Jolo Cadiz

My study abroad was the Biology of Eco-Health program in Tanzania. The course had a broad scope of eco-health in Tanzania and we tackled the issues with an interdisciplinary approach. For the first week, we stayed on a private ranch and lodge just on the foothills of Kilimanjaro. We slept in large wooden tents, where monkeys raid during the day and where warthogs chill around by during the night. We did game drives around the ranch where we saw wildlife such as giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and impala. There was also an activity where we had to just observe the behavior of either impalas or baboons out in the field! The next two weeks consisted of traveling around by car and sleeping in either lodges or small tents, and the regular setting up and tearing down of camp. My favorite experience of this whole study abroad program was our interaction with the Hadzabe. They are hunter-gatherers, meaning they hunt animals with bow and arrow, and forage for fruits and crops. We learned how to use a traditional bow with arrows handcrafted by the Hadzabe for us. We got to try natural honey which the Hadzabe had to harvest from a live beehive on a very tall baobab tree. We also went on an early morning hunt with the Hadzabe to experience how it was like to hunt animals and forage berries. The last part of the road trip was at the Serengeti. While driving to our campsite which was in the middle of the national park, we stood on the seats of our 4x4s, popped our heads out of the sun roof, and we got to see herds of elephants, giraffes extending their necks to reach the leaves on the trees and gazelles running around at 60 mph. At our campsite during the evening, we could hear lions roar from a mile away, which scared and excited us students. On our last game drive around the Serengeti, we finally got to see the big three cats of Africa; the lion, cheetah and leopard. During the whole trip, we were tasked to keep a journal and write an entry a day highlighting our experience and the lessons we learned that day. And at the end of the program, we had to do a paper which was a mix of reflections and research on an issue we were most interested in during the trip. Overall, this program helped me gain new perspectives on how to view the world around me and communicate effectively to people of different backgrounds and culture.