Preparation. Excitement! Preparation. Excitement!
Wow! Here I am five days away from my Tanzanian sojourn. It is hard to believe that it is so close, it feels like yesterday that I jumped in the air after being accepted to the Badili Mtizamo program; that was five months ago now!
Jacklynn, Katherine, Mallory, and I have had a lot of preparation for this trip. Between the pre-departure meetings with Tony and the International Centre for Students at the University of Manitoba and the helpful tips and advice from our counterparts at CPAR, I feel ready and able to take on the challenges that lie ahead. While such an extensive preparation took a lot of our time and energies, looking back I am grateful for all of it. I am new to international travel, to rural life, to Africa, and to Tanzania. Without such preparation I don’t think I’d feel as excited as I am now. Nervousness and uncertainty would fill my system were it not for the support I’ve received thus far. Thank you!
Being new to international travel, rural life, Africa, and Tanzania is what has me so excited. I initially applied for this program to get a new perspective, to meet new people, to see new places, to see what life is like outside of Winnipeg, outside of Canada – to change the way I see things if you will. It will be both interesting and refreshing to live in Tanzania for six-weeks or so. First of all, I will be living on my own for the first time – in a shared accommodation with three young women (lucky guy!). Until this point, I’ve lived at home with the ‘rents. Secondly, I’ll be living in Tanzania(!), half a world away from my usual Canadian stomping grounds. It is going to be amazing to experience “life” outside of my birthplace. Mind you, Japhet says that we’ll have a refrigerator and a hot shower, so there will be some familiarities. It’s not like I’m going to be “living off the land,” foraging for food and bathing in a lake (although I wouldn’t mind trying that out at some point down the road!).
I’m excited to soak up a new culture, to taste a new cuisine and to hear new music. I look forward to seeing new landscapes, new animals and insects (okay maybe not so much the insects!), new buildings, new stores, new cars, etc. Basically everything that I see, hear and do over the next couple months will be a new experience in itself. That’s exciting!
It is my hope that you readers share my excitement as well. This blog will be a great spot for you to not only follow along, but to gain some insights into Tanzanian culture and the world of international development. So I ask you to come along for the ride, for new experiences are more profound when shared.