2013 TRIP – August 1

T (1)Sophie Sidgwick

Hey home, can’t wait to come home and see everybody, will you please ask Kate if I can go to town with her and John and Gran on Monday. Can we have everyone round ours on Monday night or go for a meal or something as well please because I want to see Rach, Dan and Libbie too. Yesterday we did a sports day for the primary schools: Meserani Juu, Meserani Chini and Lesiraa. The morning was slightly hectic, gathering materials like sacks and buckets etc, but we got it all sorted in time. We then went to the field where we were having it and set up the marquee and got all the maize and things ready. We then realised that we had about two hours left before the sports day started and we couldn’t leave the things there so we had to stay with it. We then found out that there was a maasai goat market going on on the same field and they kept coming over to us and they were really scary, they were saying things to us in Swahili and we didn’t have a clue what they were saying. We passed time by playing cards and just talking, we drew a circle around the marquee and luckily most of the maasai people stayed out of the circle. The sports day was really good to watch, the kids were really fast runners although, we did enter a boys and girls relay team, the boys won and the girls came second which was really good considering that both teams lost last year. Today we’re travelling to Nairobi, the drive is about 7 hours long so its going to be very long but we’ll be able to sleep and stuff so hopefully it’ll go quickly. There’s nothing else to tell you about really.

Love you and miss you loads xxxxxx


T (2)Abbie Lavender

This morning was an early start at 5:30am! Me and Ellie got everything away pretty quick so that was good, last night I bonded with her a lot as she wanted me to tell her cute stories about me and James, it was a good conversation haha. Then this morning after breakfast we quickly got everything packed onto the truck and set off for Nairobi Kenya so it’s goodbye Tanzania. I can’t choose a highlight from Tanzania as there are just so so many! But what I loved was going to the bar each night and just sitting joking around with everyone, the atmosphere was so buzzing and it was just an amazing feeling to be able to spend my nights in Africa in a bar with my friends. As I write this we are on the truck and I am sat next to Chloe. I haven’t talked to her that much this trip so she probably doesn’t know this but I look up to her so much and I think she is an amazing role model. When I went to Lanehead in year 7 I she went as a mentor but she wasn’t linked with me, and even then I looked up to her as she was great at what she did for her mentees. She is so caring and lovely and just such a good role model! She actually cares about the answer when she asks if you’re ok, she listens if you have a problem and she always puts others first, and that is why I want to be like her! That is all for now I think as it is still the morning and we haven’t really done anything yet, all I do know is that I’m super hungry so I hope we stop off at a supermarket haha! I can’t believe we have just 3 nights left in Africa it has gone so fast! But I am excited to come home to my absolutely amazing family and friends, then to jet off to Spain HOLA!!! Cya soon, I love you all so much!


T (3)Chris Gibson

Hey everyone! Well we are now off to Kenya again. Tanzania has gone so fast now we think about it; it’s crazy the trip is almost at an end. Whilst currently typing this, we are on our way to Kenya which is around a 7 hour drive on the truck.

Since being here it’s actually been amazing thinking back at everything. The whole trip! Even getting to know people has been great. We have all got along and we’ve all become one big group. I think we’ve all became friends and got to know everyone more than we all thought. We haven’t really done much this morning apart from wake up far too early and then pack everything up for us to get on our way to Kenya. I think on this journey I’ll just sleep and then it’ll go faster. At least we also have music playing all the way there.

Well maybe not. We were all surprised by a visit to a private primary school called Victoria School. The school had three classrooms which I think we were all amazed by. They were awful, even for a private school. It seemed to really hit me too on how bad it was compared to what we have back at home. Especially because the school was made up from four groups which were baby, nursery, class one and class two. The kids were so happy though for what they have. It’s amazing how happy they are and it’s also just hard to get your head around how. We gave them a football and they seemed to get even happier! It seems to be the same with everyone around in Africa too, it’s just amazing. Anyway, I’ll tell you everything about everyone when we get home, like the people we’ve met and stuff! I’ll try to keep up to date with these diaries. Miss you all, love you xx



T (4)James Small

Well, I wasn’t planning on writing a diary today as I thought we were just going to be on the truck driving back to Nairobi. However, we were surprised by a visit to a private school in the middle of a conservancy. Victoria School is still rather new with only four ‘year groups’ (Baby, Nursery, Class 1 and Class 2) and classrooms made up of three tin shacks. Even though it doesn’t have the solid brick classrooms that the likes of Lesiraa, Meserani Juu and Meserani Chini do, it does have a team of phenomenal teachers. The two ladies showed more passion, dedication and commitment than any of the other teachers I have met in Africa and they are doing a superb job. We only spent half an hour or so at the school but you could tell in that short time what the place and experience of school meant to the children there.

Similar to an occasion at Longonot DEB Primary School on the 2011 trip, there were a few children who weren’t too pleased to see us and burst into tears as soon as we approached them. Whether this was due to cultural tales they had heard at home about ‘mzungus’ or simply because we were strangers (and a lot bigger than them!) I don’t know. After playing a few games with them and sharing dinner together, they soon came round to us being there and had big cheesy grins on their faces by the time we left!

We gave them a football to play with and one member of our group commented on how we didn’t have more to give them. It was then pointed out that as well as the football we have actually given them a lot of memories too, memories that will last a very long time. It’s the simple things like that that can make a big difference and being in Africa helps you to recognise those simple things, enjoy them and continue to appreciate them when you get back home. Sounds a bit like something you always say Jordan: ‘Enjoy the little things!’

Yesterday we said goodbye to our Snake Park friends – Loti, Nai, Ma, BJ and, of course, Mrs Dog. Those four people are absolute stars and I’m so proud to be able to say that I know and have learnt so much from them regardless of whether they themselves are aware of how much their stories can teach and inspire others. Unforgettable people. For example, BJ came out with another remarkable quote this year! A quote that is up there with the best of them: ‘Once you’ve tasted the oceans of Africa you’ll be forever thirsty’ How good is that?! It’s true too! Proof is in the fact that I’m here for a second time and planning a third trip next summer. Africa is certainly addictive!

Anyway, we’re not far off from Nairobi so I shall love you and leave you for now.

See you in 3 days!

James x

P.S. Happy Anniversary Mam and Dad.

T (5)Amy McMullan

Leaving Tanzania today L. Although I can’t wait to go home, I really am going to miss this place and I sort of don’t want to leave. I’ve made such good friends here and I hope I keep in touch with them. Yesterday some others and I were thinking about funny times on the trip and honestly there were so many, like when the woman face planted and her trousers fell down!

It’s weird thinking back to travelling to Africa and sitting next to Ross on the coach or near Amy on the plane and not really knowing them at all. I don’t even think I spoke to Amy but now we’re both weird and can just have a laugh. I’ve enjoyed getting to know people so much. Adella is an absolute nutter but I’m so glad to have met her because I feel like we’ll be such good friends after the trip. Even people that I’d been on trips with before like Demi or Abbie I feel like I’ve gotten to know them so much better and I just hope I manage to keep in touch with them all.

People from the schools have been amazing too. When Helen came back to see me yesterday I was so happy because I knew that I’d probably made a difference in her life but more importantly she made a difference to mine. It’s mad how you can meet someone such few times but make a friend. I’ve loved loved loved this trip and I’m so sad that it’s coming to an end. I hope I come back again because it’s been great! Oh and I think I should have a London with lots and lots of garlic sauce when I come back then lasagne the night after mmmm. Love you all and see you all very soon! Amy J xxxxxxx


T (6)Kate smith

Yesterday was my favourite day so far, I went with Lisa and a few others to paint educational pictures onto the two classrooms that the projects built at Meserani Chini. I was in charge of drawing and painting the fruits and vegetables. All 4 paintings we did looked amazing And the children who watched all loved them. When we returned the others had organised the sports day, however by the time we got back, it had finished but we got to watch the prize giving, which was nice. Today we are travelling back from Tanzania to Kenya, then two days and we travel home. It has really flown by. Not looking forward to this drive as its 8 hours long, but ill probably just sleep the full time. Coming home is getting closer and closer and I cant wait to come tell you about it all, miss you loads bye x


T (7)Emily Holden

The last time I wrote was just before we were going to ngorogoro crater which was amazing; I have never seen so many zebra and wilder beast together before. It was like a mixture of lion king and ice age because we were in a bowl shaped area. Al the wildlife was lovely to see and being on a safari truck for the first time was really exciting too. That day we also travelled back to Meserani snake park which gave us some more time the next day before going to have lunch with the boys from Moita. It was really nice to see them again and talk about what they had been doing and read their letters to their sponsors. They were all just so thankful for the opportunity which made me feel really proud to even be slightly involved in the Meserani project. Yesterday was sports day so on the morning we set everything up while some of the artists went to paint Meserani Chini primary school and others did a spectacle clinic at the education centre. Sports day then began at 1; I was a starter with Adella and Amy. I thought overall it went really well and all the children enjoyed the day especially the people who came first and got a bad of maize as a prize!

Today we are travelling back to Kenya, which will be quite a long drive but I don’t really mind because I like listening to the musicJ. I am sad to be leaving Meserani Snake Park because it’s such a lovely place with so many inspirational people. I have met some wonderful people while being in Africa many of them being on the trip, they are all very supportive to one another and have helped enhance the trip immensely. Thank you all, you know who you are.

Can’t wait to tell you all about everything we have been doing in person and show you all the photos. Also quite looking forward to a hot shower and bath and a nice clean bed (hint hint mumJ) Love you all lots, see you soon Emily x



T (8)Christopher Smith

Hello everyone once again J well I have just crossed the border back into Kenya and the weather the last few days here and in Tanzania has been pretty poor as it has been mainly overcast so it’s been rather cold. So anyway we are in Nairobi for the next few days before we begin to travel back to the UK but I think I’m really going to miss the places I have visited on this trip especially the Meserani Snake Park and Mrs Dog who lives there. Yesterday we hosted the sports day for the three local schools which the project helps and it was very successful but very different from a sports day that we would have back home as you could probably imagine. The winners of the races received certificates and bags of maize which they can use to make many meals for themselves and whoever they may live with. After the sports day we had a few hours of free time before tea so I decided to go on a Camel ride out the back of Snake Park. The photos the man took of me on the camel look great so I will show you them when I get back. Also during free time I went round the snake park once again and I got to hold a baby alligator and a snake, not forgetting having my skin checked over by a yellow baboon which was very friendly. So that is what happened yesterday and what will be happening in the next few days so I will write next in a day or two.

Speak soon and still missing everyone J

Love Christopher xxx

T (10)Sophie Burns

Hey hey!  Hope everyone is okay.

We have just travelled over the boarder back to Kenya. I’ve really loved stay in Tanzania and I’m going to miss the Snake Park, especially Lotti. Yesterday we held a sports day for three schools, but I was on the art team and went to one of the schools to paint on the outside walls. The walls looked really nice in the end. It went from boring and colourless to bright and colourful. I and Demi drew and painted a map of the world which was a messy job just looked really good. After sport day was over we had free time to do whatever we wanted to do in the park. So most of us when to the Snake Park where there was lodes of snakes, a baboon, owls and crocodiles. Lotti also let me hold a baby croc which was so good and we were also allowed to hold snakes. It was so good. After dinner, we got sorted and since it was the last night in the Snake Park we all went to the bar. I got Carter and Seleme a drink and was talking to them about their family and job. Seleme has two twin boys and a younger girl and is also a mountain guide. Carter was a boy and a girl. I’m really going to miss them too but I said I’d keep in touch.

I’m really excited for tomorrow because we are visiting a giraffe sanctuary, St. Secilia School (slum), and an evening meal at the Safari Park Hotel. It’s our last full day that we have lots to do. I can’t believe that it has gone so quickly, I don’t want it to end.

But I am excited to come home and see you all. I now have presents for everyone (well you three, plus gran, nan and grandad) so hopefully you’ll like them.

I can’t remember if I wrote but I have put granddads photos in a really good place.

Love you all x x x



T (11)Amy Wilkinson 1.8.13

Hi all, we are travelling back to Kenya today which means the trip is coming to an end. Although I’ve been rather home sick for a few days and couldn’t wait for home comforts and snugs when we were saying bye to everyone yesterday including Ma, BJ, Loth and Nai my heart dropped and it felt awful knowing we would not be returning to the Snake park however, me and Sarah have both felt that we aren’t ready to say bye to Africa for good and may well return together to maybe complete some volunteering work at the local education centre and primary schools, just a thought!

Nothing has changed at the snake park since two years ago it is still an amazing place surrounded by inspirational people who do so much for the community. As we have met different pupils and asked them how they afford certain things it always seems to come back to BJ who funds so much through the snake park, it is very scary to think that BJ is getting older now and suffering with certain health problems I feel so much could go wrong without him and many people could suffer because of this.

We had sports day yesterday which was as fun as ever, this year we thought we had planned it on the wrong day as there happened to be a goat market the same place as us however, once we the children arrived and the games begun the marketing came to a total stand still and we were surrounded by Masai men, it seemed our school sports day turned into a major event.

I’m very excited to see everyone and my next request to you is that you bring Olly with you to pick me up, I so cant wait for a big licky dog off him haha pleaseeee. I also hope everyone is ready and prepared for Florida as I could need a hand when I get home J

See you in 3 day eeeeeeeeeek!

Love you Amy xoxoxox



Demi Womack

‘Once you have tasted the oceans of Africa, you will be forever thirsty.’



T (12)Jess Taylor

Today we’re heading back to Indaba camp site in Kenya where we’ll be spending 3 nights before going home!!! 😀 I’m so excited to be coming home but I know I will want to come straight back here as soon as I’ve been home for a few days. Yesterday was sports day and I was helping with the obstacle course and it was so much fun and there was a Masaai market going on right next to us so goats and sheep were coming over to us and the men were running after them. The men kept coming over so we drew a danger circle in the sand and Adam had a big spade to ‘protect’ us with which was hilarious. When we handed out the prizes (bags of Maize) the children were so appreciative and it made me think twice about my attitudes towards certain things at home like wasting food that I don’t like. Last night we went to the bar and I got a photo with BJ and Ma and BJ said; “ Once you’ve tasted the African water you’ll always be thirsty” and it made me think that I really would like to come back one day when I’m older. We then signed a jumper and Peter signed it ‘Peterbix’ which made everyone laugh out loud. It was an early night last night as today we got up at 5:15 so we could pack up and set off to Kenya. It’s gone so quickly and I can’t believe it’s nearly time to go home. See you in 3 days!! 😀

Jess xxxxxxxxxxx

T (13)Chloe Crosby.

Jambo home! 
It’s the 1st of August today! Pinch, punch, first of the month! That also means that I’m home in 3 days, oh my goooooodness! You better all be missing me and counting down the hours J haha. 
We’ve just arrived back in Kenya after crossing the border, all ran smoothly and we should be arriving back at Indaba Campsite in the next few hoursJ I can’t believe we’ve been in Tanzania for almost two weeks. It’s really weird because I feel like I’ve been away from home a lot longer than I actually have but at the same time these past two weeks have flown by. I don’t know! Haha J I always new Tanzania was going to be the best… being honest that’s the whole reason why I wanted to come back. Working for the project, meeting the kids, their families and other locals is unreal. I love seeing a smile on the kids’ faces when we spend time with them, both the kids we sponsor, the kids we meet in the primary schools and the children just out on the street. I met a gorgeous little boy yesterday walking to the spectacle clinic, he ran straight up to me so I put my arms out and we span around it was mega cute! He also spotted us when we were walking back and we did the same again hehe, he didn’t want to be put down but we were walking ages away from his house so I let the little cutie go! We also got to spend some time with Nai as she was helping us translate when we were handing out glasses, she’s a gorgeous lady and very inspirational! Her kids are also adorable and her youngest was there with us too she’s now 3 and is so cute! 
There’s been so many stand out moments, some good and some bad but it’s all added up to another really good time in Africa and although it’s been completely different to last time I’ve loved it J I’m going to miss Tanzania lots for hundreds of reasons but partly because everyone is so nice! Lottie is still a magic man, he came with us to Tarangire and Ngorongoro and he absolutely loved it he never ever stops smiling and he works so hard both in his own job at the Snake Park and for the project! I’m also going to miss Grace, Jason, Carter and Saleem but I’m not even going to talk about them now as we’ve still got 3 days left with them and I don’t want to get upset haha! Carter/Kata however you want to spell it haha is still hilarious and is always asking about you Daniel. He wants to know when you’re coming back and still calls you the football boy! 
I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, it’s the day we go to the giraffe sanctuary and Kibera slum as well as our nice meal at the Safari Park Hotel, so that’s going to be another day of mixed emotions but it’ll also be another stand out day of the trip I think J  
I’m missing you all so so much, hope you’re all ok and have plans for this coming weekend J apart from picking me up of course mammy ahhh! I’m excitedJ 
I’m going to go now and give someone else the laptop but I’ll write again as soon as I get chance! 
Sending all my love, kisses and cuddles! 
Chloe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
TJonathan Millar

So far I have been pretty brief with my dairies because I have been enjoying myself that much that I didn’t want to stop. I thought for my last one I would spend some time to review my trip and experiences. 

I have loved every minute of this trip, from safari to meeting the sponsored pupils  everyday has brought different experiences that have all been made better by the team who have looked after us through both Kenya and Tanzania; Grace, Jason, Kata and Salem. Grace has looked after us all and made sure that everyone has always been happy with a smile on their faces. Jason is the best driver I have ever witnessed; navigating the Party Bus through all the dangers the African roads and mud tracks through at him. He is also extremely funny, even when he doesn’t mean to be. Kata and Salem have been our cooks; preparing three meals a day for twenty seven of us. It has been interesting to eat new dishes and try an African take on British classics.

Since I’ve been here I have had a niggling sense of danger. If there’s one thing I have discovered since being here is that if you put African in front of anything then it will instantly strike fear into the hearts of anyone. The word is just a replacement for the phrase, ‘very high chance of life threatening danger involved’. I will be glad to be home when the risk element of my day is no higher than stubbing my toe on the furniture as I lazily amble around the house.

We started our “African” adventure on safari, a week of wildlife and the glorious African sun. On the hunt for any animal, at one point someone told us to look out for tigers; maybe with the hope that we could spot them on holiday. Wildlife seemed to be all around us in Kenya. We could be driving along the motorway and spot a group of zebra along the way. I loved gazing out of the window as we were driving along. I was completely mesmerised; immersed in the beauty and magnificence of Kenya.

Tanzania seemed different. From when we first entered the country you could tell that it was a lot poorer than Kenya. Everywhere you looked you saw failed crops and none of the lush green that had appeared so frequently in Kenya. Our time spent in Tanzania was still a wonderful time. The main focus of this part of the trip was to meet the students and people of Africa; to experience firsthand how they lived and learnt. It was extremely interesting to speak with the pupils to see what they tough and felt about their lives and how they all wanted to do their families and sponsors proud.

On this journey I have loved the food. Without all we have had to do during the days, I would have been travelling home in two plane seats because of the amount of seconds (and sometimes thirds) I have so uncontrollably eaten. If I go into all of the delicious details I would be writing for weeks.  My favourite meal of the day has been breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, fried eggs, porridge, pancakes and, my personal favourite, mouth watering French bread topped in scrumptious syrup. Although I adored breakfast, our evening meals were a close second. Salem and Kata have ignited a new found love of fresh, homemade soup. Carrot, pumpkin, potato, cucumber and many other magnificent tastes and experiences for us to try. Accompanying our soup has been some familiar favourites, like pie and mash and some unfamiliar tastes, like something that could only be described banana stew.

The people who I have been sharing my life with for three weeks have all been amazing. Everybody is loads of fun and I’m glad that I have been able to make many new friends. We’ve had some great times; from me and Chris keeping everyone awake because we’re having too much fun to sleep, being laughed into defeat because I’m so terrible at darts, group singing on the Party Bus and even seeing a couple of lions getting it on (not counting many other great moments). This trip has just been a fantastic time with friends.

Although this trip has been really fun there have been some sad times. We met a young girl named Regina who has had a terrible life. At the age of 13 she is to be married off to a 60 year old man. Her father is a horrible man who even when his daughter was given a chance to a full education he prevented it so that he could have the money from her engagement. We also found many girls at Messerani Juu primary school wouldn’t even try in their school exams, even though some of them were the brightest pupils in the school, because their whole life they have been told they have no other future than being married off and all believed it. However not every story has a bad ending. Regina has been taken away from her father and had her first day at school yesterday. Plus if her father tries to sell her he will be sent to prison. As far as Messerani Juu goes the immediate outlook is not as bright as Regina’s story but the messerani project has had the same problem with both Lesiraa and messerani chini primary and both have had a major turnaround. There is always hope for change. 

We are about to spend our last few nights in Indaba. Although this adventure is coming to an end the part I am most apprehensive of is yet to come, Kibera. I don’t know how I will react or what to even expect. I may be nervous but still excited. I can’t wait.

Tuta Onana



Hi hunz at homeeee!


Last night was our last night at Meserani Snake Park which was sad, but fortunately I managed a lovely goodbye from Nae and a quick picture with BJ who hopes I’ll be back soon. I did feel quite chocked up as I probably won’t be back anytime soon. We didn’t get to see Loth before we left but left him a small letter just to show my appreciation and gratitude for all the help with the project.

We are now back in Kenya! The journey back seemed to go relatively fast as I had Aaron sat next to me all the way, so we laughed most of the way. On the way back we stopped off at a tiny primary school where there was about 30 children, they were the most gorgeous little things ever! At first they were very shy and cautious of us because of the colour of our skin. I thought it was one of the best experiences so far, to see the look on each of their little faces was just amazing.

Tomorrow we are visiting St Secilia in Kibera which I’m so looking forward to as just seeing the slum is a magical experience in itself.

Papi looking forward to see your cute face again, hope you’re sick of the peace and quiet!

Missing and loving you, with you in spirit xo  
Chloe Crosby. 
Yes I know this is my second diary of the day but just after I stopped writing we stopped off at a primary school in Kenya and it was mega cute! I had to write again to tell you because I can imagine my dairy tomorrow being busy with all the plans we’ve got haha J 
So it’s just a little quick one because it’s bed time any minute now, but this afternoon was really nice. The school we stopped at was a private school, so you’d think it would be top notch but it wasn’t. The kids were gorgeous and the teachers were really enthusiastic and you could tell the teaching was really good, they could speak quite good English but seemed to be extremely scared of us. The majority of them were crying when we arrived but they soon came round and it was really nice, I gave one of the little girls my bracelet and she cracked a little smile even though she was shaking like crazy, poor baba!  
The classrooms were awful shacks and although they were well decorated with posters it made me sad because that was supposed to be a private school and you can’t even compare it to our private schools at home.  
There was also chickens trying to share our dinner with us and one of them was cheeky enough to try and take my sandwich from my hand… I don’t think so chicken!!  
Anyways I’ve got to go now but I hope you’ve scrolled down far enough to read thisJ 
I’ll write again tomorrow. 
Speak soon, I love and miss you all so much! 
Chloe xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx