In July, five of our students visited Tanzania with Camps International. During the four weeks they worked on community projects, took part in a safari looking for the ‘big five’, as well as facing the challenge of learning the new skill of scuba diving in the Indian Ocean. James Smith has written the following report about the experience:
Two years ago, I signed up to go on a trip to Tanzania with Camps International. I was tasked with the challenge of raising £3,900 to go on an expedition of adventures and voluntary work for 4 weeks. It took a while but I raised the money to go by selling products at events such as the school’s Christmas concert. On 11th July 2016, I woke up and drove to school for 2am to get on the minibus to Heathrow Airport full of excitement and anticipation. When we landed in Tanzania, the first thing I noticed was the temperature and humidity and I knew that I would take some getting used to! It wasn’t like normal British weather, it was warm all the time and it only rained twice the whole month. Mine and Miss Smith’s bags were delayed getting to us and so that was our first challenge of the month. The first project was building a classroom in a town called Moshi where we learnt bricklaying, plastering, cement mixing etc. it was very interesting and rewarding to see the children that would be taught in that room. We moved to a camp by the Indian Ocean called Tanga after this where we completed our PADI Open Water Diver’s course over 4 days. It was challenging at first but seeing tropical fish and coral reefs was absolutely amazing. We also built a mud hut here for an old resident of the town. We then went on safari where we deepened a waterhole and went to a viewpoint to see the zebras and wildebeest coming to drink out of it. On safari, we also saw lions, elephants, giraffes and warthogs to name a few (all from the safe distance of a safari jeep of course)! We then went to our final camp which was 1,800m up Kilimanjaro where it could get very cold at night. The projects included building a mud hut and managing soil erosion at the local school. Between that and the noise of bush babies dropping avocados on the corrugated iron roofs it was a hugely memorable experience. Overall, Tanzania was a once in a lifetime trip that I will never forget and I have memories that I will treasure and share for the rest of my life.