Students will enjoy two-week intensive program. Spend most of your days completing service work in a village close to endless plain of Serengeti national park home to great wildebeest migration and the famous Ngorongoro Crater in northern Tanzania. Work on infrastructure improvements at the local primary school and lead English lessons with the students, Spend a day with a nomadic tribe, the Hadzabe last hunters and gatherers tribe left in Tanzania and Datoga pastoralist traditional living people, learning about their unique lifestyle. Reward your hard work with an incredible safari through the crater, spotting as many of the 25,000 species as possible that inhabit the area.
Your adventure in Africa begins upon your arrival to Tanzania; you will arrive at Kilimanjaro international airport meet with BLiT representative and transferred with private vehicle to Arusha town for overnight. This first night in Africa will offer the chance to get to know the other students on your program, your staff members, and your new host country. Your guides will give you a quick orientation that will introduce you to the local culture and prepare you for an exciting week of service.
DAY 2: ARUSHA-LAKE EYASI (QANG`DEND)
Today you will drive up to our northern base located in the heart of the village you will be serving called Qang`dend, located about four hours from Arusha city and an hour from the town of Karatu. Your first day will be one of familiarizing yourself with the village and the people that you will be working closely with for the next two weeks including respected village elders and leaders, teachers from primary or secondary school, vocational training center, the headmaster, masons and of course many of the pupils or students. You will also be introduced to the students you will be spending time with on an education exchange project. During the next two weeks, you will have the chance to get involved in a number of different service projects while you are here, giving you a broad perspective on life in Tanzania. After a long day, filled with a lot of information, you will return to your campsite in the village for a delicious hot meal and discussion around cups of tea.
DAY 3-5: COMMUNITY SERVICE
The next two weeks will offer you the chance to really dig in and get to know the community during your service projects. Each morning, you will be assigned to a specific project, and your team will work alongside and under the guidance of a BLiT staff member and various members of the local community. There will be plenty of time at the school, where you can get to know local students through activities designed to promote teamwork, citizenship, cultural competence, and communication. The heart of your time will be spent on infrastructure improvements, which will likely take the form of classroom renovations, teachers’ housing to improve student-to-teach ratios, or village water access projects. Whichever project you end up on, the work you do here will have a direct impact on the community. After lunch you will return to the project and continue to work for a few hours. When the service work ends, your afternoons will be filled with fun activities that introduce you to the area. You may play a village team in a soccer match, hike to a neighboring village or learn a local handicraft. Roughly every other day you will have time to meet with your education exchange groups to continue to build non-cognitive skills. As you sit with the students, share stories about your families, daily schedules, classes, hopes and dreams, developing a strong friendship along the way!
DAY 6: HADZABE EXPEDITION
After an early morning breakfast, you will jump on land cruiser and joined by a local guide from the area who will lead us to new adventure of Bushmen expedition with the famous Hadzabe, Tanzania’s last remaining hunter-gatherer tribe. Today is a fascinating day of discovery! Once you arrive, you will head straight out on the hunt, possibly even bows in hand. Through observation, as the Hadzabe speak no English, you will learn about their unique culture; one of the few nomadic tribes left on the planet. You will learn how and where they make their fires, what type of animals live around Lake Eyasi, how their trained senses can track even the smallest of creatures, how they grow with no food and survive with no medicine.
DAY 7-10: COMMUNITY SERVICE
Back in the village, you will return to your various projects. By now you should be able to use a little Swahili and surprise the villagers and children with greetings and basic conversation. Now used to the area and projects, you will dig in twice as hard and focusing on service and cultural immersion as you learn to do things like making the local staple food, milking goats, or harvesting maize.
DAY 11: SAFARI TO NGORONGORO CRATER
After all that hard service work, a trip to explore the wilds will be well earned. Ngorongoro is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. Inside the crater is a thriving ecosystem of lush forests, vast grasslands, a freshwater lake, and some 25,000 wild animals, including lions, zebras, elephants, and gazelles. It is also the traditional home of the Maasai, who live both within the crater and around its rim.
As you jump in a safari vehicle and begin the short drive to the rim of the crater, prepare to catch a glimpse of some of Africa’s most magical creatures. The famous Big Five game animals – lions, leopards, elephants, cape buffalo and rhinoceros – all make their home here. You may also catch a glimpse of the Maasai grazing and herding their cattle, spend the whole day in the crater viewing wildlife animals.
DAY 12: DATOGA EXPERIENCE
Today is another cultural experience from another Bushmen tribe, Datoga pastoralist. Start your day after morning breakfast joined by local guide who do speak both Datoga native and English language walk to Datoga village. You will spend couple of hours from morning till mid day with Datoga traditional living family; learn their interesting traditional way of life, you can wear a temporary version of the permanent facial tattoo of Datoga women, an iconic practice within their tribe. Go back to the camp for lunch and rest for few hours before jumping on land cruiser for evening magical African sunset at Lake Eyasi shoe.
DAY 13-14: LAST DAYS IN THE VILLAGE
Once again, return to the community and your various projects. You have two more days to complete your work and spend time with the students that have hopefully now become your good friends.
On your last evening in the village, enjoy a closing ceremony with the students, teachers, and community leaders. Exchange contact information with newfound friends, say goodbye to the community that has been your home for two weeks, and hopefully plan your return one day!
DAY 15: GOODBYE AFRICA
Return to Arusha early in the morning for a hot shower. Enjoy a Swahili meal in town for your last taste of local cuisine, and then hit the markets and barter prudently as you browse the stalls for popular souvenirs like paintings, Tanzania soccer jerseys, wood-carved masks, the Masai tribal blanket called the shuka, and more! Options abound. Compare your purchases with your friends as you prepare for your journey home in the evening.
DAY 16: RETURN HOME
Return home to the sights, sounds, and smells you grew up with, and the loved ones who will greet you at the airport as you say goodbye to your newfound friends. Take a moment to pause and reflect on what you and your group accomplished. What challenged you? How did you engage with the place and the people that you visited? And more importantly, how will you amplify their stories as you tell others about the growth-filled experience you’ve just had?