iSTEP Tanzania

Pre-departure Meeting

Posted on: May 23, 2009

We had our final meeting today before some of us leave for Tanzania tomorrow morning. We discussed four main  topics: Travel, Health and Safety; Research; Logistics; and Partner Updates. We had the opportunity to see where we will be staying, got some additional information about our partners in Tanzania, as well as received some great guidelines and advice from our advisers.

There’s still a lot that we don’t know, but I feel very well prepared to be traveling. The past few months have been a whirlwind; trying to get logistics in place, understand our topics of study, contact everyone possible, and even try to learn some greetings and basic phrases. I plan on booting up the braille tutor on the plane and trying to learn what braille I can. The ride from New York to Dubai is 14 hours, so I’m hoping to learn my ABCs at least. Bernadine commented that we’ve grown a lot fromo when we started our class, and I think that’s true.

So it looks like everything is in place. We’re all doing a little bit of last minute shopping and packing, making sure we have everything we need and trying to find additional room for supplies while staying under the 50lb limit for checked bags. Myself, Bea, Timi and Dan leave from Pittsburgh at 6am tomorrow morning and then we meet up with Hatem in Dubai, and then it’s down to Dar es Salaam! We’re incredibly excited, and are looking forward to a fantastic 10 weeks.

We want to thank everyone who helped us prepare for this trip: Dr. Bernadine Dias, Sarah Belousov, Ermine Teves, Freddie Dias, special thanks to Eric Beda (we look forward to meeting you in person!), Karumina Kaijage, our many academic advisors, and our friends and family who have and continue to support us!

We’d also like to thank the following organizations: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Dar es Salaamm, TechBridgeWorld, The Unversity Computing Center (UCC), CMU-Q Student Affairs, IRB, Legal, Finance, Health Services, Office of International Education, International Security,  Risk Management, and many more who have helped us prepare!

Tanzania, here we come!


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May 2009
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