The Good News is, I got my grant proposal submitted. Because I’m pretty new to the field I’m researching, my chances are probably below the 13.2% success rate. On the other hand, I’m hoping the fact that I was so careful and spent so much time will boost my odds. Sometimes the best you can do is try.
The Bad News is, I haven’t had time to blog. There’s still so much to show and tell. But since I’m headed home in less than a week, I am up to my elbows in packing instead of showing and telling.
In the meantime, I’ll upload an intriguing map posted on Facebook by my brilliant and talented former student from Hampton University, Lanre Ajibola. The size and shape of the USA is shown in dark purple. Lanre was born in Nigeria and he says:
Quick Geography lesson: next time anyone talks about Africa like it’s a country, present this map – you are welcome!
Seeing as how I directed a Fulbright-Hays program to Tanzania in 2005, it makes sense for me to post this on my Fulbright blog even though it has nothing to do with my trip to Ireland. 🙂
Speaking of relative sizes, I’d better get back to seeing how much I can stuff into my suitcases without going over the weight limits….
Relative size of Africa
Because I blog about the experiences I’m having much more often than about than the research I’ve been doing, people sometimes ask me if I’ve been getting any work done at all. The answer is, emphatically, YES!
The Fulbright program IS about doing scholarly work. But it’s also about learning. It’s about making the space in our lives to get to know other people and how they do things… to remove ourselves from the ordinary humdrum long enough to learn something that’s radically new to us as Americans, but not new at all in other places.
Fulbright scholars DO have lectures to give, papers to write, and projects to conduct. But in the end, the most valuable part of our experiences overseas rests in the friendships we make and the respect we build for each other’s culture. That, I see, as my primary mission.
This type of cultural give-and-take is evident in the images I brought back from Tanzania — so I’ve decided to share a few here. Most are from the 2005 Fulbright-Hays program I conducted for college students from the US and Tanzania. You can also read about a lecture I gave on the topic of African architecture. I’ll be delivering that lecture again in Belgium this spring….
Kelly Thacker (a student who was studying student affairs in Kansas) learned about urban design by working Tanzanian and US architecture students.
Here, Emmanuel James (from Tanzania) and Lauren Doran (a Virginia Tech landscape architecture student at the time) discuss strategies for city design.
We worked inside the architecture building (shown here) at the College of Lands and Architectural Studies.
But we learned a world more about life than just urban design.
We learned how Tanzanians celebrate weddings and funerals.
How they care for their young and old people.
How they have built traditionally…
…used their resources…
…and buried their dead.
We saw Christians and Muslims living side by side in harmony.
And noticed differences and similarities in the way humans live.
As one specific example, we developed new appreciation for the role of water in living, and…