Thursday, May 26, 2016

BECA Graduation

Each year, the BECA Department holds its own graduation ceremony intended to complement the large university graduation. The BECA celebration occurred this afternoon, May 25th. Three students from the spring class preparing for the trip were at graduation: Kara De La Paz, Ashley Habr, and Jumana Zahid. Kara is a returning student who came back to SFSU to complete her degree after a number of years spent working and raising a family. Unfortunately, she will not be making the trip to Tanzania. Kara was one of the producers of the American Field Service videos. Ashley was the other producer for the spring semester. She will visit her extended family in Lebanon after she leaves Tanzania. Jumana, an editor for one of the AFS videos, is from Saudi Arabia. Enroute back to the U.S. from Tanzania, she will visit her home in Saudi Arabi. Her brother, a student at University of San Francisco, and her father attended the graduation.

L to R: Jumana Zahid, Kara De La Paz, Betsy Blosser and Ashley Habr

Also graduating were two students from last year's trip to Hyderabad, India. They are Lanica Garcia and Beau Mathews.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Goodbye Party

It is the tradition in this class to gather at house for a "despedida" or goodbye party in the class session during exam week.  This 2016 group kept the tradition! We had a potluck, with wonderful food reflecting the cultures the various students come from. Gloria Upchurch, the co-founder of the Olmoti Clinic, where we will be during the first week in Tanzania, was able to join us.  She brought along a lot of donated goods that need to be transported to Tanzania - birthing kits, donated glasses, toothpaste, and other medical supplies.  We're planning on checking the two bags apiece - of up to 50 pounds - that we're allowed so that we can take extra supplies.  In addition, we'll carry our video equipment - but most of that will be carry on.

L to R: Samantha Powell, Abene Clayton, Jumana Zahid, Brian Favorite

We all gathered around the table - and the food.  At one point, the conversation was going so fast that Brian Favorite observed, wryly, "Gee, it's too bad you guys don't get along!" This is a great group! Finally, we moved to the TV to see and discuss the close-to-final cut for one of the American Field Service (AFS) videos from this semester. We hope to hand over the AFS videos before we depart for Tanzania.
L to R: Kara De La Paz, Nick Chiang, Ashley Habr, Gloria Upchurch, Samantha Powell

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Getting Ready to Go

L to R:BECA students Kamran Rathod, Jumana Zahid, Kara De La Paz & Abene Clayton

BECA students are getting ready for another adventure! Nine students are enrolled in BECA 581 in the spring semester of 2016. We have spent the semester learning about Tanzania from a panel of exceptional guest speakers. In addition, students have been producing two videos for the regional office of the American Field Service (AFS).

Today, Dr. Marissa Mika, a historian who teaches at University of San Francisco, spoke to the class about the history of Tanzania in the context of health care.  She works primarily in Uganda, but she was able to describe changes in Tanzania over the last 150 years that help to explain the state of health care today.

AFS representatives Sabine Wimmer (L) and Susan Allen

Immediately afterwards, two representatives of the American Field Service, Susan Allen and Sabine Wimmer, visited the class to see and comment on the rough cuts for the videos we have been working on this semester.  They provided useful comments that will guide the teams in final edits for the two videos - one to attract parents to becoming a host family, and another aimed at teenagers to encourage them to welcoming an exchange student as a sibling for a year.

Finally, we watched a segment of last night's "60 MInutes" show.  The segment showed the Rift Valley Children's Home near Karatu.  Brian Favorite, the Production Coordinator for the spring and summer classes, and I visited this organization in 2013, and the students on that trip interviewed the woman who was profiled in the "60 Minutes" piece. It was fun to share this wonderful organization with students who will travel to Tanzania this year.