What I Learned About Race Living East Africa

I spent six months of 2014 teaching technology in Tanzania. The experience triggered memories of my conflicted college education regarding matters of race.

I arrived in Tanzania, East Africa, on Jan. 23 of this year. After two long bus rides, I ended up along a sun-baked dirt road surrounded by rolling hills covered with rows of corn, the occasional spot of forest, and the mud/brick buildings of the village, Magulilwa.

I came armed with 12 laptops. I was there to kick off the first computer program at Magulilwa Area Secondary School, a boarding institution housing 202 teenagers.

Headmaster Mgongolwa — hefty and middle-aged, clean-shaven with buzzed gray hair and, as always, dressed in slacks and a button-up — walked me to my room. The bare concrete quarters were nice by local standards, with a comfortable bed and a wooden desk by the window, barred to keep out burglars.

Featured as front page story of Star Tribune’s October 26, 2014 Opinion Section

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