Author Archive

The Saga of the Stuck Bus

I type this intrduction fromn the seat of my bus into the city. If thyis print was hand-wrtten, an element of the ride would be apparent by way of squggly lines. Here I did the electronic equivalent to indicte this bmpy road. I left in all the typis in this first paragraph. *** I’m in [...]

Interviewing a Special Woman in the “Real” Village

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about life here in my village, Magulilwa. Soon after, I got an email of my school founder, and native Magulilwan, Evaristo Sanga. You wrote about the new part of Magulilwa, he said. If you want to see the “real village” you should visit my mother about 25 [...]

The Curious Case of Brandon’s Bees

I had talked about getting a closer look at the bees just a couple days before. Up until then, I had used the zoom on my camera as best as I could to close the distance between the ground and the beehive about 15 feet in the air. I’m not sure what it was about this particular [...]

Election in East Africa

Ever since I got to my village in Tanzania, there has been campaign buzz regarding a recently-vacated seat of parliament due to the untimely passing of this area’s representative. The Iringa region was to elect a new official on March 16th. Within days of my arrival at the end of January, the first signs of [...]


It’s not just the massive mammals that highlight the landscapes of Tanzania. Take a look at these freaky monster ants.  On Tuesday of last week I found some old National Geographic magazines in our school library. I pulled out a few, some with covers missing, and the next day checked out a gnarly article about [...]

The Village

What’s an African village like? You’re about to find out. On the dirt path at the edge of my school’s property lies a large log. This barrier designates the start of the village, Magulilwa . Unlike what I had envisioned before getting here, the school property butts right up against the village, and with a [...]

A Special Thank You to Donors: The Opening of Our Tanzania School Computer Lab

I came to Magulilwa Area Secondary School (MASS) with a lot more than my luggage. I brought along twelve laptops to contribute to the school’s new computer lab. The summer before, I had teamed up with Change it Forward Tanzania, a non-profit based in Minneapolis, to raise money for the lab and laptops. Here is [...]

Threshing Grass, Playing Volleyball, and Worshiping God: Part 3/3 of my Tanzanian Village School

This is the last in a three-part series about my African village school. Next week, we dive into the village itself.  *** Just before dinnertime, I opened the squeaky metal gate to leave the teacher’s housing compound. I looked straight out and then stared at thirty students before me swinging threshers into the tall grass. Each [...]

My Tanzanian Village School: Lunch and Lectures

As the morning of my first day at my village school came to a close, I was back in my room sitting at my simple wooden table and chair. I was writing about my arrival to Tanzania when Mama Diana called out to me. “Blandun!” “Yeah?!” “Food fo’ you!” “Thank you!” (Or after being here [...]

My Tanzanian Village School (part one)

The following is a description of my first day at my village school along with photographs gathered throughout my time here thus far. *** On Monday morning, January 27, 2014, I woke up in my concrete-wall room at around 7:00. I lifted up the fine mesh mosquito net tucked into my mattress and got up [...]

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