The group of 90 Nord Anglia students were divided into three teams to facilitate mixing between the schools and encourage new friendships. Each team followed a slightly different schedule but we all ended up doing the same activities across the seven days. The highlight for many of the students was the community service work which was organized in partnership with local NGO Seeway Tanzania (see more info here: http://www.swtz.org/index.html) and funded through the events organised by our students over the last few months. The activities included; building a goat shed (and providing a healthy goat), installing a smokeless stove and solar powered lighting system for vulnerable families as well as helping with Seeway’s project to build accommodation for teachers at a local primary school. The work was challenging, particularly in the heat of the Tanzanian sun, but the students not only worked incredibly hard but also worked really well together. I was particularly impressed with the resilience, determination and perseverance of all the students who took on new challenges with enthusiasm and didn’t give up, even when they were hot and tired. As none of us were trained builders we received expert advice from Wendy (co-founder of Seeway) and the ‘Fundi’, who were local building experts employed to guide the projects and teach the students new skills. There was a genuine feeling amongst the students that they had made a real difference to the lives of people in Tanzania and that the funds they had raised were having a direct impact in the community. It was also great to see the new play equipment in the playground, which was a BISB initiative from last year's group who raised extra funds to pay for this. The young students were loving playing on the monkey bars and swings and we helped to concrete the goal posts into the ground so that they might play on the field.
As well as the service work, students were also fortunate enough to go on safari to Tarangire National Park. Although not as famous as the Serengeti (also in Tanzania) there was an incredible wealth of animal and plant life to experience and among the fauna we spotted were; Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, Zebra, Baboon, Ostrich, Waterbuck, Buffalo, Warthog, Monkey and even Lion! There were also numerous beautiful bird species, although the lilac breasted roller is the only one I can remember with confidence!
The Tanzania expedition is now an annual feature of BISB life and is one of the many benefits to being part of the Nord Anglia group. The expedition provides a genuine opportunity for our students to give something back to communities less fortunate than themselves, and also gives students in Nord Anglia schools across the world the chance to meet and make friends with their peers in other countries. As a teacher, the opportunity to go on the trip was a privilege and it will go down in my memory as one of the most interesting and enjoyable school trips that I’ve been lucky enough to lead. And for those of you interested, information about next year’s Tanzania expedition will be available before the summer holidays!
Teacher of Geography and Life Skills