Monday, June 17, 2013

Donor Video - Tanzania Experience

I'm told that a good business deal means that everyone wins.

The American owners of Nashera Hotels in Africa have found a way to provide university students with a real world experience working on their hotels.  Students get an international experience applying what they've learned in the classroom on a real project (win).  The hotel owners get an American standard of construction by sending over a professor to supervise and teach the students (win).  Construction companies can sponsor students (because college students aren't exactly known for having a lot of money) to go over.  In return they create better prepared, creative, adaptable workers in their field (win!).  

Besides, the fried grasshoppers are to die for!

Not to mention the Nashera Hotel is luxury on the edge of the jungle.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Construction Management Tanzania Experience

Here is the video I created from the Tanzania trip with Southern Utah University students.  It's design is to give prospective students a taste of the experience they can have while studying construction management abroad in Tanzania.   Hope you enjoy my little cameo.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Little African Faces

These were the few willing subjects I met in Tanzania that allowed me to take their pictures.  An eruption of giggles accompanied the reaction of each pupil who caught a glimpse of the freshly taken picture on my camera LCD screen.  Moments like those rank very high on my list "best photographer moments ever."


Jim Parkinson hired me a few years ago to make the documentary "The Inheritance of War."  At the time he was touring high schools sharing the story of the Bataan Death March and the subsequent slave labor that occurred in Japan during WWII.  That endeavor led to writing another book called "Autodidactic," which teaches the importance of taking personal responsibility for one's own learning.

Mr. Parkinson is a man who practices what he preaches.  Every time I have been over to his home there are three or more books sitting by his reading chair accompanied by a dictionary.  He has seen a pattern between successful people and how much they read and hopes to spark the rising generation's interest in building reading, writing and vocabulary.

Good luck to Mr. Parkinson as he changes the world, one student at a time.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Water Conservation

I am told the world is running low on fresh water resources.  The water cycle I learned about in 5th grade with rain, evaporation, condensation, etc. apparently doesn't mean there will always be water to drink.  I have figured out a way to solve the United States excessive use of water:

I had two options the other morning: coiled shower head or bucket of water.  I opted for the shower head but found it to be just effective as using the bucket and cup because soaping up and rinsing are very difficult to do at the same time when you are holding your shower in your hand.  My shower lasted about 3 minutes.  My husband will tell you that has never happened at home.  

This is what $25 USD will get you in Tanzania.  I always wanted a princess canopy for my bed.  
What you don't see are the complimentary shower sandals.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Karibu... uh, I mean, thank you.

Every morning there are a stream of ladies  who walk past our hotel carrying bananas down to town.  This morning we decided to follow their trail and head up into the hills.  We learned a few things, one of them being that walking with bananas on your head is harder than it looks.  If you don't believe me go fill up a laundry basket with all the produce in your house and see how far you can go.  If that gets to easy try strapping your toddler on your back.  These women must be made of pure muscle.

As we walked to the end of the paved streets a man that was hanging out at a fork in the road said he'd take us around.  We walked up a steep incline where people live and farm.  

It is crazy because the land is literally a mountain and the women were sowing and hoeing on 45ยบ angles. Even old women who looked to be 70 yrs. old were in there hacking away. Every person that passed talked a bit to the guy like they were old friends and probably laughed at us trailing behind him.  I got the feeling everyone knew everyone on the mountain. 

At one point we passed a school and the teacher was a man who'd crossed out path on our way up the trail.  He let us into his classroom and I asked permission to take some pictures of the children.  When I flipped the the camera around to let them see see the image they erupted with giggles.  I went around the class and took their individual photos with the same reaction every time.

We ended up meeting our guide's wife and child; clothes hanging on the line, some fierce looking ducks and a few chickens pecking around.  As we walked away from the wife who was cooking on a fire outside, I tried to remember the word for "thank you" in Swahili.  I said, "Karibu" and she responded in something I of course didn't understand but smiled sheepishly hoping she'd understand.  Halfway down the hill I realized that I'd said "You are welcome" to her, instead of "thank you."  Hopefully she got the idea...

On our way down we rested at a little river where an old woman was washing her clothes and laying them on the rocks to dry.  I was almost jealous of her serene washing environment and that I pay for my dryer sheets to have the "mountain fresh" scent her clothes, by way of being dried in a beautiful jungle mountain setting, would in reality have.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hello Mr. Zebra

If my location for my current work project isn't a giveaway by the pictures I am posting today, let me mention that the blog application words have turned into Swahili and so I am going off memory as to which link does what.

I felt dang lucky to be able to go to Africa the first time, being able to return a few years later seems unreal.  This time I am in Tanzania with a professor and a couple of students from Southern Utah University capturing the experience a student can have in their upcoming foreign exchange program in construction management.

Today we went to Mikumi National Park for a safari.  It was amazing to see lions hanging out with impala and crocodiles slyly peeking their eyes out of a pool full of hippos.  Apparently not everyone is trying to eat each other in the jungle as the nature channel would have me believe.  We saw giraffes, lions, zebra, baboons, water buffalo, wildebeest, elephants, hippos, a cool blue tongued lizard, and some sort of fox/dog - all in the same park!  By far the herd of 25-30 giraffe were the coolest.  The above picture is real, I did not copy and paste the giraffes.

We took a walk around town, getting a feel for city life.  Most people tried to speak to us in Swahili, although we got a few "how are you's?"  I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked since they all kept eyeing my camera like, "what is she going to do with that?"  Apparently they expect money when you take their picture.  I didn't have small change and I'm also kind of cheap, thus a shortage of cool pictures.

The students I'm with were a bit disappointed that they couldn't find any souvenir type items - just cheap watches and fresh vegetables.  In the morning the people walk down the street in front of our hotel, carrying stacks of bananas on their heads from the farm up the street.  Hopefully we can get a picture of two with them.  I'll pay for that.