On the evening of 24 October 2018, 24 lucky students and 3 staff from Northbridge International School Cambodia started a long journey to Shamba Kipara camp in Tanzania. This was the start of their epic one week adventure on the Nord Anglia Global Campus Worldwide Expedition Programme that was to include helping to build a school, trekking to a waterfall, working with the locals to install solar lights and build goat sheds, and a safari spectacular.
By Ms Emma Walker
After almost 24 hours of air travel, and some ‘musical chairs’ on the plane, we arrived safe and sound at our destination. We were greeted with endless smiles at Kilimanjaro airport where the staff could not do enough to make our arrival as warm and welcoming as possible, and after collecting our luggage, we exited the airport and were relieved to meet our two trip leaders of the week, Becky and Kirsty.
Mr Andy, Ms Silvia and Ms Emma breathed a sigh of relief - part one of our journey was complete, now time to settle in, unpack and get a much needed cup of hot coffee ready for our welcome meeting and ice breaker activities, after all the night was still young and jet lag was yet to set in!
For the next couple of hours we met and mingled with students and staff from our sister schools; ICS Madrid, Nanjing and BVIS Ho Chi Minh.
One of the excellent opportunities that the global campus worldwide expeditions programme provides our students with is the opportunity to collaborate and network with students around the world. These programmes truly build the international mindset of our students.
For the next six days our students worked tirelessly to complete community projects, foster a spirit of friendship and teamwork, and overcome some big personal challenges.
These projects are the fundamental purpose of this outdoor education programme, it is aligned with Nord Anglia Education ‘be ambitious’ philosophy, and our students did just that during the week.
One of the projects lined up for our students was helping to build a school. As group 2 set off on day 1 to their site, many were dozing or gazing sleepily out of the window, when suddenly the bus stuck in the mud.
After all the rain of the night before the road had become impassable and the bus was stuck fast and beginning to slip in the mud. Then a booming voice began shouting instructions at the drivers in Swahili and Wendy, our knight in shining armour, climbed out of her 4X4 and began the rescue mission.
We exited the bus and were directed to the side of the road so that the bus could be roped to the 4X4 and towed out.
The next two days were filled with exhausting physical labour, in pouring rain for some students, but our students worked tremendously hard to help with the construction of the SEEWAY school project and should be very proud of their efforts.
Perhaps the highlight for many of our by now sleepy students, was the two day safari tour. We were lead, singing and dancing (literally for many) for 48 hours by our two fearless safari rangers John and Livingstone through the Savannah, being educated about the abundant wildlife that roams this fantastic landscape.
After the day's excitement of seeing lions and cubs lounging lazily in the shade of a tree, giraffes strolling across the savanna, a leopard perfectly camouflaged in a tree, and elephants wandering through the landscape, our students were overflowing with excitement and in awe of their surroundings.
Our students battled bugs and fought their fears, spending the night camping, in the Tarangire Safari park, where we ate a feast of delicious food under the stars and shared stories (some scary for Halloween) around the campfire.
This is just a small snapshot into the wonderful adventures our students had on their trip of a lifetime to Tanzania. We were three of the luckiest teachers to be given the opportunity to lead our students on this trip, which is far from over, and here is where we ask for our wonderful Northbridge community support.
As we near our Christmas holidays, we have the final challenge ahead of us. Each student has to raise $350 through charity fundraising work, and we would like to encourage you to support our students in their endeavours.
They will be organising a variety of activities over the coming weeks to reach their target, and will be sharing their ideas and plans with you very soon. Therefore, if you see or hear of any events in school for this initiative, we would welcome all the support you can offer.
In the meantime, all those of you who will be in Grade 8, 9 and 10 from August 2019, why not think about how you can get involved and start asking questions now about the trip of a lifetime to Tanzania 2019.