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Sequel (Paul Smiths, N.Y.) 1987-????, June 01, 1985, Image 2

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Persistent link: http://pscpubs.paulsmiths.edu/lccn/pscsequel/1985-06-01/ed-1/seq-2/

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Paul Smith’s College S E Q U E L SUMMER, 1985 Smitties Foster African Hospitality Training Program By NANCY BOYER-RECHLIN What do the YMCA, Tanzania and Paul Smith’s College have in common? Alumnus John Hutchins and student Christian Mushi, for starters. And, key to the connection, another alum, Joe McCranels, ’54. John Hutchins energetic hotelie (class of ’80) is now working in Tanzania, East Africa, as manager and prin­ cipal at a YMCA hostel and vocational training center for hotel service and catering. Christian Mushi, a serious young Tanzanian staff and faculty member at the hostel, is mid-way through the hotel program at Paul Smith’s. Both John and Christian speak with enthusiasm and a touch of wonder about their new experiences. John was working at Phoebe’s Garden Cafe in Syracuse last year when his dad alerted him to the intriguing job opportunity in Tanzania. John had worked for the Y in his hometown of Corning in earlier years, and his father was still involved with the Y. To prepare for his new job, which includes overseeing about 55 resident student-workers as well as running the 64-room, 80-bed hostel, he made a trip to PSC to get some management textbooks. He found the books indispensable in his new role of manager/educator. John returned to PSC last February while on leave in the U.S. and described his experiences. He recalls his ar­ rival in Tanzania with precision. It was March 22,1984 — Easter Sunday, and he was greeted at the Kilimanjaro In­ ternational Airport by dancers and by officials who welcomed him to Moshe, and escorted him to the hostel. At the hostel, he met Christian, who was the catering of­ ficer and catering instructor there. Christian helped John learn Swahili (the commercial language of East Africa) and get oriented to the operation, before departing for the U.S. three months later. The hostel shares space in a modern five-story structure with the Tanzanian national YMCA headquarters. It is equipped with an outdoor swimming pool, multi-purpose room and modern kitchen equipment. However, the rural location and struggling Tanzanian economy offer unique challenges for a business operation. John is proud of his role in getting the facilities into good operating condition, and in keeping the hotel dining room and snack bar well- stocked. Another of John’s projects is to work toward gaining recognition and approval of the training center as a two- year college offering courses in management and accoun­ ting in addition to its certificate programs and short courses in housekeeping, reception, cookery and service. Christian comes from Masama, a village outside Moshe, on the tropical flanks of Mount Kilimanjaro, where his father is an elementary school teacher and the Joe McCranels, ,54 FAMILY PORTRAIT — Christian’s relatives from Masama gather to greet a visitor. Joe McCranels met the family on a recent YMCA travel seminar he lead. The group was met family owns a small coffee grove and banana plantation. He had attended a Y conference in Kenya, but had never been outside East Africa before leaving for the U.S. in June, 1984. Christian spent his first summer at Silver Bay, the autonomous YMCA Conference Center on Lake George and enrolled in Paul Smith’s hotel program last fall. Instrumental in arranging the cross-cultural exchange program were Joe McCranels and Jacob Mallya, the na­ tional general secretary of the Tanzanian YMCA, who built the hostel/headquarters where John now works. Joe was a terminal hotel management student at Paul Smith’s. After graduation he pursued a varied career before ending up in food service management. “ Through a client relationship with the Silver Bay Association, I went to work there and became a YMCA professional,” Joe relates. He is now associate executive director of the conference center and international program director for the association. Mallya and Joe met when Jacob visited Silver Bay while traveling in the U.S. for the YMCA, and, in November, 1983, Joe lead a fact-finding tour to see how the U.S. group could assist the Moshe vocational training center. As a result of those visits, the Silver Bay Association and the North Country Cluster of YMCAs agreed to fund an exchange program which would provide the training center and hostel with a U.S.-trained temporary principal and manager, while bringing a Tanzanian member of the faculty to the U.S. to study hotel management. Joe was responsible for coordinating the exchange and selecting the candidate. Joe has kept in close touch with his alma mater, and it was natural for him to recommend Paul Smith’s as an ex­ cellent hotel/restaurant mangement program convenient to the sponsoring Y groups. But he calls the selection of a PSC alumnus for the temporary job in Tanzania largely coincidental. “ A lot had to do with John’s personality, his flexibility, which made him more suited to the job” than the other finalist, who was a graduate of the University of Denver hotel school, Joe explains. Christian, whom Joe met while on his fact-finding tour, was selected for participation by the YMCA officials. “ He was selected because he is a highly motivated, dedicated young man, and is very loyal to the YMCA,” says Joe. Christian is working hard at Paul Smith’s to be a credit to both his country and the YMCA. In fact, Joe’s only com- with gifts and a feast meant, Christian said, to express his family's appreciation to the YMCA groups which gave him “such a high opportunity to come to the U.S. and study.” plaint is that the young African is, if anything, spending too many hours in the library. “ For the chance I was given, I shouldn’t be wasteful,” comments Christian. “ I should use my time to be sure I obtain what I’m required to obtain. I am really interested to teach what I get from the hotel program to enable those who are interested to offer better service in the hotel in­ dustry.” Christian is in line to become principal and manager of the Moshe hostel when he completes his studies. A highly motivated student, Christian has found his coursework at Paul Smith’s all “ essential,” and has begun to regret a decision he made when first approached about studying abroad to limit himself to two years. Asked if he would like to go for a two or a four year degree, he chose two, thinking of his family. “ After I came to the college I realized that four years would be bet­ ter,” he says. “ I see the relation (between my studies here and) teaching at the school in Tanzania. (More study) would enable me to give more ideas. Christian is back working at Silver Bay this summer, this time as part of his required “ first job experience.” “ I would really recommend Silver Bay for a first job ex­ perience,” Christian says. “ It is a nice place to work. For me personally, I found there is a lot to learn. The people are so nice and very friendly, and the staff is happy to teach you. Whatever you are having a problem with, they will asssist and try to make sure you know what to do.” Joe notes that although Silver Bay was just recently ap­ proved as an official “ first job experience” for hotel pro­ gram students, he has been hiring hotel students for front desk jobs at Silver Bay for many years. Three PSC students, in addition to Christian, are working there this summer. (The “ first job experience\ is part of the recently-revised hotel and restaurant management pro­ gram which also now includes a full semester of prac ticum at the Hotel Saranac.) Christian will return to the campus this fall and wil; spend the spring semester at the hotel. If this international match-making story weren’t already serendipitous enough, there’s a romantic sequel True to Joe’s first impression of the young PSC graduate, John Hutchins warmed quickly to his African surroun­ dings and soon felt very much at home. In fact, he met his wife at the hostel. He and Rajni, a Tanzanian citizen from an ethinic Indian family, were married January 5th this year.

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