This was our eighth trip to Tanzania and the 17 Lower Sixth students had a fantastic time with experiences which they will savour for years to come. Hosted by the International School in Moshi we stayed in comfort in one of the School's boarding houses and were able to enjoy the school facilities including swimming pool. The food was excellent and everyone enjoyed good health throughout the stay.
On our first day there was a chance to explore the local town and we visited a spectacular waterfall with the opportunity to take a dip in the ice cold water. We were then straight into our community project which was to improve a local primary school. The main task was to paint six classrooms inside and out including the blackboards, but we also constructed 200 new desks. The appearance of the school was greatly enhanced and the children showed their appreciation at an emotional farewell ceremony where there was much singing and dancing. Everyone was sad to leave as over the four days we had enjoyed meeting the children and playing football and other games with them.
With no time to rest we were then off on our three day mountain trek in the South Pare area. This was tough but rewarding as we walked through villages gaining a clear insight into local life. The first night we camped high up beside a lake and enjoyed an African sunset before sitting out under the starry sky. It was easy camping as the tents were carried for us and food cooked by our hosts.
Back at the International School for a night we were then loaded into landcruisers for our two day safari where we visited Lake Manyara National Park and the Nogogoro Crater. We were lucky and saw an exciting array of wildlife, the elephants close to the vehicles were the stars but there were lion, hippo, zebra, wilderbeest, warthog, giraffe, numerous monkeys and much more to enjoy. The evenings were in a luxury safari lodge with great food and while it was camping, the tents had proper beds.
As the trip drew to the end, the programme maintained its impetus and on the last day we planted 250 trees on the slopes of Kilimanjaro meeting the people who live there and enjoying food and dance with them. We also visited the Upendo orphanage which is supported by Sidcot pupils. It was fun to meet the children and play with them.
By the end of the trip we were very much a family having lived together for two weeks and shared some amazing experiences. Preparation now starts for the 2018 trip which is open to all students in the Sixth Form.