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CAS - Tanzania Report

20 November 2014

Please read about our Year 12 CAS students' volunteer work in Tanzania, their projects to help underprivileged families and the children at Seeway orphanage/ school.

IB CAS Tanzania Trip, 2nd - 10th November, 2014

We arrived on 2nd November, 2014 Sunday afternoon. We took the rest of the day to settle into the new surroundings and get our tents sorted out for the duration of our stay. We then proceeded to have a general briefing on how to conduct ourselves during our time in Tanzania and our schedule.

The following day, we visited Ngresi village in Arusha. We were warmly welcomed by the village head who told us about the local history and the steps they had taken for development. We then stepped out into the rain (it had rained almost constantly since we arrived) for a hike through the village. The guide told us about the way they had changed their planting methods to improve yields and were practicing soil conservation by creating ridges on the slopes of the hills, crop rotation and mixed cropping. They grew different crops such as corn, vegetables and a large amount of coffee. In the village, there were several livestock. Mainly cows. The villagers depend on these for milk which they could either use to supplement their diet or sell for income. There were also goats, sheep and chickens.

During the hike, we visited the village primary school. We saw the children in their classrooms and the subjects they studied. They were all very polite and disciplined. They seemed very happy. They even presented a song, to which we countered with one of our own. We then presented the headmaster of the school with some supplies before continuing to the “sacred” fig tree. The tree was a religious point where a small group of villagers came to pray if there was a problem in the village. A black goat is a requirement in this ritual. Afterwards, we climbed up a steep hill to get a view of Arusha. We were then shown how cow dung is used to produce natural gas for cooking. This was of course after a delicious local lunch. After that, we returned to camp.

Next day, we visited Seeway Tanzania to begin the service part of our trip. Seeway was an orphanage/school set up by foreigners that had ties with the local community. We would have a two- day project building goat sheds in the community for underprivileged families so that they could support themselves. We split up into three groups, each with some students, staff and locals. We then walked to the build sites and work began. We worked laboriously for two days before completing the shed. A goat was then introduced. The goat would provide milk which the family could sell for income. The project was sustainable as the goat would bear young and the trend could continue. Afterwards we played with the children at the orphanage and had a good time.

The following two days, we were on safari. We visited the Tarangire national park. Known for its large elephant population. The trip was enjoyable as the guides explained to us the animals, their habits and characteristics. We saw several elephants, jackals, warthogs, zebra, birds, and buffalo and yes, even a lion. We then returned to camp on the trucks where we set up camp. We had an extremely palatable dinner and then sat by the campfire before turning in for the night. The following morning, we had an equally tasty breakfast before returning to the safari. We saw even more animals and some ones we had not seen the previous day such as baboons and the secretary bird. We had an even closer view of a lion, and came frighteningly close to a herd of elephants. We then returned to camp for lunch and proceeded to return to our main camp where everyone had some well-deserved rest.

The day before we were to leave, we went on a nature hike. We got an even more up-close view of some animals (zebra and wilder beast). The goal of our walk was a polo club situated within the reserve. Once we arrived, we were provided with some drinks and relaxed by the pool. At camp, some local women arrived to instruct us in beading which several people took up. We were then afforded the opportunity to buy some of the women’s beading.

The day we were to leave, after we had packed and sorted out our tents. We had some team exercises which proved to be very challenging but were however interesting. We were all saddened that our time in Tanzania was up and would all be willing to return if given the opportunity.

Update from: Nnaemeka .N. Nwofe, Year 12 CAS Student

Please click the above for the photos