Hello Friends and Family of the BCS: Tanzania program!
The group has completed the first leg of their trip home, and have arrived in Doha. The next flight from Doha to JFK is scheduled to depart on time:
Here is the last group photo at Arusha- it is the halfway point between Cairo, Egypt and Cape Town, South Africa!
We started our day at 7 in the morning at the Tumaini Junior School. From there, we left to start our journey to the Ngorongoro Crater! We rode in 4 safari jeeps, with around 6 students per car. On our way there, it was very foggy, cold, and rainy, but once we got down into the crater, the fog was above us and it was a little warmer. We drove around for about 2 hours, stopping when we saw buffalos, warthogs, lions, herons, flamingoes, and zebras. We then stopped to have a short break and eat lunch. By the time we were finished with lunch, most of the clouds had moved away allowing the sun to shine down into the crater. The only thing we hadn’t yet seen was an elephant, so we spent the rest of our time driving close to the sides of the crater with the hope of seeing one. All of the groups saw at least one elephant, and one group got to see a whole family of elephants! The drive out of the crater was beautiful as well. The road was surrounded by a lush forest, and we got to see some baboons. As a whole, the crater safari was one we will never forget.
Phoebe and Sophia
Currently having breakfast and will then load bus to travel to airport. We will stop in Arusha for lunch and some shopping! All doing well.
On Monday and Tuesday night we participated in homestays with families from the Tumaini School. We slept, ate, cooked, and lived with Tanzanian families, and furthered our cultural education in the process.
In our experience, THE HOMESTAYS WERE AWESOME! The food was amazing, the families were nice, and the sleeping arrangements were phenomenal. However, our experiences differed in the sense of the shower situation. In the house that Diego stayed in, he was able to use an actual shower, and warm water. Aidan was delighted to have the experience of taking a bucket shower (and he might have even looked forward to it at times).
Diego and Aidan
Today we started with breakfast with our host families. We then met at Tumaini Junior to visit the NGOs we researched. First stop, FAME. We arrived by bus to the beautiful medical clinic. Their goal is to be a clinic that serves every Tanzanian equally and affordably. Alex, a volunteer at FAME, gave us a tour of the facilities.
We then had lunch again at the New Golden Sparrow. It featured a delicious buffet, as it did the last time, but this lunch was special. After we ate, we had a chance to dance in the restaurant’s club space. We enjoyed and exhausted ourselves.
The next stop was Mwema Children. It is an organization that services street children; mostly street boys. It includes mainly a talent development program and a rehabilitation program to reintegrate the children into society and into their families. Some of the children performed for us; it was extremely impressive. The performance included acrobatics, singing and dancing (their footwork was on point).
We ended our day with a special candle ceremony to officially end our program. In the center of our circle sat a candle. We spoke words of hope and love into a young baobab tree that we passed around the circle. This tree will be planted on the campus of Tumaini Senior Secondary School. We hope to visit this tree in the future.
We headed back to our homestay families for the night (our last night there ).
Tolu and Aurelius
This is a theme I teach in biology and I keep coming back to this concept in Tanzania ....we are different yet we are all the same. True for Life on many levels - bacteria, plants, animals-DNA is a familiar language. It has been amazing to watch our BCS students bond with the TSS students by teaching each other new things, dancing together, playing together and much more. Common things alongside different things.
Last night we all dispersed and went home with the Tumaini students in pairs. This morning, we came back together to go visit an NGO called FAME- a very successful and impressive medical facility.
We began our day by packing for our homestays. We had an orientation where we learned what to do in certain situations we might encounter at our homes. Later we had a “closing ceremony” where leaders of the school spoke and gave their thanks for our participation in the program. Because all of the students were so passionate about the ukulele and ultimate Frisbee, Lorelle and Tolu gifted a ukulele and Frisbees to the school. We said our goodbyes to the students and headed off to Karatu.
Once we arrived at the Tumaini Junior School in Karatu, we waited for our homestay families to show up. While waiting, some students played basketball. As the families started showing up, we had a quick introduction. After our introduction, we took off for our homes. Some homestays were further than others, ranging from 5 minutes walking to 40 minutes. At our homes, people played card games, talked, had dinner or ventured around the neighborhood.
-Camila and Gabriel