First Impressions of Africa

First Impressions of Africa

TransCanada employees share their experiences while on secondment in Ghana and Zambia

Multimedia from this Release

Local and organic: Honey has become one of TransCanada employee Tim Hirtle’s food staples in Africa while working with a company in Zambia producing organic honey.

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 10:15am


It’s not every day that your employer serves you fried caterpillars with lunch.

But it’s what TransCanada employee Tim Hirtle recently ate while working with Forest Fruits Ltd., a company that produces Zambezi Gold organic honey and provides a sustainable income to more than 6,000 beekeepers in rural Zambia.

“They make lunch every day for all the workers. The owner’s wife is a nurse, so she makes sure to balance the nutritional content of the lunches throughout the week,” says Tim. “I totally just ate fried caterpillar with lunch today.”

Not surprisingly, he’s also eaten a lot of honey since he started working with the company.

Tim is one of two TransCanada employees, along with Leanne LeBlanc, seconded to Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) until December, with postings in Lusaka, Zambia, Tamale and Ghana, respectively.

TransCanada recently renewed its partnership with EWB to bring the partnership to a five-year, $545,000 total. The unique partnership includes the secondment of 10 employees to EWB projects for six months each in order to help tackle the problem of persistent poverty in Africa.

As this year’s secondees, Tim and Leanne wasted no time in tackling the challenges of their new roles while they soaked up the sights and culture of Africa.

Read more about their first impressions of Africa on TransCanada's blog