ISTEP Tanzania – So … Tanzania is awesome. In January 2016, I had the privilege to travel there with my colleague, Dave Arthur, on a “situational analysis mission” for NSCC International’s Morogoro Vocational Teacher Training College (MVTTC) project. Although well prepared for my journey by my NSCC International colleagues, in particular Katie Orr, the experience was stunning.
We flew into and out of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, and got to participate in a little of that city’s life. The streets teemed with people, vehicles and industry, in spite of the nearly 40 degree heat. I was most fascinated by the street vendors who navigated cars at stoplights, offering everything from food to household goods and decorations to steering wheel covers. You could do all your shopping on your way home from work!
Our project was 170 km inland from Dar in Morogoro, a beautiful city at the base of the Uluguru Mountains. Here, with temperatures 5-10 degrees cooler than Dar, we spent several days working with the wonderful people of MVTTC, determining the requirements for a learning management system to allow them to connect to students in remote areas of Tanzania.
On our final day, we went on an early-morning safari to Mikumi National Park. A bucket list item for me, the safari didn’t disappoint. I was awestruck, seeing so many traditional zoo animals up-close-and-personal in their natural habitat.
I am very grateful for this experience. The food was interesting, my favourite being a traditional dish called Chips-my-eye (a chips omelet). The scenery was gorgeous, with indescribably-green foliage, bright flowers, blue skies and the ever-present purple mountains. The safari was one of the highlights of my life. But the people were the best – open, friendly, hard-working and happy. We couldn’t have asked for better clients/hosts/colleagues.
The MVTTC project is scheduled to continue for 3 years, so I am hoping for a return visit. Until then, I have my memories and about 500 photos to take me back to my trip to the other side of the world.
GIS and IT Faculty,
NSCC Centre of Geographic Sciences, Annapolis Valley Campus