Tanzania 2012

Our Tanzania Trip Blog

Greetings from Tanzania! Mon, 23 Jul 12 18:23:20 -0400

After a long but uneventful journey we all arrived safely and settled into our accommodation in Arusha - as expected very basic but fine. After sorting out supplies we set off on the expedition phase and I think everybody will agree that it was one of the most physically demanding things ever done, but also incredibly rewarding. From there we went on to visit a Masaai village where we were honoured to meet the Chief and visit the house of one of his wives. This was a fascinating experience, not least in learning that having 10 wives and 80+ children is the norm! Last night we returned to Arusha, tired but weary and very pleased to once again have a mattress to sleep on and hot showers once again! Today has been a rest and preparation day prior to heading off on the project phase tomorrow. So all is well and we will update again when we can!

Posted by: Mrs Daly

Latest Update from Tanzania Sun, 29 Jul 12 18:48:53 -0400

Following a very successful trekking phase we all returned to Arusha shattered but really happy with our achievements - walking up Bryn Street will never seem the same again! A particular highlight of the trekking phase was to visit a Masaai Bomba and be invited into the home of one of the Chief's wives; after the hard trek and a few nights camping, the hostel seemed like luxury! We have now returned to Arusha once again following the project phase where we were successful in our aim to lay the foundations for the new toilet block at Ndatu kindergarten, meet the community and work with the children. Additionally we were able to spend time at the local orphanage; a very emotive but rewarding task. Safari today has been amazing - lots of spots! So tomorrow we head to Bogamoya for a well-deserved few days at the coast before heading home - I think we will all be very sad to leave! All the students send their love and look forward to sharing more news soon.

Posted by: Mrs Daly

The Next Leg of Our Journey Tue, 31 Jul 12 18:31:12 -0400

After the safari at Tarangire National Park the students returned to Arusha and the hostel which many have now come to regard as home! After a long-awaited meal in their favourite restaurant most sensibly chose to have an early night ready for the very early start the next day, the rest were sent to bed when the staff couldn't keep their eyes open any longer! Being up and out by 5.30am was a bit of a shock but all the students managed it and we were all sat on a coach and ready for the long journey to Dar es Salaam by 6am, still not really believing that the journey would take 9 hours......or would it? We travelled through some spectacular scenery, seeing first hand the diverse geography and culture of East Africa and the students coped brilliantly with the journey. At 5.30pm - 12 hours from leaving the hostel in Arusha and after experiencing some of the longest traffic jams ever - we finally arrived at the bus station in Dar. Special thanks must go to our Expedition Leader Mark at this point; he had managed to pre-arrange transport out to Bagamoyo and accommodation there for the remaining nights of our trip avoiding the necessity to brave central Dar and the manic driving conditions that seem to be the norm. 2 hours later we finally arrived at our final destination, Travellers' Lodge in Bagamoyo, very tired and ready for a meal and bed - and very relieved not to be camping. A long, hard journey - but one that was to prove to be very worthwhile.

Posted by: Mrs Daly

The Adventure is Nearly Over Wed, 1 Aug 12 18:21:43 -0400

Waking up and emerging for breakfast we truly began to appreciate what we had only had a glimpse of the night before - the accommodation found for us was absolutely stunning! Everybody had a bed in either a garden or beach cottage, complete with hot showers and proper toilets and the lodge grounds were beautiful. After breakfast we discovered the beach and had a first paddle in the Indian Ocean, and realised that we were in a truly magical place. Students then had a chance to discover the local art and craft market whilst Mark and Mrs Daly headed off to the bank, then spent the rest of the day chilling out and exploring the local area for somewhere to eat in the evening. The place chosen, Poa Poa, was great although turning up as a group of 17 led to a lengthy wait before food appeared and the students were a real credit to the school with their patience and understanding. After a good meal it was off to bed, ready for another day exploring Bagamoyo. The town of Bagamoyo is fascinating, particularly for those interested in social history, and we have really been struck by the wide variety of cultures, architecture, living conditions and the people we have met. As we get ready to leave Africa and head home the journey will give us a chance to reflect on what we have seen, heard, done and experienced during our stay. The first days in Arusha getting to know each other and our leader Mark, and adjusting to the language, the heat and the culture; the physical and mental challenges of the trekking phase; the fascinating insights into the lives of the different tribes of people that we have met; the emotional challenges and rewards of Ndatu; the joy of seeing animals such as zebras and elephants close up and in their natural habitats and the final days of R and R on the coast. All have contributed to making this expedition a truly life-changing one - not just for the people that we have been fortunate enough to help in Ndatu but for the students and staff alike and I'm sure that we are all coming home with memories that we will never forget.

Posted by: Mrs Daly