As the trip approached closer and closer to our departure date, the class needed to begin to reflect on the importance of doing our due diligence in researching a country before a Travel Writing expedition.
Important topics my classmates and I researched, as proposed by our professor, were:
- Traditional gender roles and family structures;
- Tanzanian mythology and religious beliefs;
- “Witch Doctor” beliefs/business/lore (including, but not limited to, beliefs on Albinism) in Tanzania,
- Effects of foreign aid in Africa, Eastern Africa, and as much on Tanzania specifically as possible,
and a few others.
Our professor noted, ¨Conducting and sharing/ teaching others our pre-departure research info/analyses is one of the most important parts of the trip in terms of our ability to contextualize our feeling and impressions on the ground in our travel writing. ¨
The topic I presented to the class was:
The conversations surrounding ´Government Corruption.'
The reason I chose this topic was because of the government corruption that effects the everyday lives of some of my family members and friends in the Dominican Republic. In 2013, D.R. ranked 29 on the World's Most Corrupt Countries list.
Tanzania ranked 33 in 2013, but has since moved up to 14!
According to the articles that influenced my research, colonialism broke the organic link between society and their leaders. The breaking of this organic link between society and state is the key to understanding C O R R U P T I O N in Africa.
<This is the outline I gave my classmates to follow me with!
Quizzing our Road Manager, Jackson, on just some of many different words
used to signify the word "bribe" in Swahili.
Dropping some knowledge about Government Corruption on my classmates,
in our impromptu classroom, in the laundry area of our compound.