Hello! Hola! Jambo! My name is Danyella Burciaga. I love to write about about my experiences around the world. I am one of those people who likes to take pictures of the views, the people I meet, and yes, even the food. It has been a dream of mine to visit Africa, so when I heard that a class was offered in Tanzania for my graduate program at the University of San Diego, I did everything possible to attend. The class was titled, Education in Post-Colonial Contexts. Our professor, Dr. Jez, organized the course based off the research conducted by us, the teacher candidates, and educators from Tanzania. Prior to arriving to Tanzania, we collaborated with the Tanzanian educators via email. Through many email exchanges, we learned about education contexts within Tanzania while also sharing certain aspects of the current U.S. education system.
This blog consists of my experiences in Tanzania, beginning with blogs 1-3 which summarizes the research conducted prior to arriving to beautiful Africa. I hope that through the pictures and writing, you get a glimpse of how beautiful Tanzania and its people are. Enjoy!
Social Location Essay
Prior to beginning our research on the education system in Tanzania, Dr. Jez asked us to write a social location essay. This essay is a reflection on the variety of factors that make up an individuals identity and how that then affects the manner to which she/he develops and interacts with their location in society. I thought it would be easy to write about myself, right? Wrong. The experience, however, was significant. By exploring my own perspective, I was then able to recognize how and why I experience the world the way I do. I was now able to enter a new country, fully aware of my perspective.
Below is a brief paragraph from my social location essay:
One’s social location is dependent on the manner of which their dominant individual ideologies such as race, gender, class and lived experience have shaped their understanding of the world. Common social constructs such as sexuality, religion, and age have not influenced the way I approach my decisions, view myself and others nor part of my imaginary autobiography. My personal dominant ideologies consist of growing up as an English Language Learner, a first-generation brown female college student from an immigrant family. As I reflect on the life of my family and how far we have come from the rural poverty in Mexico to the trunk of the coyote smugglers, to walking across the deadliest desert only to call a one-bedroom hut in the middle of the field home, I remind myself of how far I have come as a result of my families sacrifices and education.