Students in field

Service Learning in Tanzania with Christina Krider and René Johnson

February 9, 2018

Finlandia Fridays received a taste of Africa this week when René Johnson and Christina Krider came to talk about Service and Learning in Tanzania.

Krider is originally from North Carolina and is a senior in the nursing program. Hearing about Finlandia through softball, Krider played for two years and decided to focus on her demanding studies in the nursing program.  With her countdown set and only four months until graduation, Krider stated that she “can see the light,” and is ready to start her life doing what she has planned to do for a while. Krider heard about the Tanzania trip on her official visit before entering college. “Fredi (de Yampert, Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs) told me I could study abroad, and she told me about a few other places, but Africa is where I have always wanted to go,” mentioned Krider. Christina Krider and Rene Johnson

Krider is looking forward to the experience, mentioning it will most likely be an eye opener, especially as she will have the opportunity to work in Tanzanian healthcare. With the differences in medicine and technology between the Upper Peninsula and Tanzania, seeing how a hospital operates with these differences is an interest to Krider. Johnson added the experience, while also being physically captivating, is also philosophically engaging as the students get to understand sickness and healing in a different light.

Johnson has been taking students on the Tanzania trip for the past 13 years. While the schedule mainly stays the same, each year is a new experience for Johnson and the other mentors. “I get to see that part of the world fresh again through the new visitors’ eyes, especially after living there for 12 years and going for 13 years.”

Johnson and Krider, as well as the rest of the students traveling on the trip, will be dressed in their Tanzanian garb on Saturday, February 17 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church for a fundraiser for the trip. The Soup and Salad fundraiser will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring a variety of Tanzanian soups. The fundraiser will also feature a silent auction to help the students pay for their trip. If anyone is unable to make it to the fundraiser, but would like to make a donation to the trip, they can contact René Johnson at rene.johnson@finlandia.edu.

Servant Leadership House

Along with the trip to Tanzania, Johnson also runs the on campus Servant Leadership House, which is looking for applicants for the 2018-2019 school year. To learn more about the Servant Leadership House, check out this earlier episode of Finlandia Fridays, where members Gina Geliche and Monica Freeman talk about life in the house. For students interested in applying, the application can be found here.


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