense of camaraderie. We visited many tribes, some in local environments. One of the most memorable for me was my interview with Mama. Soon it was time for goodbyes amid many hugs and tears.

Mikumi, was just as great with a different ‘vibe’. Somehow, I felt closer to the earth, and I think it had a lot to do with the wide-open spaces and the mountains in the background.

We interviewed students as well as people in the village. In Arusha, we took many buses, here the locations were closer and many days we opted to walk as opposed to bussing.

My most memorable experience here was the interview with the students in Saronga’s classroom. We set-up our equipment all the while explaining what we were doing and giving students a chance to test gear and get a better understanding of what we were doing. Then, it was interview time. The students also had a chance to interview themselves. This was a full circle moment for me.

For the complete details, check out my blog link below.


Erica Meus-Saunders

Screen Arts Student

NSCC Waterfront Campus


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