Today, I met with students from Gustavus Adolphus College who are leaving for Tanzania this week on a January term program that has been around for a number of years. Professor Barbara Zust invited me to meet the students, as she has done in the past, as part of their pre-departure orientation.
Professor Zust had the students read my Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences". My meetings with the students enable us to reflect on what I say in the book. That is what we did today.
However, I first gave an account of the genesis of the book. Readers of the book will remember that I do this as well at the beginning of the book. I then summarized the main lessons I learned in writing the book.
After those remarks, we had a question and answer session, which took most of the time. Since the students had read the book, they had many questions which gave me a chance to elaborate on various cultural issues.
Our meeting today lasted about four hours, making it the longest book talk I have ever held.
As in previous years, the students seemed all excited about their impending trip. I told them how delighted I am that they are going to my country and how valuable such experiences in foreign countries are.
We met at the Mount Olivet Conference and Retreat Center. Located in a rural area, it has excellent conference, lodging, and restaurant facilities.