Plans have a very high mortality rate in Africa. Our plan was to teach basic computer skills to secondary school students in rural Tanzania.

As we sat across from Mzee, the “Old Man” and head of our Tanzanian partner organization, we learned that our primary job would not be to teach computers. Instead, it was to shatter the stereotypes of the white man in Africa… Just then, a shining Toyota Hilux, the great white conqueror of the African road, blew past, its horn roaring a warning to us plebeians strewn haplessly along the edge of the road. It had the sticker of an aid organization on its door…

For a moment I forgot who I was, and I hated the aid workers for their Western wealth. On the side of the road I understood why we were taking buses everywhere when there were cars sitting idle at headquarters… They took us seriously because we took them seriously.

This story, written by Matt Gore ’16, originally appeared in the 2014-15 Dean Rusk Annual Report.


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Davidson College

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