Friday, December 19, 2008

Off to Africa

It's been a busy couple of weeks with finals and packing for a month in Africa.

The itinerary looks something like this:

The worst flight plan ever.  Two red-eyes and two 11 hour layovers to go Boston-London-Dar es Salaam-Kilimanjaro.  

Then, if I survive the flights, I'll climb Kilimanjaro.  I'll be doing the Umbwe route, which is one of the more challenging non-technical ways to climb the mountain.   Packing is a doozy for this trip.  I picked up a bunch of items I didn't have - walking stick, gaiters, etc.  It's 95 degrees at the bottom and zero degrees at the top.  Then I need clothes to work in an office for the next month.  

Then I'll be spending a week with the Mass Development Association of Dar-es-Salaam, a small, community based non-profit that has made quite an impact in Tanzania.  I'll be working with them on microfinance, models of sustainable microfinance and entrepreneurship, and business training.  

Finally, I'll be spending a week on the beautiful island of Zanzibar, recharging my battreries that I can finish up strong for my last semester at MIT.

Free travel is one of the best things about MIT Sloan, I have to say.  With the focus on action labs, I've gotten to go to Silicon Valley, China and London already before this Africa trip.  I'll be going to India in March.   MIT China Lab and India Lab are amazing programs run by Jonthan Lehrich and Yasheng Huang.  Maybe I'll devote a whole blog post to how to travel in business school in the future. 

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