Early hours of the morning, 18th of January 2015
After a long journey we finally arrived at Kilimanjaro airport, at around 2 o’clock in the morning. We hopped onto a bus and travelled to the Shamba Kipara Camp, our home for the following week. After a quick brush of teeth, we crept into our tents and tried our best to sleep, despite the overwhelming sense of excitement.
18th of January 2015
Despite the lack of sleep, everyone was up early the next morning. It was the first time we saw the camp in the beautiful Tanzanian sun and we were very impressed. A twenty minute bumpy jeep ride later we arrived in the Ngrisi village, where we departed for a two hour hike through the corn crops. Although the uphill walk was tiring, the view from the top of the hill was breathtaking. We then walked back down and ate a traditional meal prepared by the women in the village. When everyone had finished their meal we had the chance to visit the Ngrisi village, where we got a little insight on the Masai culture and way of living. Finally, after the exhausting day we came back to camp and washed off the very thick layer dust that we were covered in. We definitely slept very well that night.
19th of January 2015
Monday was our first day of service work at the Kitefu elementary school. When we arrived they were just about to start their morning break. We joined in and played with the children. We would say we played football but the only thing that resembled the game was the ball itself! We then broke into three groups and taught the morning lessons art, maths and reading. Each class had between 65-70 students per class. In the afternoon we worked hard to clean, sand and repaint three classrooms that were in desperate need of renovation. In the evening, all LCIS students regrouped and had a great debriefing session.
20th of January 2015
We were greeted on Tuesday morning by very heavy tropical rain. Nevertheless, we returned to the Kitefu School and completed the renovations. Those who had finished the classrooms, did an art lesson with the youngest class at the school. Later that day we went to the Seeway Orphanage for lunch and learned about what they are doing there and what their plans for the future are. We were all inspired by the work they accomplish at the orphanage. After our meal we had the opportunity to play with the children before returning to the school for a closing assembly. All the children from the Kitefu School participated and we presented the school with all of our donations. They were very thankful for all of the work and supplies we furnished. We then said goodbye to everyone and returned to camp, where we discussed how we can use the funds we have raised to continue the work in Tanzania. That night we packed a small bag for our two day trip on safari.
21st of January 2015
Safari started today, with an early morning drive to the Tarangire National Park. We took many photos of all the animals we saw, including giraffes, elephants, baboons, impala and many more. We travelled on the upper deck of huge trucks, from where we had a great view on the landscape. We stopped on the road for a picnic lunch, where we made some unlikely buddies (although they did steal our bananas). That night we arrived at our safari camp site, kindly set up by the Tanzanian locals. Even though we were in the middle of the African bush, we had great hand dug long drops (toilets) and sophisticated bucket showers. As the evening grew darker and darker we were able to observe the starry sky, and notice Orion’s belt pointing straight to the northern star. After dinner we sat around the campfire and shared songs, jokes and riddles with our Tanzanian wildlife guides. We then climbed into our tents and very quickly fell asleep, surrounded by the sounds of the Tarangire National Park habitants…
22nd of January 2015
Thursday was the second safari day, and after a quick lunch organized by the Tanzanian locals we made our way back to the Shamba Kipara Camp. We then took some desperately needed showers and had free time to play football, swim in the pool or hangout with our friends.
23rd of January 2015
In the morning we went to Dolly Bush Estate, to complete an outdoor challenge. This is a very large plot of land that has zebras, wildebeest, impalas and many other African animals in a large nature reserve. During this challenge we were asked to make a fire with a flint and a striker. Every group succeeded in this challenge. In the afternoon local woman came and taught us how to make beading crafts. Although some found this easier than others, we all left with a handmade bracelet crafted with pride (and difficulty). These woman also set up a market where we were able to buy souvenirs. After this we had a bit of free time, and because of the scorching Tanzanian sun, most of us chose to join the impromptu water polo game. Later that night we had the option of participating in an optional trivia competition which teachers organized and lead, or just having some free time. Because it was our last night in the camp, the teachers allowed a night time swim, where we played games and looked at the starry night sky for the second last time…
24th of January 2015
Saturday was the last day in Tanzania for all of the schools in Expedition 2. In the morning we had an orienteering exercise within the Shamba Kipara camp, and after lunch, the Compass International School of Doha got ready to leave. This was the first set of painful goodbyes, although we promised to keep in touch. Thank goodness for Facebook… The afternoon was pretty relaxed, and we enjoyed our last hours in the African sun surrounded by our international friends. Soon enough, the British Schools of Chicago and Washington left as well, leaving only saddened La Côte students in the camp. That night we struggled to stay awake, waiting for our late departure to the airport by playing card games, spoon games and appreciating spectacular chicken dances…