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Gina Fagan's Story

The Happiness Now Project group in Tanzania in 2023

Tanzania Happiness Project – Empowering Female Entrepreneurs (and a whole lot more!!)

The group is set, the vaccinations given, visa applied for, and passports checked. We met at 3:00 am at Stanfield International Airport to start this amazing adventure, a group of somewhat strangers heading out together to work on a project.
Fast forward 30 hours or so, and we arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania. We are greeted by a group of dancers and singers, and I find myself dancing in the parking lot of the airport. The welcome was warm and the scenery beautiful.
We are met by our hosts, and we all load onto the bus to go to our destination at the Veta Hotel and Tourism Training Institute – Vhtti. We were told there was a lot to see on the drive and that did not disappoint. We saw so many people, cars, motorcycles, and animals along the way. This country is alive, you can feel the energy when you arrive. It is just in the air and the people want to share their joy. There was more dancing when we arrived, and more and more as the trip progressed.

This blog is not long enough to cover all the amazing experiences we were so lucky to be a part of, but the reason we were there was to encourage entrepreneurship and that we did. The mini ventures the students created did not disappoint. From oatmeal, fruit, juice, and bananas, to professional photography and a Bingo game, the students negotiated, collaborated, and inspired. The Canadian and Tanzanian students worked side by side and used the strengths of each member to make the business a success.

We were all very fortunate to be on this learning trip and the experience will be something that we will never forget. Experience and education result in growth and traveling provides an experience no one can read in a book. The days were busy, the work had to be done, the flights were long, and there are ups and downs along the way, but the value of this experience is priceless.

When you go through anything as a group you will always remember the people. We may not all stay in touch, but I know when I think of my trip to Tanzania in 2023, the people I met, worked with, and traveled with will always come to mind and hold a special place in my heart.

Last words, if you have the opportunity to travel to Tanzania and work on the Happiness Project jump on that plane and enjoy the ride.

Picture Credit – Luc Nguyen