Learning how to install solar lights in a house, mix concrete, build school desks and goat shelters, as well as realize how many uses cow dung actually has are only some of the things our Tanzania Expedition group came away with this February. For 8 days the group experienced service learning just south of Arusha, Tanzania. They stayed in Shamba Kipara Camp, an oasis of lush green grass with plants, trees and flowers native to the area. The tents for students and teachers took a little getting used to, but they all enjoyed sharing the space with others from NAE sister schools.
Students from 4 NAE schools worked together to build classrooms for Nazareti Primary School. They collaborated in laying a foundation, laying brick walls and plastering walls. “Who knew that mathematics would really be necessary when mixing cement,” commented one student. “We made an assembly line in order to pass the bricks closer,” replied another when asked how the cooperation was going. “Everyone pitched in and helped without a single complaint,” affirmed Dr. Jennifer Barnett, trip organizer for ICS.
Two days of safari in the Tarangire National Park was a welcomed break from the physical labor. The elephants were so close they could hear them chew grass, the giraffes posed for photos, two lionesses and their cubs enjoyed playing in tall brush, and the cheetah lazed in the sun. Having a baboon steal someone´s lunch and an elephant come into our camp during the evening just made the experience that much more exciting. “We don´t want to leave, Miss”, agreed Macarena Mijares, a student who participated last year as well. In the end, everyone did return to Madrid, but a piece of Tanzania came with each of them.