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Mikumi Day 3 - Happy Eid!

sunny 32 °C

Happy Eid from hot and sunny Mikumi.

Today is a national holiday - Eid-ul-Adha - and there were no classes at VETA Mikumi today...except for our entrepreneurship training! Most instructors graciously agreed to attend the session this morning despite the holiday. Today Jim facilitated a lesson on the 4 "P's" of marketing: Product, Promotion, Price and Place. I hope I got them right! I have been learning a lot this week about entrpreneurship and enjoying it. Today's session was really interactive and engaging and everyone has really been enjoying the learning. The instructors at VETA Mikumi are great teachers and it's great when we learn more about how they teach -- I already have a few ideas for the next time I facilitate a session at NSCC.

We had a nice treat this afternoon when Richard Magwadula (VETA's Training Coordinator - he also visited NSCC in September) took us on an excursion this afternoon around Mikumi. We first went to the Genesis Motel & Mikumi Snake Park for lunch. Fortunately, the hotel and dining area are very well separated from the Snake Park (which also houses a couple of crocodiles and tortoises)! Jim and Richard took a tour through the Snake Park after lunch and their guide was a graduate of VETA Mikumi, which was nice to see. After we left Genesis, Richard took us on a roadside safari through Mikumi National Park. Because of the heat of the day, many of the animals sought shade under the trees. A few bold impala ventured very close to the road to get the last of the green grass growing there. The highway running through the part is the main line of transport of goods to Zambia, South Africa and many countries in Southern Africa and so it is always very busy. There are plenty of speed bumps as you drive through the park to encourage truckers and buses to slow down, but sadly, animals are still killed as they try to cross the highway.

As Jim mentioned yesterday, VETA Mikumi is a very busy place and I have noticed many changes even since NSCC's last visit to the college in May. They have made some improvements to their restaurant area, made a Daily Specials Board and redecorated a more private part of the restaurant which is great for special events. They have also made the entrance to the campus more inviting with life-size, student-made animal sculptures - including a rhino, giraffes and even a vegetarian lion!

The campus administration building is being rennovated to house an internet lab and langauge learning lab and they are preparing for some of the work our NSCC students and faculty will do at Mikumi in May 2011 in our new IT Service Learning Project. This project will have NSCC students and faculty working with VETA IT instructors to make repairs and improvements to their IT and intranet infrastructure. This will allow VETA faculty, staff and students to access the internet for learning materials and resources. Internet connectivity in Mikumi is quite poor and while Jim and I are here, we depend on a mobile internet stick which can be quite slow in rural areas. The improvements to the IT infrastructure will make a huge difference at Mikumi.

The sun is setting here and I can hear the Muslim call to prayer in the distance along with the voices of excited children playing on VETA's small playground.

Posted by NSCC Intl 07:00 Archived in Tanzania

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