Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Chance Encounter at Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania, With "Oswego Going Global"

In mid January, 2013, I was at Mto wa Mbu, a small town in northern Tanzania. I was with 29 students from St. Olaf College, on an interim course titled "Hemingway in East Africa."

We spent several days at Mto wa Mbu, which Hemingway describes in his Green Hills of Africa.

On one of those days, I came across Protus Mayunga, a man I had not known before. We had a great conversation. It turned out that we had significant common interests, in fields such as cultural tourism.

He was there with a group of students from the State University of New York, Oswego, and their professor, Dr. Mehran Nojan. Protus who founded and runs a small tour company called The Roof of Africa Adventures, was in charge of the logistics of the group's travel, helping with cultural and other forms of orientation for them. You can see Protus at the far right in the photo.

In the morning, I went and met them at their hotel. I learned that they were in a program called Oswego Going Global. It is a program of travel and learning, which takes students to various parts of the world. In Tanzania, their experiences included climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, visiting the national parks, such as the fabled Serengeti, and getting acquainted with the local people.

I thought it was a great program and was impressed by the enthusiasm and resilience of the participants as they went through diferent places, some quite challenging. When we first met, Protus learned that I had written a book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences. He obtained the several copies that I had with me and that evening he shared them with his group. Apparently, they enjoyed reading it.


Rosalia Kozel said...

I feel honored to have met Protus when he was in Oswego. His conversation was fascinating especially about his work at
Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mbele said...

Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for your comment. I could not agree with you more regarding the impact of meeting with Protus.