I feel a little ashamed as I look over my diary notes on Karimu’s visit to Tanzania last month. I need to make amends for the fact that, out of the thousands of words I published in this space between August 21 and August 27, not a single one refers to Anne Justine D’Zmura or her husband Bill McGuire, Professors in the Department of Theatre Arts at California State University at Long Beach. Anne and Bill brought their thirteen-year-old son, Griffin, as well as a dozen of their current and recent students to Tanzania.
Their students included Avery Henderson, Jeannice Turner, Londale Theus, and Olivia Trevino, who coped so graciously with being held up for an extra day in Tanzania after our other volunteers had returned to California. But all the Long Beach students contributed so much to the success of our work in Dareda Kati Village that I believe any of them would have accepted one more day in Tanzania in stride.
To make amends satisfactorily to Anne and Bill, I should point out that they brought their students not only to help with construction at Ufani and Ayalagaya Schools, but to take a fully accredited, three-unit university course called Theatre Today (THEA 3241). Though I will owe Anne and Bill another apology if I get this wrong, I’m pretty sure that this course, which they plan to offer again next summer, is open to everybody and not just to CSULB students. But http://www.csulb.edu/international will correct any misinformation I have given.
Anne wrote in an e-mail from a few days ago that she and Bill envision having their students “build in the mornings and in the afternoon” while also “carrying through with educational initiatives that further Karimu’s mission. . . and CSULB’s through working with the secondary and primary students” at Ayalagaya and Ufani, respectively. Last month Headmistress Catherine of Ayalagaya Secondary School showed strong interest in the basic theatrical work that Anne and Bill and their students did at Ayalagaya. Because the meager budgets of Tanzanian public schools give Catherine and her colleagues no money to allocate for the arts, offering THEA 3241 in Dareda Kati Village every year could make a big impact on her students and on the younger ones at Ufani Primary.—Don Stoll