Posts Tagged 'tanzania'

Sun up, Sun down Safari

At 7:00 am  Amy, Bryce, Joe, Raffy and myslef were sleepily waiting on the side of the Arusha Highway for the St. Timothy’s Students to pick us up in their buses.  Today all 134 students were going to the Tarangine National Park on a Safari. This is a field trip that Mama Hope funds annuallly as a way to celebrate the end of their school term.   At 7:30am the buses pulled up and kids all stuck their heads out the windows waving to us.  When I stepped onto the bus there was a sea of green and white uniforms because it was completely packed with students.  There were 4 children to every two seats, they were sitting on each other’s laps but none of the kids seemed uncomfortable.  They were all grinning and excited for their field trip so they just scooted around to make room for us and we were all on our way.
Almost immediately your typical “Field Trip Bus” hijinks began.  One student would start singing a song like “Bingo” and for a few minutes everyone would raucously join in until it trailed off about 10 minutes later.  A few students were playing a version of “I spy” counting everything they saw that was yellow and every time one of the students named Alvin saw a sign for Tarangine he would update me enthusiatically, “106 km and we arrive!”
When we reached Arusha, Esther tapped me on the shoulder excitedly pointing at something in the street, “Look, I’ve never seen one before.  And now there are two!”   I looked around trying to see what they all were so excited about and then Doreen told me “Look its a stop light.  We don’t have them in Moshi”.
A little later into the trip I heard some commotion and Acinta shouted “Meshak, you just farted!  Open the window!”  Meshak sat there looking embarassed as everyone laughed and the girls looked disgusted. Then he laughed and proudly said “I did!” and played it off like only a 9 year old boy can with the other boys giving him high fives for grossing out the girls.
After about 5 hours we finally arrived at the park and a tour guide got on our bus and said “if you want see the animals you have to be very quiet.”  The kids immediately got very serious.  It was safari time.
Tarangine’s landscape was absolutely breathtaking it was covered with herds of animals, wildebeests, warthogs, impalas, zebras, giraffes, elephants and hundreds of massive baobob trees.   At one point, we were looking at a group of zebra who seemed to be distracted by something and then we saw why.  Under a baobob tree about 50 feet away was a giant lioness eating a wildebeest. The kids all clammered to get a look and whispered “simba”.  I announced “that is my first time seeing a lion”  they all responded enthusiastically “me too!”
After seeing the lion it was time for lunch and we descended upon the picnic area.  When we were finsished and headed back to the bus out of the corner of my eye I saw a giant baboon sneaking up on a group of khakied dutch safari picnicers.  He broke into a run, hopped on their table, roared and grabbed one of the women’s lunch boxes and jumped over the fence and defiantly ate it all right in front of her.  Then if as on cue, 35 baboons emerged from the bushes hopping on tables, stealing lunches and chasing little girls.  We all watched from afar and as they reclaimed the picnic area.  When we all got back on our buses and left the baboons stood in the parking lot as if to say “And stay out!!!”
Two hours later, after seeing 5 more lions and hundreds more animals, it was 5:00pm and time to make our way back to Moshi.  A few hours into the ride Doreen was asleep in my lap, Sarafina and Jessica on either side using my shoulders as pillows and I was balancing Peace’s head in my hand as she slept.  The mosqitoe bites on my leg were itching like crazy but I didn’t want to move and wake the girls so I tried my best to doze off as well.  Just as I finally was starting to dream I was awakend by a huge “BAM!!!” and a loud clunking noise started coming from the buses engine.  It was about 9:00pm and it was pitch dark except for headlights of the passing cars.  I stepped out of the bus and stretched for the first time in 4 hours.  Soon all of students piled out of the bus excited by this new development in their field trip.  They were playing tag and Joe showed a few curious students how to use the southern cross constellation to find Saturn.  It was one of those moments I was sure could of never happened in the USA.  There was no fear about the dark just joy.  There was no complaining from the children or angry parents demanding a refund.  Instead while we waited for a new bus to pick us up we watched shooting stars appear above us everywhere.

St. Timothy’s School, Moshi, Tanzania


Here we have a short overview and progress update on St. Timothy’s School in Moshi, Tanzania. Construction began in September of this year and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30th, with children attending in January 2010. I can’t tell you how exciting it’s been to see this project rise from the fields of Newland village! The efficiency and care our local community partner Tanzania Children Concern has been giving this project is a shining example of how communities know best. From local knowledge of land rights, power and water to the best vendors and manufactures. Again and again, it’s made me believe that communities need to be helped to help themselves!

-Bryce

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To read about my nonsense between work, check out my personal blog at: neitherherenorthere.org

St. Timothy’s: What I want to be…

What started out as a Q and A about thoughts on the new school turned into a “What I want to be..” fest. It really seems to me that kids throughout the world generally have the same aspirations. Whether it’s about excitement or connecting with people, the occupations are usually somehow related with the people who take care or us. And, of course, there’s always one kid who wants to be president.

-Bryce

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Read about my moments between the work on my personal blog at: neitherherenorthere.org

St. Timothy’s Students on the New School

Our plans were to ask a few of the students what they thought of the school. Thanks to their vigor we ended up with a mob of children ready to tell us how excited they were about the number of toilets. Amazing since it was mere bricks when they saw it! Afterward, James was telling us that some of them wanted to have class in it before it was even completed.  A few wanted to go live in the construction site.  Wow.

-Bryce

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To read about my moments and people between the work, check out my personal blog at: neitherherenorthere.org

St. Timothy’s Kids Visiting the Site

This was a treat to behold. On October 14th, all the current St. Timothy Students got to visit the construction site of the new school. What’s not included in the video is the jostling and kid climbing the kids did to get into the buses that brought them to the school! Hope you find it as ridiculouly cute as I did.

– Bryce

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To read about my moments between the work, check out my personal blog at: neitherherenorthere.org

Lucia, James and Facebook Causes

Here’s a video of Tanzania Children Concern Founder, James Nathaniel getting a lesson about what the heck Facebook Causes is from Lucia. I also had it explained to me about 3 minutes before this video was shot.

You can check out our Causes page for yourself here:
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/60174/15070448?m=e56504ed

-bryce

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To read about my moments between the work, check out my personal blog at: neitherherenorthere.org

St. Timothy’s Update

by Lucia Crenshaw

looking+at+plans

When I wrote you the last blog, I said that I thought things were about to get moving really fast, and I sit here today, exactly one month after breaking ground on the school, completely blown away by just how fast they have gotten moving.

The new school, two months ago just a barren piece of land, is now a completed foundation, and the beginning stages of the exterior walls. So, needless to say, the past month has been extremely busy.

The more time I am here, the more I am aware of things that I take for granted—things both learned and observed. When it comes to the school, I have realized just how reliant I am on technology to build and cultivate things, and how here, almost everything is done by hand. This might not seem like a “no-brainer”—Africa is behind the times when it comes to technology. But after watching the progress of this school, I am starting to wonder if we are not the ones who are in fact “lagging behind in terms of development,” and by development, I mean actually building something from the ground up.

Building

In the past month, I have witnessed exactly this—a building process that is tedious; however, it is beyond resourceful and it involves the whole community. Neighbors store and guard the building supplies; women cook lunches and bring them to the site; and local masons combine their skill and expertise in such a way as to make it look effortless. Many of the workers are members of the community with whom Tanzania Children Concern does outreach with—some are masons who have worked on the current orphanage, others are parents of some of the students. I guess for all of these reasons and more, that is why I get the feeling that this project goes deeper than bricks and mortar. It is a true community project—designed by, built by, and sustained by the community that it will serve.

Tanzania Children Concern has been trying to build this school for over 5 years, but due to financial restraints, they have been unable to do so. James says that this past spring, he received a letter saying that St. Timothy’s must register (which means build a school) as soon as possible, and at the time, he had no idea what they were going to do. He then said, “I can’t believe that I am getting to witness this (the building of the school) in my lifetime! I am just so overjoyed; I can’t wait!” I am right there with James—I feel privileged to be a part of this!

To read more of my personal stories from St. Timothy’s check out my blog:
Luciacrenshaw.blogspot.com


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