The 22-year-old says, “the biggest challenge was being away from family and friends. There were also times where communicating with the local people was difficult due to the language differences.”
However, “I also made friendships that will last a lifetime.
“I learned the processes that are involved in running an archaeological site and how to do research while in the field. After reading articles for the last two years on the results of research done at sites, it was a great experience to be able to do some of the hands-on work that needs to happen to get those results.
“The experience I gained from the field school will help me with furthering my education. It should be useful for hopefully getting into a graduate program, and the experience working at a site I can use for doing my own field research someday.”
Kristoff also had a chance to visit other parts of the African nation. “We spent a few days in the city of Arusha. It is mostly a tourist area for people travelling to the Serengeti or Mount Kilimanjaro. We also were able to go on safari in Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Both of these trips offered opportunities to see many of the animals that make Africa famous, such as elephants, giraffe, cheetah, lions, cape buffalo, hippos and wildebeests.
“We took a day trip to visit some natural sources of quartzite and phonolite, which are two types of rocks that were used to make the stone tools found at Olduvai. On that same trip, we also visited Shifting Sands, two dunes of magnetic sand that are being blown across a stretch desert. There are markers in the area to track the dunes as they move along their path.”
The young man offers advice based on his experience in Tanzania: “Take any opportunity to completely immerse yourself in another culture. You can learn so much about how other people live, but it is also surprising to learn how much you have in common with people on the other side of the world.”
Diane Raver can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.