We finished out last week by continuing to build the relationships established at the organizations we were volunteering at last week. Due to fundraising by students, faculty, family and friends, we were able to leave one of the schools a little better off by providing money for a roof!
It was really fulfilling to be able to see money we had raised at garage sales and through donations go to something tangible for the students at Gloryland Prep School. I think most of our students were shocked by the level of focus and the good behavior shown by the young students at this school. With only a tarp separating some classrooms, young students (around 5 and 6!) we’re able to focus on a test while the class next door was singing loudly! This sparked great discussion about the power of cultural norms and how we learn behavior.
On Friday, we loaded up in three Jeeps and embarked on our four day camping safari. The first day was spent driving to Tangire National Park and then we ventured out for our first game drive. We saw many monkeys, elephant and zebra! It was incredible to see these animals in their natural environment!! We camped that night just outside of the park and started the next day by driving to the 7th Natural Wonder of the world – Serengeti National Park. Here, we finally saw lions and hyena’s! One jeep actually witnessed a pack of lionesses attacking a zebra for dinner that night! The rest of us stumbled upon them finishing off their dinner. That night, we camped in the park with local tribesmen protecting the camp from the wild animals. The next day, we woke up before the break of dawn to get in an early morning game drive in Serengeti again. After, we packed up and headed to our final destination – Ngorongoro Conservation. This is home to a massive crater that houses many wildlife like hippos, rhinos and wildebeests. We finished up our fourth day with an early morning game drive and then a long drive back.
We arrived in Moshi in enough time to get dinner provided by a local hotel, get showered and repack to get ready for our flight home. We then left for the airport at 11pm. We got to the airport just to find out that the check in counter wouldn’t open until 1:30am…and our flight had been delayed for two hours. Just when we thought the adventure was winding down….
We are now waiting at the airport for our first flight to Istanbul, Turkey and have now been awake for nearly 23 hours. We are all a little delirious, but even now I can hear our students laughing from across the terminal (Mary!).
This has been an experience of a lifetime and I couldn’t ask for better students to make up the very first group of Lone Star students to study abroad in Africa! They made us proud, and I’m sure made everyone back home proud. It is difficult to adequately capture everything that has happened over the past few weeks, but I’m sure your students will enjoy trying to tell the story.