Back from safari

March 25, 2013

The safari begins
Sorry not to have posted on this blog–internet access in the Serengeti was unavailable– but I hope you have been checking the TEC Facebook page and Elizabeth’s blog as a way of staying posted.
We have just finished our safari, and it has been filled with amazing adventures. They are hard to recount right now because they are blending, but we have seen the big 5 of the Serengeti–rhinos, elephants, lions, cheetahs, and cape buffalo! We have enjoyed riding with our new friends from Tumaini and Brett and I are so proud of how each student opened up and developed relationships.
The students are a bit younger than ours (12, 13, 14),  so the Gould students are the BIG KIDS and are answering many questions about America and being great about helping the kids while we were tenting in the Serengeti–especially when the hyenas were heard near the tent site and people had to go to the bathroom at night.  Armed with a flashlight and good directions from our guide, all was fine. From seeing the Southern Cross in the sky,  to eating breakfast near cape buffalo, to tenting on the plains, it has been great and after three nights of sharing a tent, the students from both schools have gotten to know each other well. 
Today, after packing up camp,  we drove at least 100 miles through the Serengeti grasslands–heads out the tops of the vehicles watching the world wake up. We enjoyed our last game drive through the Ngorogoro Crater and then had a breathtaking drive to visit Judy Lane at a Maasi boma. The boma is on a very remote mountain plateau and spectacular.
We were greeted by the Maasi village and welcomed into the chiefs home for a meal. This is a very unique experience and the students leaned right into it. We entered the darkened mud house, sat down and no one flinched at accepting the meal–rice, cabbage, meat and potatoes, and steamed milk. The meal was amazing and a few kids had seconds and Hunter even had three plates full! John, the boma leader, gave us a tour. Judy was excellent at framing what we were seeing and allowing us to ask any questions. We then purchased beautiful beaded items form the women. It felt very good to have helped Judy by brining over more beads from the women, understanding where the money goes, and then purchasing items. The students left with a greater appreciation for a very different culture and the realization that great cooking can happen anywhere. 
Tonight we are back in Karatu, showered, and tired. We will have a late morning and then walk through Karatu before spending some time at the school and playing some soccer. After sport, the students begin their homestays.  There are nerves all around, but the students have spent the last 4 days together and trust and understanding has been developed. The Tanzanian students are very excited to host and Brett and I will visit all the families and students Wednesday afternoon. 
We will keep you posted as often as possible and post more pictures if the internet speeds up!

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Mia says:

    Hi guys,
    Sounds like SO much fun–grandma is trying to make paptao pncakes. I love you!
    Mia an dEli

  2. Avatar Grandma Wilma Gouger says:

    WOW!! What a wonderful learning experience. Sure wish I could be there also. However, I will live vicariously through the blogs and reports back from Africa. Stay safe and healthy.

    Dillon’s Grammy, Wilma

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