Eliot Circular

Bricks and Mortar in Tanzania

Environmental studies major Shannon Smith ’14 spent the summer in the remote village of Mang’ula in the eastern mountains of Tanzania, working with a local cooperative, Kilombero Youth Movement against Poverty (KYMAP). The group runs a school, teaches performing arts, maintains a cultural museum, and makes bricks (yes, the kind you build with). She partnered with KYMAP on several of its priorities: a new water pump to upgrade its brickmaking capacity and new costumes and props for its theatrical troupe. She taught village children how to document their environment with digital cameras, learned traditional African drumming and dancing, and killed chickens for dinner. “I always seem to shine the most when doing what I love,” she wrote, “learning from the amazing diversity of people and places that this world has to offer and working to build sustainable communities that will keep that diversity flourishing amidst an ever-globalizing world.”

Shannon is 1 of 10 Davis United World College Scholars currently attending Reed. The program seeks to advance international understanding through education. The program supports future leaders and seeks to help college campuses become more internationally diverse. Read more about the Davis United World College Scholars online. Read more about Shannon’s adventures at Trails of Seeds.