Faculty Field School in Tanzania – The journey to get to Africa can be trying physically, but the energy and welcome you receive from the people is unending and uplifting.
The first night the NSCC group went out in Africa we were in the busy city of Dar Es Salaam. We first spent the day eating and shopping at a local market, and ate supper on a patio roof top, while watching the bats fly overhead and started the journey of getting to know one another. After the stay in Dar Es Salaam we were onto the Arusha Airport and upon arrival we were transported to VHTTI in Njiro, Arusha; where we would call home for a week. NSCC was welcomed by our new comrades from Camosun College in BC and VHTTI in Arusha through dance and song, which was an incredible introduction to the culture. The first day allowed us the opportunity to settle and enjoy the local surroundings of the lush vegetation! On Monday May 6th,the work began with the Field School, and this is when the true experiences of learning and connections began. The work week at VETA consisted of us from NSCC, BC, and VHTTI engaging in ice breakers, sharing teaching challenges and innovations, cooking local food with the students of the college as the teachers, and all of us completing a micro-teaching lesson. The thing I learned most that week is no matter where you are from, as a teacher we have very similar experiences no matter the distance and that we want to be the best teachers we can for our students. In that week we also had the opportunity to visit a local Meru tribe, they welcomed us with dance, song, food, traditions, big smiles and warm hearts. The week ended with a graduation ceremony, included a group doing the Oral History project, and those of us who cooked in the kitchen received certificates, and another great time with food and dancing. With a sense a sadness, yet newfound friendships and family, we said goodbye on Saturday May 11thand left for a Safari to Ngorogoro Crater. Wow, what a magnificent force of nature, full of diverse creatures that included lions, elephants, zebras, rhinos, hippos and more!
Onto week 2, we headed into Arusha to stay at the African Tulip and the next morning we started work at the Arusha Technical College (ATC). Day one was a meet and great with a tour of the college ground and classrooms. The week was led by the crew at Camosun College and the focus was on diversity and inclusion in the classroom, UDL, culture, and skills gap. In addition, we visited a local hospital and a Maasai Cultural Museum, which correspondingly contained a snake farm, and on the return to the Tulip we stopped at a cultural center to have lunch and shop. The last night we were all taken out by ATC team to a local restaurant for African food and dancing, and at the end of the night it was time to say goodbye to new friends both from BC and ATC!
It is not an experience that I will forget, it has left a lasting impression on my heart and in my memories. Asante Sana (thank you very much). It is an honor and a privilege and something that I am humbled to have done!
NSCC Cumberland Campus