This new video by Youth Challenge International makes me miss my experience in Tanzania very much! My re-entry into Canada has been crazy busy – working hard to pay off debts from my trip and to establish Écho Actions Communications - my communications for social change freelance venture. I hope to do another development project soon because the experience was life changing and re-affirmed my desire to work in community development and international cooperation more. I’m in the video holding the “And Back With YCI” sign in Forodhani Gardens in Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania) at 1:08.

I remember the day the other volunteers in Zanzibar and I ran around trying to get the shots for this. By the time we had received news from head office in Toronto that they needed images in the field, we had about one day to get them these images and - as you can imagine - its not really easy to transfer files from Tanzania when there are numerous power outages and poor Internet connections. Anyhow, it was a crazy hot day, and the funniest shot was my friend Lonny in a dalla-dalla (basically a minivan which serves as a bus) with bongo flavour swahili music blaring in the background. The locals had quite the laugh when they saw us try to get a shot of him in the dalla dalla holding up his poorly made sign.  I miss my fellow volunteers very much and sometimes I feel like the whole experience was a dream and that I have re-adapted all too quickly back to Canadian life. I miss a lot of things about Tanzania and the people I helped and worked with in Zanzibar, but mostly it's the feeling of overcoming obstacles every day and challenging myself that I miss the most. While I do challenge myself here in Canada, I have always felt that the 9 to 5 grind and our North American priorities in our daily lives make us forget the bigger picture and become often much too centered on ourselves. 

Here's hoping that with Écho Actions, I can relive a bit of that magic I felt in Tanzania - while working within my own community as well as on projects overseas in the near future.