Killi Days 4-6

Days 4-6 of the climb, the summit and decent.

It began fairly early on day 4 of the climb, we had just had our acclimatization day the day previous, we started at 8 am so we could reach the Kibo hut with plenty of time for food and sleeping before our attempt at the summit, the trek to Kibo started out as a rocky track which twisted quite frequently, but it changed into more of a gravel track similar to those found in parks quite quickly and our surroundings changed from an alpine moorland with an abundance of shrubs and rocks to a flat open desert with a few very small little shrubs dotted around, it was three quarters of the way through the walk to Kibo that sadly we said goodbye to Paul, he had almost fainted and so was taken back down to Horombo hut as it would have been dangerous for him to continue, this was a sad moment for the whole group as we had spent the previous days talking about how we would be the first year with a 100% success rate, however this wouldn’t happen. Never the less we carried on and the rest of the group made it to Kibo hut for about 5 pm where we had biscuits and black tea with as much sugar as was tolerable. We then had a small meal and a brief from Charlie the head guide in which he said not to worry as the guides would do anything to get us up to the top including if it came to it pushing us up there. I laughed at the thought of someone being pushed up the mountain if only I had known.  We went to bed with all bar 4 of the group in one room and myself, Elliot, Sam V and Dominic rooming with a group consisting of 2 Canadians and 2 Belgians who were going to be summiting a little earlier than us the same night. We spent a good half an hour laughing at the inscriptions drawn and carved into the bunk room walls, some jokes some sappy and a very entertaining tale from a man who claimed while summiting with his parents that the guides had turned on him and proceeded to push his mother off the side of the mountain and shoot his father, before warning not to summit and claiming it was safe at Horombo. I went to sleep nervous about the following day’s climb and decent ahead of me.

 

We all Awoke Promptly at 11pm (not) and donned our 5 layers on top and 3 layers on our legs as shamus had suggested before meeting at half past for tea and a biscuit before beginning our final ascent shortly after midnight, using the varying lights of our headlamps like a glow worm we began to work our way up the final climb of 1200m, just before we had trudged a quarter of the way up the mountain Mrs Sly was feeling rather ill from the altitude and chose to turn back, making her the second and only other person to not reach a peak. We carried on further up the mountain and by the next water break I was feeling quite ill, I turned to Charlie our head guide and managed to utter “Charlie I don’t feel….” before turning around and vomiting. As a result a guide took my bag and one of my jackets to try and cool me off. We had short breaks of five or ten minutes which led to me vomiting at each one and so shortly before the halfway mark I believed I was going down, I began to sob at the thought of leaving the group this late after everything we had done and how far we had come, luckily max gave me a shoulder to cry on, then much to my surprise Charlie said he would see how I was further on. I was flooded with joy that I would continue. So when we reached the halfway point at 5100m above sea level with the temperature now plummeting before dawn we had a quick cup of tea and hoped our camel packs would stay liquid a little longer and our bottles began to get frosty on top, we had wrapped them in socks prior to the ascent so the water would stay liquid at the subzero temperatures of the peak. We continued on hiking up the mountain getting more and more annoyed by Matt S and Freya singing 100 green bottles sat on a wall for what seemed like hours. By the time we reached the final part of the ascent the last hundred meters which consisted of jagged stone steps of volcanic rock the temperature was approaching -20 degrees c and all our camel packs had frozen, the wind was approaching 40 mph and it had reached the point that guides and us alike were being sent off balance by these gusts, by this point i had fully succumb to the altitude sickness, I had a guide pushing me up the mountain and feeding me my chocolate and holding my bottle for me to drink out of as I had reached a point where i had no balance and very little feeling or movement in my extremities, luckily i had stopped vomiting at this point. It took two guides one in front grabbing me by the forearms and another behind to push me for me to make it up the steps towards Gilman’s point with Sam V and Dom also feeling the effects of the altitude quite acutely. But eventually by 7:40 am all bar Mrs Sly and Paul had reached Gillman’s point. I was ecstatic to have reached this point in the climb as merely hours ago I had cried thinking I would be going back down. But now along with my friends (minus Paul sadly) we were at one of the three summits. Quickly the guides asked who was going further and all bar myself, Sam V and Dom decided to continue on. I watched as they streamed around the side of a rock and away before the three of us with a single guide hoisted ourselves up to begin the descent. I’m going down was the easy part really any symptoms we had had of altitude sickness quickly faded and so a huge weight felt as though it had been lifted, sliding down the scree on the side of the mountain was easy, you just dig a heal in and let yourself slide along, Dom however was still feeling quite ill so while me and Sam V glided down the slope Dom hobbled along with the help of the guide. When we reached Kibo hut we expected a little sleep waiting for the others some food and then to complete the rest of the descent to Horombo camp but Dom didn’t look to good so Mrs Sly, Dom, Sam V and myself carried on down the mountain with a light snack and little else. About 4 hours ahead of the others, we arrived at Horombo, we had a chance to sit and chat with Paul for an hour before he was taken the rest of the way down by medical car as he was still ill. following his departure Dom, Sam V and Myself went to sleep. I awoke briefly when Elliot arrived into our little hut but then quickly went back to sleep missing the rest of the group and then dinner, but when our 15 hour power nap had finished at 7 am ready for breakfast we knew we only had to make it to the bottom which at the quick pace we had been going downhill wouldn’t be too difficult. So at about 3 pm on day 6 the group had made it to the end, and we were all better for it, we were without Ethan and Paul as they had been taken to the hotel via the medical car earlier on. But when we arrived at the hotel at roughly 3:30pm we were reunited. We quickly gave our borrowed items back and collected our own and said a huge thank you and goodbye to the guides before dashing for one of the most needed showers in most of our lives.

Daniel H

 

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Day 19 – Safari And Returning Home

On the first day of safari we got up at half five in preparation to leave for a half six start. There was a mixture of excitement but also sadness at the fact that we would have to leave behind our friends who were climbing Kili. We set of after saying goodbye and then began the long journey to the South Gate of the Serengeti. We arrived at the gate at ten, where we were greeted by a troupe of monkeys. After our guides filled in the necessary paper work we set of into the endless savanna. Within the first two hours we had seen a leopard, moving almost undetectably through the grasses. After taking photos of the first of the big five we continued on. Throughout the rest of the day we saw Elephants, Buffalo, Antelopes, Wildebeest, and Zebras. At the end of the day we arrived at the hotel. The rooms of the hotels consisted of large tents with beds and a shower in each tent.

At the beginning of the second day we were driving when we came across a pride of lions. The pride consisted of three females and two cubs. What was even more fascinating was how the pride just walked past all the jeeps without giving them a second thought. The cubs were busy playing in the grasses. Throughout the rest of the day we continued to see lions and elephants as well as an ostrich and more zebras Then the rest of the day was spent travelling to the Ngorogoro crater. This was a ride which had a few problems, 1) The Jeep we were on broke down that required 12 men to fix and 2) we got lost on the way to the museum after the dust blinded the drivers vision. Stopping of at a cultural museum was a relief for us after the journey, which contained history about how humans had evolved and a stunning view of the savannah. After this we made our way to the crater. We arrived at the rim of the crater and at 2500 m above sea level sat our hotel for the night. Due to the height of the hotel the temperature was freezing but we were treated to double beds and a hot water bottle for the night which was welcomed by all concerned

The final day of safari began at 7:30 am with the trip down into the crater. With all the talk from Mrs Charnock about how scary the ride down was it was safe to say the ride was a bit of a let down. The main aim for today was to try and spot the final animal of the Big 5, the rhino, after nearly 4 hours of searching the crater we found the rhino, despite the rhino being about 100m away and lying down on the grass, binoculars provided us with the sight that many of us wanted to see. After seeing the rhino we made our way over to the hippo pool for our final pack lunch of the trip. This was not something that was forgotten, when we opened the boxes of either chicken or beef sandwiches, we were shocked and amazed to see a bar of Cadbury’s diary milk laying there. The excitement was massively seen on people’s face when seeing chocolate for the first time in 3 weeks. In a place where we least expected it, we were all surprised.

After lunch we made the trip out of the crater which contained pot holes and bumps which caused several episodes of who could touch the roof of the jeep first. After we reached the final gate at 1:30 pm. Our safari was finally over. The long 5 hour journey to the Kia lodge just by kili airport consisted of people sleeping and listening to music.

After checking into the hotel and having the final diner of chicken and potatoes or mutton and rice. It was time for us to try and fall asleep for the early get up of 1:30 am In the morning. This was interrupted by a very entertaining way of celebrating Mrs Charnocks Birthday which included dancing singing and sparklers.

With 2-3 hrs sleep the time arrived for us to leave Tanzania for a 4 am flight to Nairobi from Kili airport and a connecting flight to Heathrow which would land at 4pm uk time.

However when we were preparing to leave the Kili airport Matt Williams had still not managed to check his bag in. In the end the plane had to take off without him. Luckily he managed to catch up with us at Nairobi airport.

Tanzania was an amazing opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget but I am relieved to finally be back home

Freddie and Sam W

 

Day 19 – Leaving St. Dominics, Kilimanjaro and Marangu Hotel

Having been woken up at 6 am by the safari lot leaving, we got up, had breakfast and we’re ready to leave about 9 am. All of us were apprehensive, having flown lower than the summit of kili on the way to Mwanza. We packed up, got on the bus for the final time and made our way to Mwanza. Once arriving at Mwanza airport, we said goodbye to Fred, I gave him my room key that I’d left in my pocket and then we got on the plane.

After arriving at Kilimanjaro airport and driving towards Marangu hotel for about an hour, we were confused. We must be less than an hour from the hotel, getting closer it seemed to Kilimanjaro every second, yet we still couldn’t see the Mountain. Even up until the point where we turned into the gate, we still couldn’t see Kilimanjaro, which sort of confused us quite a lot.

Anyway we unloaded all the bags and walked up to the main courtyard, where we got our room keys and dropped off our bags in our rooms. We had to show the ladies at the hotel everything we had for Kilimanjaro, they then ticket it off on a sheet and wrote down anything we were missing. We then showered and had a snack because we hadn’t eaten all day. After that it was frisbee, more food and then bed ready for a hell of a week.

Sam V

Day 17 – Malaika Beach Resort

On Sunday (22nd July), the team travelled to the edge of Lake Victoria for a well-deserved rest at a beach resort. The resort was absolutely beautiful and was full of luxurious elements such as a running water stream that went through the restaurant downstairs – it was full of really amazing fish! The resort also had a balcony which was overlooking Lake Victoria which had sun loungers to relax on (I bet you can guess where I spent the majority of the day!).  For the majority of the team, their day was also spent relaxing in the sun and then cooling off in the pool when we got a bit too hot – it was so relaxing being able to finally cool off in a pool instead of just drowning our insides with water like we had for the past two weeks. Our day off at the beach resort was definitely overdue and we definitely needed some time to relax and there honestly couldn’t have been a better way to do it.

The main part of the beach resort that the team and I were most excited for was the buffet, yes you read correctly, A BUFFET. To the team, the buffet was a gift from God and we had dreamt about it from the first time St Dominics served us a bone of chicken and some rice. The buffet was indeed a godsend as the team had predicted, it was full of Indian and African cuisine and you could even make your own pasta dish! The buffet was filled with the tastiest looking food that the team had seen in at least two weeks and it was so yummy I wanted to cry (surprise surprise) with happiness.

Now, Malaika was also loved by the team as it had every 17-year-olds favourite thing, WiFi. This meant we all were finally able to call our parents and siblings and speak about everything that had happened in Tanzania and at home. Now, I don’t know about the other students (actually, I do) but I had a reoccurring conversation with my family members about the weather back home. Now, I am currently sat in my bed in the not-so-“SUNNY” Derby that we had been all been promised by our families.

The reoccurring conversation of promise went a little bit like this…

Student: “Hi [insert family member here], how are you? Long time no speak, what’s home like?”

Family Member: “Oh you wouldn’t believe it [INSERT STUDENT NAME HERE], it’s so hot here it is like 90 degrees Celsius and it has not rained here in 6 years! [INSERT MORE EXAGGERATION HERE]”

Student: “Wow, really? That’s ridiculous, I hope it rains when I get home and is a bit cooler!”

Family Member: No hope of that! It so hot and dry, all the grass is dead!”

One week later…

*Safari team steps off the plane at Heathrow*

*It’s raining and is cold*

Confused Abi: I’m confused.

All joking aside, I am very grateful for the slightly cooler and rainy Derby that we have come home to as I don’t believe it is going to last that long, I think I may have complained a bit too soon.

As I am sat in my (very comfy) bed back at home, I can safely say that this trip has changed my life and I thoroughly recommend anyone to go on a trip like this as it has truly changed my perspective on life as we know it and I can see how much we changed the lives of those we met over the course of our trip. I can’t wait to hear about next years student’s adventures and I hope you have enjoyed hearing about ours through this blog. I can’t believe our Tanzania journey has come to an end but I will always have the fondest memories of everything we got up to on our amazing, life-changing adventure.

 

Abigail D

Day 16 – My birthday!

Today was probably the most unexpected yet one of the most exciting days for me. It started off at the museum (said no one ever) which we visited in the morning, but it was interesting to learn about the different tribes in Tanzania and the history behind them explained by a very good tour guide.

We then had a small lunch break and after watched some dance performances, the last one involved a snake which was very snappy to say the least and we got a chance to hold it after – Not scary at all…

After the museum we returned to St Dominic’s at 3:15 and we told to be down at 3:45 to go to Mr Wanga’s house in “off road jeeps” due to rough terrains, instead two camper vans arrived at 5:15. I am genuinely convinced our driver was an absolute nutcase as he was driving at about 50mph down extremely rocky roads holding down the horn most of the way inches past hitting people,mopeds,people of mopeds e.t.c

Eventually we arrived at Mr Wanga’s house and his family and friends were very hospitable and welcoming, the food was great and we also met an 18 year old boy called Loserian who took us to the edge of Lake Victoria while the sun was setting in the background – what a view! The family of Mr Wanga and Derby Grammar School both exchanged gifts and then we went back home arriving at the hostel at 9:30. I then cut a cake and received a card as it was my birthday and we threw a party with the likes of Janet and Julie getting involved with the dancing. Finally we headed to bed at around 11pm all excited for Malaika tomorrow.

Rohan T.

Day 15 – Our final day at gedeli B

So today was our final day at Gedeli B school, and I believe I speak on behalf of all of us to say that is was truly a day we would never forget. None of us were prepared for the emotional roller coaster of laughs and cries that we were about to embark on, but we loved every single moment of it, and it was even better for me considering it was my birthday.

Our day began like any other with breakfast of two slices of bread. Our special extra today was a samosa, and I think my parents will be pleased to see I was still staying loyal to my Indian heritage even on my birthday. I was pleasantly yet awkwardly surprised with a song of happy birthday at the breakfast table, which was a nice warning for Rohan’s birthday tomorrow.

Soon after breakfast we set off on what would be our final journey to the school. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by the familiar screams and smiling faces of the many school children that would run out of classrooms. Once we had gotten off the bus it was a free for all. Every student was hugged and in some cases jumped on by pupils grinning from ear to ear. Today was no ordinary school day so the first hour was dedicated to enjoying all the pupils for the very last time. Familiar friends that had been made over the two weeks would come rushing up to you, holding hands, tickling you, and even taking personal possessions for a pass the parcel around the whole school ( which with a total number of over 1000 you can imagine how long it takes to get your hat back).

Once we had enjoyed playing with the pupils, the itinerary for the day truly began. We were presented with an array of spectacular performances from the pupils, ranging from songs performed by the choir, to traditional dances which even forced Abi to reluctantly get onto dance floor, but this didn’t stop her from busting a few moves of her own. In a hope to reciprocate these lively energetic performances, we had prepared two songs of our own to perform to the school. The first being a Swahili song written by our very own Julie, which turned out to be quite a success, with only the occasional laugh at our poor accents. Our second song was five hundred miles and I think we all felt that although it didn’t quite meet the energy of their performances, they appreciated the time and effort we had put into it. All in all the performances were a great part of the day, and we were all amazed at how talented the pupils were. As there was so much going on today, I’ll now pass on to Elliot to explain how the rest of the day went on.

So, after the fun and excitement of the first half of the day we had to head over to a standard one classroom for the official part of the day’s celebrations. It suddenly became very quiet and formal as all the children had to return to class, although considering all the teachers were at our presentation ceremony, I can’t imagine it being particularly quiet for them, especially considering the morning had been spent trying to get them as excited as possible! All the desks in the classroom had been moved to the side of the room for us to sit on, all facing into the centre of the room. For the teachers, Samwel (Gedeli B Head Teacher) and the chair of the school committee, there were tables at the front of the room for them to sit behind.

After everyone in the room had introduced themselves, the first speech was made by Boniphace on behalf of Gedeli B School. Five minutes after standing up, realising he had left the speech in the office and made a quick sprint to get it, he was off. He thanked all of us for our hard work and went on to reassure us that all of the resources we bring out are put to good use (something we haven’t so far witnessed: after all, if you put up a poster it might get damaged so best not to risk it). It was then up to Mrs Sly to give the first speech on behalf of DGS. She mentioned how much we have all enjoyed the trip and how much we have all got out of it. She made all the necessary thank you’s and even put in that we are probably the best year group to have come to Tanzania (we are certainly the biggest and everyone knows bigger is better). She concluded by mentioning a few things that we would like to see done better such as displaying work, using the resources we bring out and not have them sat in Samwel’s office for the 50 weeks of the year we are not in Tanzania.

Next speech on behalf of DGS was down to me. I mentioned how much we had all enjoyed working with such attentive and willing students and how it had made the whole experience so enjoyable. I also talked about how warmly we would all look back on these two weeks. Given the amount we have already spoken about Gedeli B and how sad we are not to be returning I can see this might even have been an understatement! Next Mrs Charnock, who was added to the programme without her knowledge so hadn’t had time to prepare anything, was called up to the stage. She quickly through together some words about how wonderful everything had been and made us all feel happy so not too bad for off the cuff!

Back to Gedeli B it was time for one of their teachers to speak. Once she had been woken up and told what she was supposed to speak about she made a few quick thank you’s and sat back down again (honestly, it’s not often you visit a school that makes DGS seem organised). Then it was time for the presentation of certificates to all of us which was a very jolly affair, especially when some of the more complicated names were read out.

Finally Boniphace read through the Tanzanian Government’s guidelines on corporal punishment from 1979 (we have witnessed several beatings in the last two weeks so this was a point we had been pushing). After reading through these guidelines he then told us they were no longer relevant and moved on to the current guidelines. It still seems shocking to us all, especially when the limits do not seem to be being adhered to.

We finished the gathering with a soda and packet of biscuits. Whilst we had these, the 1000 litre water tank we have funded this year was lifted onto the newly built platform. Very exciting!

Finally we had the official photographs, which consisted of all our pupils and then each standard separately (again chaos ruled!). I had the fun job of lining up the shot, pressing button and then sprinting round to get in the photo before the self timer went off. Once these were all done we said our finial goodbyes to all the students. I can certainly say were took a lot of persuading to finally leave the pupils behind and get on to the bus. It seems odd and very sad to think we may never visit Gedeli B again. Maybe we should have a reunion there in 10 years or so (cough cough, hint hint). Anyway, goodbye for now Gedeli B, and good luck!

Arvin and Elliot.

Day 14 -“Does this apply to animals too?”

Hi all!

Max here, and I’m going to be honest with you straight away: I can’t really say I’m missing you all too much. Of course there’s some exceptions (Jaiden) but on the whole there’s been too much going on to think about home. When we wake up tomorrow it’ll mark 2 weeks since we started our journey back at school but as I lie here in my room with AC, TV and a double bed I cant really say its been too difficult to cope here in Tanzania.

Today began like any other: a game of ‘Guess what they’re trying to feed us’ at breakfast and a short trip on the bus to Gedeli School accompanied by the bus drivers new found love for Charlie Puth’s music. Needless to say Tom C couldn’t be happier.

Yesterday marked the last day of official teaching for the DGS boys and girls, leaving today for more abstracts activities. These being Sam V’s recorder lessons (Which you could probably hear at home) and Sex Ed lessons for the boys and girls of Gedelhi’s oldest year of school, standard 7/ year 9. The session for the girls was led by Mrs Sly, who I hear did an excellent job. The session for the boys was led by the equally professional  Max M, Tom C, James L and (Dr) Lewis S…. No, I’m being serious, the irony of which was not lost on any of us. If I do say so myself, the lesson went very well indeed. We focused on puberty, personal hygiene and consent. The only issue came with a missing prop  for a demonstration; we’d left the banana in the other room, So I’ll let you all figure out what we were showing them. Now as you’d expect we had some rather odd questions asked by the boys themselves.  My personal favorite being “Does this apply to animals too?” Now I can say that we are not expert on the fertility and impregnation of sheep, so we were unable to help him out but I do really really hope this poor boy’s question was lost in translation. Fair to say we were all rather ba(aaaa)ffled by the question… I’m sorry, I had too.

The rest of the day was spent handing out various exercise books to every child in the school, which turned into a sort of military operation ran by none other than our own Matthew W. Unfortunately he looked slightly more like an adolescent Robo-cop with his leg brace on than Mr T , but he somehow managed to make the whole thing work out smoothly. So, thanks Matthew. Giving the children their books was an amazing feeling, they couldn’t be happier to receive their own pen and books. The items they were given today are the only books they will get for free for the next year. They will have to fund their own books/stationery if they need anymore. unfortunately this may not be an option for some children. Little thoughts such as this happen a lot when you’re here I’ve noticed. As corny as it may seem, it really does make you appreciate what we have back at home and how lucky we are.

We didn’t get a chance to play with the children on the sports field at the end of the day due to the slight inconvenience of it being dug up for maintenance. This is normally the best time to see kids you’ve taught over the various days or meet friends that you’ve made. Somehow a few of us have massed quite a following, it is now impossible for me to get onto the bus at the end of the day without being attacked by the same 8 kids who must play with my hair before I go or be handed a love note written in adorably bad English.

So finally, as I lie here being serenaded by the choir that practice outside my window, with poorly written (yet adorable) love letters’ in hand and the question from that troubled boy in my head. I just wanted to say thank you all for reading.

See you soon, Max

 

 

P.S Im going to make the most of WiFi for myself, so to all concerned:

  1. Parents, (Including Taylors and Lormiers) I hope you haven’t missed me/ enjoyed yourself too much without me
  2. James and George: I hope you’ve both behaved and been looking after the parents, basically made sure they haven’t bought anything too drastic (Unless its for me)
  3. Alex and Ann: I hope you’ve been looking after James and George, I’m sure they probably failed at their task of controlling the parents.
  4. Jordan: You better not of spoiled Manni too much yet and you better of been looking after Jillian/ She better of been looking after you, Not too sure which way round it is anymore. Say hi to Jaiden from me. Also you’ve got to beat 577,048 on helix jump by the time I’m back.

Okay, Now I’m done, Bye!

Day 13 – The final day of teaching

Right, I’ll say this all again, considering there was a very convenient power cut just as I’d finished writing my blog for the first time: We awoke this morning once again to Mrs Charnock’s cheery voice at 7:45 to the final day of the teaching routine at Gedeli “B” school, and as per usual, we started the day with a standard 2 pieces of bread and an egg, joint with the various spreadables from the nearby shop. Following this we all got ready to head off to the school… well nearly all of us, Max on the other hand got his times muddled up and decided to go for a quick power nap 10 minutes before we were due to leave the hostel. Nevertheless we departed on time to start the day ahead.

Once at the school, we split into the usual 3 groups, one continuing the great work of teaching and helping in the special needs class, one painting on the buildings which really brings the school to life, and the final to continue with the teaching at the school. After having taught standards 1 and 2, our encounter with standard 4 today was a breath of fresh air, as they could knew quite a lot of English, so understood most of the questions we asked, and how to answer them. Despite this, when we were teaching the simple sentences through examples, there was a considerable number of children who claimed to live in Derby and come from England. eventually they got the hang of it, and once again, it was another really rewarding session to see how much they had learnt, and how it would help them.

Following the day at the school, we were put through our paces in the second and final basketball session of the trip led by Benson the coach. As one of the shorter ones in the class, standing at a measly 5″9, I for one was not the most pleased to see that once again we would be facing the same 6″8 giant as last week, the very same one that can easily slam dunk, but doesn’t as he is too afraid to break the hoop again. Regardless, it was another enjoyable session, and we came back tired, hungry and to be greeted with a warm shower and another fulfilling meal… so as per usual, I stepped into my ice cold shower, before devouring a plate of rice, cold chips, and whatever chicken I could find.

I’d like to say I’m missing home, but it’s been such an amazing experience so far and I can’t wait to see what comes next

Paul

Day 12 – The day after Monday

Today was our 7th day at school, and everyone is well into the routine of the 14 cries of ‘mornin’ from Mrs Charnock, followed by the 4 more increasingly irate calls at a certain Dominic’s room until a grunt is heard in reply. Breakfast is the standard 2 slices of bread combined with one of either an egg, a beef samosa, a deep fried potato, or a small dry ball. The bus journey to the school takes us up a relatively gradual slope where the bus manages to make a very noisy and slow job of it, before we eventually pull up at Gedeli.

Today we were teaching standard 2 children, in the same way the standard 1’s were taught yesterday – in a classroom with small groups of 3 or 4. We attempted to teach the same material as we did yesterday to much more success as the children understood slightly more English so explaining number bonds and colours to them was made easier. English was finished again with a round of heads, shoulders, knees and toes which some of us seemed to enjoy more than the children.

A group of 4 also spent the day in the special needs classroom teaching the children to count to 5 and write their names. The time spent teaching them not only helped them with basic skills but also gave them some individual attention which is so valuable as it is not always easy for them to receive this in their normal day. I have been impressed with the way the special needs children are looked after however, with a meal being provided for them at lunchtime and resources kept specifically for them.

I was on the team painting the walls outside the standard 7 classroom today with 3D shapes and angles. I found this a welcome break from teaching which is rewarding but can prove frustrating with the language barrier. Some time simply painting some shapes and lines is completely stress free.  Unfortunately not all members of the team are artists and one was sacked for a 4 inch thick straight line showing 180 degrees. The wall was painted over and orders were given to restart! I did enjoy adding some colour to the walls though as it gave the area a much more lively feel, and the diagrams would surely help the pupils as they now have a permanent reminder of what a triangular prism is, which I’m sure I will have forgotten by the time I get home.

Hope the weather is still nice back home, however I’ll be looking forward to some rain when back!

Sam C

Day 11 – Monday

Foreword: We do apologise if the blogs are like waiting for a bus, you know there’s none for ages, then all of a sudden all of them come. But this is due to several power cuts over the week. Thank you.

After beginning the second week of school, the team breathed a sigh of relief, as we were nearing the end of people not understanding what we are saying, and us not understanding them. But let me tell you, if we thought the older kids were a challenge, then wait for the little ones.

We split up into five groups. One team of 4 finished off the 13 students we hadn’t taught in Standard 7. A second team went down to the Special Needs classroom, to help Sabine (the teacher) teach the children to write their name. One boy, Abel, who had never been able to write his name before, managed to get A, B and E. For someone who is 11, and has never been able to write his name, this was a momentus occasion. The other 3 groups taught Standard 1, the equivalent of England’s Year 3. This is where the fun began. There were many challenges, whether it was the wide range of ability, the language barrier or the fact that most of them didn’t actually want to be there. This last part was due to the fact that all Standard 1’s finish at 11am. We kept teaching until 1pm. School or Home? I know which I’d choose.

Tanzania 2018

After lunch, the students who had been teaching Standard 7 and helping in the Special Needs Classroom, invigilated a test. For me this was a way of payback for all the examiners I’ve ever had. Unbeknown to us, once the tests had done, we had to mark them. All 320 papers – I never want to see another present continuous tense sheet again!

This evening we had our usual meeting, in which we go over things for the day we’ve had and what is in-store for the following day, while useful, it is as exciting as it sounds. Finally the musicians within the group, (Matt S, Sam V, Elliot and myself) gathered round a table with Julie, (our hard working bar staff) so she could teach us the Swahili song we will be learning for our goodbye to the school on Friday.

Even though the teaching does become tedious, there is an overwhelming sense of achievement when one of your students manages to get 100% in their maths test or responds positively to my teaching.

The best part about the whole experience, is to see just how much the kids appreciate the little things, and how much they enjoy seeing us. Whether this be through vast amounts of letters being given out or handmade gifts from the children. It really does make you think about the small things in life. You get a perspective and see what really matters, both to you, and the kids. Just another week and I’ll be ready to come home, of course after climbing quite a big hill.

Lewis H.