Participant in the 2012 ACM Student Symposium on Off-Campus Study
Through My Eyes: Realizations and Friendships in Tanzania
Tanzanians would speak to me in Swahili as if I understood what they were saying, and they would get really angry if I didn’t reply. I wanted to come home since the first day I set foot on the streets of Dar es Saalam and realized I was not in Minneapolis anymore. I wanted to come home even more when I destroyed my surge protector, had to wash laundry by hand, and when I failed two Swahili exams. Hmmm… I thought, I wish I was Tanzanian; I would not be struggling as I am now.
At left: Video of Nidal Kram's presentation at the Symposium.
Note: Due to technical difficulties, there is not a video of the Group 1 discussion.
Then I met Angalista, who was the vice-president of the student body at the university. Through her I improved my test scores, washing skills, and Swahili speech which allowed me to protest whenever I saw fit. I met other people like mama Massai who adopted me and was amused that we had the same skin, but I could be so bad at speaking Swahili. Through the many people I met and stories I have heard, I am able to understand myself and analyze my new identity as an African, African, American and tell their stories that are now a permanent part of mine.
Post graduation plans: To attend Emory University in persuing a Master’s in Public Health focusing on global health.
The best thing that I did while on an off-campus program was … meet new people and pursue a research question of my interest.
What is one word or phrase that best describes your experience off-campus? Remarkable.
Top 3 reasons why you chose to go off-campus:
1. Opportunity to conduct research.
2. Learning about a new culture.
If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what would you be and why? A lilac-breasted roller because it was the most beautiful bird I have ever seen.
If you could travel anywhere where would you go? Back to Tanzania!
If you could learn to speak any language what would it be? Wolof
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