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Adieu

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I can't even begin to say goodbye to this land, this place, new friends.
Tanzania has pulled me in many directions. From day one on landing in Dar Es Salaam to travelling to Arusha, making new friends, recording and learning a piece of history and participating in a Tribal dance.
Then on to Mikumi to visit the villages, connect with old friends and make new ones. To talk to a class of students, many introductions along the way. This experience has surpassed my expectations.

There have been moments of uncertainty and yes, a few moments of learning. My team has gone through a few minor aches and adjustments, but though it all we persevered and kept smiling.

To say that I've grown as a filmmaker is limiting. I've grown as an individual.


The last days spent on Safari were breathtaking. Yet, they were equal to the days spent in the villages, talking, documenting and learning.

I will miss this place, these people. I will miss the sounds, the atmosphere of Tanzania, of Africa. Most of …

The Real Deal

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Monday, we interviewed student from Saronga’s classroom who told us a bit about themselves and a few stories from their tribe, then we visited a secondary school where we talked to students and Saronga invited them to an open house on Wednesday.





Tuesday we toured the campus and interviewed a teacher -James who also had another story to relate. Later that evening we visited a nearby village and spoke to an elder in the village who also taught traditional dance. We were fortunate enough to sit in a tribal gathering and see a dance performance from the students.




Once again I was blown away by the creativity of the students and glad to see that they were not only teaching us about their culture, but also learning it along with us.
Wednesday was big day in Mikumi, both the local students as well as some of the Solar students from Nova Scotia Community College participated in the open house as well as some of the students. It was wonderful to see the younger students showing interest in he…

“See you Laters’ and ‘Hellos”

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Our last day in Arusha was both exciting and a bit sad. All our practices were coming to a head. We would be on stage in a few hours to do two performances with our new friends. Some of us in the group were feeling good, others not so sure about their dancing skills, and this made our Tanzanian friends a bit nervous.





We had a ‘Champagne Breakfast’, a short break, then a few of the girls – Happiness, Upendo and Hope helped us into Tribal outfits and applied some make-up. Then we were off to perform. We entered the auditorium. We had a barbecue later that evening and then danced into the night. 

The next morning we said our farewells, well more like 'see you later' and headed to a new destination- Mikumi.

MIKUMI




We arrived in Mikumi at the magic hour. It was raining a bit heavily, and the sun was setting, a beautiful welcome to our new home for the next few days.
It was great to see old friends again (Saronga and the group), and nice to make new acquaintances. 


Saronga introduced…

Almost Paradise

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Perfection I’ve been told is a myth. Yet I know and I’ve experienced occasions and connections that have been near perfect. These last two days in Arusha fall under this category for me.

Yesterday we visited a Tengeru coffee plantation and had lunch and brewed coffee from coffee beans in a local home. Yes, we climbed about two kilometres uphill in the rain, and yes, there were a few falls and a few scary moments of almost slipping. But, at the end of the day there was camaraderie, and everyone pitching in to shell, roast, grind and then brew coffee. 

We also had a remarkable lunch. Today, we visited one of the most naturally beautiful places I’ve ever seen. I got to film and document two remarkable interviews with Ee-Yeiyo with my team from NSCC and Veta Hotel Training Institute.

We were greeted by Ee-Yeiyo and people from Da Meru Tribe and treated and our first bit of business was a delicious tea brew, bananas, and shortly sweet roasted potatoes.

Ee-Yeiyo or Mama, made us feel quite…

Arusha

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After many mishaps, loss luggage and the likes,
Arusha has been like a breath of fresh air. We were greeted by the students and faculty with a lunch and performance in our honour. The place itself was beautiful.


We had lunch, did introductions and then discussed questions for interview the following day.

Later in the evening we learned that we would take part in a cultural show on Friday. Surprise! We practiced for three different dances = intense.


We bonded quickly and made friends with the students.





Here's a picture of Courtney, Happiness and myself.

Landed

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After a few days of flying, lost and found luggage, and a few unexpected stops we finally landed in Dar Es Salaam.








We arrived at the hotel and went out for a group dinner.


We had a nice dinner outside, chatted happily and listened to a call for prayer.
As we ate a cauldron of bats flew over.




London Calling

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After discovering that we had missed both connecting flights we had to re-adjust and book new ones.
We ended up staying an extra day and night in Toronto and then was onto London for a day.

The day in Toronto we spent exploring, St. Lawrence Market and downtown Toronto, and I had a chance to meet up with a friend. We also got a chance to bond for a bit.