As we’ve all come to know, group work inherently comes with peaks and valleys, high fives, handshakes and deep-seeded displeasure. Fisher makes a huge push for group work in the first-year curriculum. Whether it is the first-year core teams or this GAP project, group projects are part of every single class Fisher class. Fisher has adopted the "early and often" approach. We all learned about group dynamics throughout the year, formally and informally. Interestingly enough, we didn’t actually learn about it until second term, second semester in Dr.
Having worked through our first weekend in Dodoma, we carved out some valuable down time and found the perfect spot for a bit of rest and relaxation – the spice island, Zanzibar.
Mention East African culture or the dominate language of Swahili to a Westerner and you might just stir up images of brightly clad Masai people with gauged (stretched lob piercings) ears, elaborate jewelry and lethal spears. Ironically enough, the Masai have their own language, yet four warriors grace the cover of my own Swahili phrasebook. Go figure! Anyway, we’ve all seen the scene on TV or in the pages of National Geographic. For many tourists, the Masai village visit is an integral part of a safari.
Initially, we planned on writing our second business blog about our first meeting with our colleagues at the University of Dodoma. There’s plenty to say about the differing style including: how and when to introduce yourself (Swahili has a structure of greetings based on familiarity, respect and seniority) and the concept of time. Since that meeting, we’ve come to recognize more evident and frequent differences in the business setting – let’s call it "operating in a less structured environment". Two notable differences we’ve encountered so far: structure and cell phone usage.
I don’t want to claim that our first few days in Tanzania were tops among GAPers, but I challenge any location in the world to compete with the awe-inspiring Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Seeing huge horizon-to-horizon herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle followed by pools of massive floating families of hippos and, of course, the fierce predators lurking in the bush was an amazing experience. Although, in our case, the predators were either trotting along the dirt road, looking like cuddly creatures, or lounging in the shade of ubiquitous acacias.