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Mike's Blog

International Service Learning Program, Health and Human Services 2011

Being the only male in the group this year, I feel I have a lot of responsibility while here. Besides being given nicknames that I won’t mention, being picked at and being handed the bill everywhere I go, I have really been able to see the difference with how a male is treated here in Tanzania. For example, when a server or someone at a store wants to speak to someone in our group I am often approached first. If we are in a restaurant the server will often ask me if we are ready to order. It would appear to anyone that I am the leader of the group and I am running the show. I assure you, that is not at all true ☺ . Normally at home I manage to keep my manliness at bay, but here I am on a rollercoaster of emotions and I am not afraid to admit it. The things I have seen have shocked me, made me laugh, gave me goose bumps/chills, made me happy, made me sad, gave me pride, and although I try to appear macho, I have also shed some tears at the end of some days. Tanzania is an incredible country, and at home (I have come to realize), there are too many false perceptions and stigmas surrounding what Africa is. Tanzania is the most incredible place I have ever been and I will always recommend it to others, as well as to continue to share my experiences. This place has truly changed my life and my perceptions of life forever. If you are ever “thinking” about going to Tanzania or another African country someday, STOP thinking and START planning to come here. It may be the absolutely best choice you have ever made.

Mike Shea
Human Services, Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 03:09 Archived in Tanzania

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Great observations Mike! The gender-role expectations in Islamic countries is so different and at times difficult for North Americans. Enjoy your adventures!

by Lorraine Mockford

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