Am personally quite excited as it’s a first year for a lot of things for us and having blogs coming this regularly from our camps in Tanzania is definitly a first – and it’s a good sign for Tanzania (and not just parents who are really keen to know what is happening with their children on an expedition) because its a sign of development for Tanzania. Our camp is in a little remote village called Mwambani a few kilometers from a town called Tanga. Now, most people in the village have mobile phones and it’s getting a lot easier (and a bit cheaper) for our Camp Managers like Anderson to stay connected on the internet. And by the way, this year we have also launched our Family Life Program in Tanzania so for all you parents, here’s your chance to visit Camp Tanzania…
Groby/Stanley Park 2012
Since we arrived here in ‘Tanga Camp’ we have loved every second of it.
In our first few days we started project work with one group collecting soil to use as cement for the Mama’s incomplete house; this was achieved by beginning with digging a large hole in the ground. This took a lot if effort but was rewarding as you noticed the difference quickly, after 2 days there was enough soil to carry to the Mama’s house; we carried it using a large wheel barrow which took 4 men to push. The other group began work on a classroom at the local primary school, their job was to strip the walls and begin plastering the windows; although the work was tricky to grasp the right technique it was also enjoyable. The best part about visiting the school was meeting the children, we were all greeted by two classes who had both prepared a song, the first class sang the Tanzanian national anthem, all of us agreed that it was very moving; they sang with such passion for their country.
After we had collected all the mud for the house, the whole team came together and helped to fill the house with cement, this was the ‘messiest’ project! The mud was mixed with cement and water, this was done by foot, those brave enough took off their shoes and socks and jumped straight in. The rest of the team began to fill in the house built from large sticks tied together, the mud was pushed between the sticks and formed brick like sections. After a few hours we had completed quite a lot and it was time to go back to camp, but before we left there was a mud fight and we had chance to play with some of the village children. The next day we walked down to the beach to help the Mama’s with seaweed farming, out of all the project work this was most suited to the girls! We discovered that the Mama’s only make around 200 shillings per 1Kg of seaweed they collect (which is around 10p in English money!) this made us more determined to try and make a difference. At the end of the seaweed farming project together we had made around 46 lines of seaweed, on average the Mama’s can only make about 8 in one day, therefore we felt our help will have helped the Mama’s. After lunch we were invited to the Mama’s house to be taught how to cook chapatti and a sweet biscuit, they were both delicious and we can’t wait to make them again at home!
Life in camp has been amazing, the food and facilities have been great and after coming back from project work we all appreciated everything much more as camp is such a nice place. The view from the tents is stunning, waking up next to the Indian Ocean every morning is breath taking, and being able to relax on the sofa’s at night is a nice luxury along with having access to a bar with fizzy pop, chocolate and crisps. The evening activities have also been a lot of fun, we have had a Swahili lesson, organised a wedding between Sally and James and played team games!
Most recently we have started our PADI Scuba diving course, which is hard but extremely exciting! We are all so sad to leave Tanga Camp but we also cannot wait to discover more about this amazing country and especially safari! All of the staff here have been brilliant, we would like to thank them for such a warm welcome and we will never forget our time here, it has so far been a life changing experience.
From all of us here –
Lorna, Katie, Hannah, Sally, Phoebe, Sarah, Sophie, Bethan, Bhargavi, Megan, Molly, Sian, Zanny, Dan B, Dan W, Tom, James, Nathan , Varinder, Ben and Jane!