2013 TRIP – July 21

IAJess Taylor

Hey home! Hope you’re all doing well. Breakfast was a nightmare with all the wasps buzzing around, they wouldn’t give up. So today we went to Perfect Bar where we met up with some of the pupils from Einoti school. Unfortunately, my pupil Sara didn’t show up so I was paired with a girl who had already left secondary school and who wanted to become a teacher like me. She was 18 years old and her English was really good. We chatted for a good hour and then joined Ellie and her pupil and played a memory game with my cards and we all kept cheating. The pupils were given a meal whilst we had sandwiches that we had made in the morning. Afterwards we gave them a bag of rice and they went home. We’ll see them again on Thursday so hopefully I’ll see Sara then. Other than that I haven’t got much to say apart from I hope Lottie is enjoying the start of her holidays and that Josh is having fun spending ever day at Georgia’s house. I hope Nan Dot is okay and that Lottie and Josh have been to see her even though I’m not there. Also, Nan and Granddad, I hope they aren’t missing their fave grand child too much and I can’t wait to see ‘em when I get back, 14 days left!! I hope Isla is growing big and strong and that Pete and Jen have had a great honeymoon. I wish Tom a happy birthday for the 24th and Granddad for the 28th (y) have a great time at susan’s or wherever else you end up J I will miss the caterpillar cake L I’m going to end it there as tea is in 15 mins J yum yum. Bye for now 😛

Jess xxxxxxxx



ICAbbi English

I really enjoyed today! We went to the market with $20 (3200 Tanzanian shillings) and I spent it all, which you could expect from me,  got most presents as well so that’s a plus and something else to not think about. I really enjoyed haggling haha! Seen a nice apron for Grandma Barbara but he asked for way to much so going to look somewhere else. Later on we also met the pupils of Einoti school and the girl I was with was lovely and she understood English reallllly well. I gave her the maths set and pencil case, we played cards with her and Abbie, and Abbies pupil. Anyways tea is getting served now so see you soon! Hope you’re okay and well. Two weeks today until I’m home! Miss you, Abbi xxxxxxxxx



IEChristopher Smith

Jambo everyone! You better be reading this as I spend a lot of time on them every day J but if you are then… The site we are staying at is the best I’ve been to yet as it actually has a toilet and not a hole in the ground. The showers are warm to cold most days so I try to spend as little time in there as possible. Back onto today, Today was very fun and entertaining, we have met up with some of the sponsored pupils from Einoti secondary school where I met my linked pupil who is named Lucas Isaya who hasn’t got the best grasp on English language but does pick up on Doctor Who top trumps rather easily. I showed him some pictures of Paddy in which he was really impressed in as well as the large zoom on my camera; I thought the day was very successful because of this. Well today I haven’t written much as there is little to say so ill try and write tomorrow with a bit more information.

Missing you lots, Love Christopher xxx J



IGRebecca Crandon

Jambo papi, only two weeks left until we’re home and I’m so excited to see you! And get back to normal food Hahah. I hope your finding time to read this in your busy schedule between fishing and all.

Today was the best day by far as we got the chance to meet on of the sponsored pupils from Einoti Secondary School, the student I was paired with was called Namnyaki, her English was amazing and she taught me some Swahili. She was a bit shy at first but by the end of she really opened up and we played some card games too. I showed her a picture of me and you from when I was little, she thought it was very funny.  At the end I gave her a few little bits and bobs which she loved, I really enjoyed the whole experience. Also today has made me realise how lucky I am to have you!

Miss you and love you lots xxxxxxx

(P.s hope your catching lots of fish, and not missing me to much! I think I’m kind of missing you telling all about the different fishing techniques which I never thought would happen)


IIEllie Steel

Hello again England! It’s my second day that I’ve wrote a diary so let’s hope this roll continues. Well today has been very very exciting. We met the first of our linked pupils! But before that we went to the market in Arusha, this time wasn’t as scary and I managed to buy something and let’s just say I have to get something for everyone expect my Mama. I still can’t decide what I’m getting everyone else because you’re all so difficult to buy for especially you Papa L. So after the market we went to a posh coffee shop called Africafe and I had a chocolate muffin and a hot chocolate (which is very very very ironic seeing as we are in one of the hottest places in the world, but oh well it was delicious) it was pretty cool and afterwards we were walking to meet with the other groups and some scary people came again trying to sell us pointless stuff and one of them just kept saying “nice” to me and I was honestly pretty freaked out, scary African man, god. But, nevertheless the day was awesome after that. We made our way to the Perfect Bar in Kisongo, which was pretty much a dump (quite ironic really), but we got to meet the most amazing people there with the most amazing stories to share. My linked pupil was a girl called Ngivioni Naparana and she could barely speak English, but from her short replies and continuous asking of what I meant or just replying yes to everything I said, we were able to build a relationship, even after about 2 hours, it may only be a small relationship but hopefully we may be able to develop it when I meet her again on Thursday. But, I also found out that Ngivioni has AIDS and both her mother and father had died from it, I didn’t really want to talk to her about it because I didn’t want her to think that that was all I wanted to know about her, so I didn’t talk to her about it. So, after we met up with them we had to take some of them to Meserani Snake Park so they didn’t have so far to walk and it was honestly one of the funniest drives of my life. But we were all singing really loudly to 500 miles and to Mah-na-mah-na, which is pretty hilarious, especially when sitting on the floor and being knocked over ever two minutes. But now I’m at the Snake Park, in the truck, writing this and waiting for my tea to be cooked, hahah. I miss you all loads and I know I say this in every diary but whatever, words cannot describe how much I miss you all. 14 days to go! Today has gone so quickly so hopefully the rest of the trip will too. I hope you have so much to tell me when I get back because I feel left out L. I hope someone is actually reading this because I’m going to be angry if no one is reading my fabulous Africa Autobiography (which will be on sale in shops soon) and I’m just writing this out of the goodness of my heart. I bet you’re excited to be leaving school on Tuesday, Mama, but sad overall since you don’t have me to bring excitement to your boring days alone, muhahaha. Give a kiss from ‘oife from me cause I’m missing her so much, that little cutie. Well bye for nowwwww! JJJJ

Love Ellie

P.S. I retract my statement from yesterday about my hair being nice because now it looks like a birds nest and I am off to go wash it now. Ciao.


IKAmy Wilkinson 21.7.13

Helloooo everyone!!

Wahoooooo I’ve had the best day yet. We got up this morning and went straight to Arusha market, I can never complain about shopping of course however this was followed by meeting our first lot of sponsored children. I had butterflies before we meet the pupils in case I had lost my touch and couldn’t find conversation or things in common with Lomnayaki which was the boy I was paired up with, but as per usual my nerves soon flew away.

Many of the children didn’t recognise me at first due to me not having my braces on anymore but as soon as I explained they all giggled and asked where the “metal” had gone. The boy who I was paired up with on the last trip also didn’t recognise me but when I told him he called out “Amy” and give me a big cuddle which was magical, we then continued to have a catch up and he was really interested knowing about Beverley School as he also wants to be a teacher. He then reminded me that he still plans to come to England and visit us, which made me rather emotional as I know realistically he will not be able to afford it.

The afternoon flew by as me and Steph spent it with some lovely pupils Lomnayaki, Jackson and Nasaryari. It would be too much to go into but overall they are just inspirational people with hearts of gold and speaking to them made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I am now in my comfort zone and I am just so excited to see what the rest of the trip has to offer, we are visiting two schools tomorrow so that will also be a top day for me. I love everyone at home and I am missing you all incredibly but I will make the most of this crazy emotional experience.

See you all in 14 days J

Lots of love and kisses Amy xoxoxoxo


IMSophie Sidgwick

Hello home, today was really exciting. First of all we went to a maasai market in Arusha which was good but kind of difficult because people always come over to you and try to get you to go into their shop and look but when you don’t want to its horrible to just ignore them but you have to. I bought a scarf, four bracelets and two teddies, I had to haggle for them all and it was extremely hard I think I got ripped off a bit but oh well I tried. I kept trying to work everything out into pounds and seeing if it was reasonable and I thought it was but then I found that people had bought the same things for cheaper haha.

After that we went to a bar and waited for the pupils we were linked with to arrive, I was super nervous before they came and was sub-conciously doing tap routines under the table, which David noticed and videoed without my noticing, then Lisa came over and asked me if I was alright which always sets me off and I cried a tiny bit, but I was fine straight afterwards. Adella was on a table with me because the girl she was paired with was in a lower year at school and the boy I was with was in a higher year so that he could help her with translating and her English. It was really lovely to speak to him and mad how different his life is to mine. He lives in a boma with 7 siblings and then his mother, he told me that as pets he has two cows and three goats. He then drew me a picture of his house and a cow which were really good. Lomayani and Agnes (the students) then taught us a card game which was a little bit like jacks, twos and eights but with slightly different rules. I didn’t win once but I’ll show you the game when I come home. We ate lunch with them, and we had a packed lunch of a sandwich and banana and they had rice and beans and they seemed very confused as to why we weren’t eating the same and tried to offer us it haha.  It’s really nice to see who the money we raise goes to and amazing to hear their stories. I really want to sponsor a pupil when I get homeJ.

Miss you all and love you xxxxxxxx



IOAmy McMullan

Sorry I didn’t write yesterday but I didn’t have too much today so I thought I’d save it all for today. Yesterday we spent most of the day sorting out clothes, books etc. to give to the children. I was a little frustrated because I just wanted to visit some bomas or people but I knew that it would benefit us for the rest of the trip. Oh and at breakfast there are loads of wasps so I had to make David go put some jam on my toast because I was too scared. I did get some porridge however, and it was very yummy. When we were sorting out stuff me and a few others sharpened pencils and we had a really good laugh with conversations and things. I feel like I’m starting to get a lot closer to people in the group now and I’ve bonded more with them which I’m really happy about.

This morning we woke up to have breakfast at 7:30 to get ready to do some shopping at Arusha Market and meet some pupils from Einoti School. At the market I knew I’d have to try and haggle so I didn’t get ripped off but as you all know I don’t have a back bone (or as Callum calls me, I’m a “gummy bear”.) I tried my best though and I think I did fairly well to get some cheap things such as; bracelets, a little hippo and a lovely scarf. I’m trying to look for presents to buy people but I don’t really know what to get haha. There were some lovely things in the little shops and I cant wait to go back and spend more money!

Today was more about meeting the pupils however so this was what I was looking forward to the most. I was partnered with a girl named Helen Mrumbe and I’d heard lots of nice things about her and her siblings who are sponsored through the project. Before she had arrived I had mixed feelings because I didn’t really know what to expect. I felt nervous in case I couldn’t get a conversation going but I was also really excited to learn all about her life and what she does on a day to day basis. My nerves soon flew away when she walked in and I gave her a big hug. Her father had unfortunately passed away and her mother is suffering from aids so she lives with her blind grandmother. I spoke about all of her siblings with her and what sports she likes and things. I thought it was great when we played card games with her and did hand clappy game things if you know what I mean. She is a gorgeous girl and I absolutely loved her! She was so lovely and we giggled and had a laugh together which I thought was absolutely amazing. I gave her some pens and pencils which she was really grateful for. I did however need the toilet whilst I was there regretfully! It was like a hole in the floor which I didn’t mind so much but it was the smell!!!!! I was borking because, well, you know me I don’t like stuff like that. I went though so I’m somewhat proud despite the fact it was only going to the toilet hahaha.

I felt sad saying goodbye to Helen because I felt like I got such a strong bond with her for example when we were singing on the truck back to Meserani Snake Park. She held my hand after I gave her, her bag of maIze and said she was going to miss meL. It just made me more excited to see her Thursday when she’ll be at school! I cannot wait to meet more of the children and pupils I’m partnered up with because they are just amazing people. Hopefully when I get home I’ll be able to persuade some people to sponsor some children because it would honestly be one of the most rewarding things ever. Helen wants to go to college after secondary school to become a teacher and I really hope she’s able to do that!

Anyway, that’s all for today so I’ll update you more tomorrow. I love you all very much. Amy J xxxxx

P.S. Thank you so much for letting me come on this trip, it’s worth every penny paid!



IQChris Gibson

Hello everyone! Well today we woke up early as normal and got ready for breakfast. When we have breakfast there is so many wasps around annoying you whilst eating it’s ridiculous. You can’t actually eat properly without them surrounding you.At about 5 in the morning too, there is the mosque making a noise for the people praying and I swear its one of the most annoying things in the world.

After we ate breakfast and got ready, we went to the market. I bought everyone a few things with the money I had and also another bracelet for me. I don’t really know what to get you all so I’m just guessing at what you’ll all like and may want. With the money I had today I couldn’t get much for the prices so I had to haggle the prices down a lot. For a pretty much first time, I reckon I did alright considering I got the lowest prices for things compared to others too. After going through the market we went to a café and got a drink and I also got a brownie. I’m still pretty scared of what to eat since I don’t want to get ill but I hope I’ll manage.

Today I also meant Lelo, my first African child. He was quite cool actually and knew a lot of English so talking to him was pretty good. At first I was nervous of what to ask and say but after a little it was okay and well. I’ll tell you more about it all when I see you all about what we spoke about and everything. On Thursday I see him again in school and also I go to his house, well room and then I’ll give him the things I also got him.

Well I’m going to go for tea in a second so I’m going to have to go. As you can tell by the amount I’ve written I really want to speak to you all and I miss you all a lot. I can’t wait till I get home and see you all again but I hope you all aren’t missing me as much I am you. It’s still killing me now that I also don’t see Sophie for another week but I will ring you as soon as I’m home! I love you all and can’t wait to see you all again. Ill keep these as up to date as I can xxx


ISChloe Crosby.
Jambo home!
How are you all? I’m really good J today was definitely one of the best days since being here!
This morning was an earlyish start to have breakfast and make a packed lunch before heading off to Arusha market. The wasps at breakfast are super annoying and pretty scary I’m no good what so ever! I’m really trying to be brave but it’s too much to handle L haha! I’m sure they’re worse than I remember last time Daniel! I refuse to have jam on my toast on a morning because they’d just swarm me! It’s not good when you’re on duty either because cleaning up is a nightmareL I’m sure I’ll get better though and conker my little fear before the end of these 2 weeks.
Arusha market was really good, I stayed with Peter and helped with jewellery for the project so didn’t have much time for me but that’s ok! I enjoy helping out + we’re going back later in the week for another shop. I’ve seen some mega cute things walking about and am going to treat myself to a bag or two hehe! No Lewis I’m not missing your face and you’re not getting anything. I’m joking.. Not.. Maybe.
Arusha has an unreal café called Africafe, still drooling at how nice my choc banana milkshake and lemon poppy muffin was! I told you I’m not coming back skinny!
Today was the day we got to meet our first sponsored child who we were paired with, my little girl was called Edina and she was gorgeous. Really quiet to begin with and she didn’t know much English, she’s only in form 2 so I can understand why she seemed nervous and shy. Her background is also horrific so that probably hasn’t helped her confidence. I asked her today what her house looked like and how many people she lived with, I was shocked to find out she lived with 7 people in a small boma and she seemed just as shocked to find I lived in a brick house with only 4. By the end of our afternoon she really came out of her shell and we were dancing and clapping along to the songs on the truck on the way back to the snake park. She loved the bracelets I bought her from Primark Mam J I was told to give her them discretely though incase any others felt left out or slightly jealous and I thought I did but her friends soon got their hands on them and it made me a little sad. I could tell she didn’t want anyone to have them but they were just taking them out her gift bag! It wasn’t very nice so I took her to the side and whispered that they were for her and that she deserved them, I told her that she should keep them to herself. I also met Naurey again who I was partnered with in 2011, she remembered me straight away and we gave each other a big cuddle, it was mega nice J she’s coming back to the snake park tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get to chat with her a little then too!
Today really reminded me of the reasons why I wanted to come back to Africa and I’m really looking forward to going to more schools and getting to meet more kids. It’s unreal seeing them with a smile on their face and spending time with them creates memories that I’ll never forget. I know I always say this but I really, really want to sponsor a child! I have to make it happen. Just got to save my pennies.

If I remember rightly and it hasn’t changed, today was your long shift at work Daniel. If the rota stayed the same I really hope that it went okay!! It’s only 20 past 6 at home so you may well still be there! Missing you so much, can’t wait to hear about what you’ve been up too J I hope your Mam, Dad + Katy are ok too!

I hope you had plans for this weekend Mam and hope you’ve managed to get Lewis pretty much sorted for your hols J I hope you’re counting down the days till I’m home hehe!! Once I’m home dad will be nearly home too! I’m loving Africa but can’t wait to see you! Even Lewis I suppose (yeah go on Daniel say “I told you so”)

That’s it for now J will write again soon!
I love you all sooooo much!
Coco xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx





IUAbbie Lavender

So today we woke up and my group is on duty, I grated a whole block of cheese all by myself because no one was up in time! After breakfast we went to the market and I got a few little presents for Rebekah, Krista and Dad so I hope you like them because I had to haggle like crazy, I got Dads from 50,000 to 7,000! Then we went to ‘Perfect Bar’ to meet the children from Einoti School, I was paired with grandma and granddads sponsor girl Nakaji and let me tell YOU she was the sweetest ever oh my gosh she was amazing! At first she was so so shy and quiet and because she hasn’t been in school that long she struggled a bit with her English. The Head Boy from their school came over for a few minutes to translate and he told me she said that she is trying very hard in school for Dot and Colin which I thought was really cute! She won our game of cards and when I flared my nostrils she howled like crazy! I got loads of photos with her and she adored the presents you got her grandma! It was so sad to see her go but I am seeing her again on Thursday, she sends her love to you all! Then on the way back we took 44 people and that was a lot! We all sang and did hand actions and all the Africans had loads of fun! I was next to a boy called Lucas and I started telling him about my cousin Lucas. Then I met Saningos brother which was amazing! He has got into High School which is really good here! I got a photo with him as he is such an inspirational young man so I wish him all the luck! I am on duty tonight and we are going to have a WATER FIGHT as our team leader David is C R A Z Y!!!! Lots of love




IWJames Small

This morning we visited the market in Arusha (I absolutely love that town, so fascinating!) where I tried and failed to get a set of bookends for a reasonable price. I practically spent the whole time there trying to barter for them but to no avail. Fear not! I will get them before our time in Africa is up. Thankfully the carrot muffin and chocolate chip milkshake I had at Africafe cheered me up – the 2011 group will know what they’re missing out on with that one!

However, the most important appointment of the day was this afternoon when we met up with the sponsored pupils from Einoti. I was paired up with Edward Kuresoi, a pupil in his final year at secondary school and we sat with Aaron and his link pupil, Paulo Meseyeki (we kind of merged into a group of four and then five when we were later joined by Bwanashamba). It was such a good laugh! The Tanzanian lads taught us some useful Swahili words and phrases and in return Aaron and I taught them some card games. Chase the Ace went down a storm, however, it was apparent Rummy wasn’t as successful when Paulo ended up with nine cards and Edward with one! They then taught us a card game of their own which Aaron and I were pretty sure they were making up as they went along (sort of like ‘Cups’ on Friends) and we were all crying laughing! Not to worry, it was brilliant to just be spending time with people from a culture so different to our own and learning all about them.

The kids today proved that The Meserani Project is definitely working its magic. The smiles, the laughs, the conversations, the games, the singing and the dancing all showed that the sponsorship money is money well spent.

There are lots of exciting things going on at the minute with regards to the project – too many things to list here – but it really makes me proud to be part of The Meserani Project. All those back at home who have also worked so hard over the years to support the project should also be proud because all your hard work has gone a long way.

Before I sign off for the night, I just want to say a few quick words of thanks now our first week in Africa is up. Thank you to Peter, Lisa, David and Diane for everything they have done to make this trip happen; thank you to Jason, Grace, Carter and Salim for being pure legends; thank you to the people who supported the fundraising events I have organised over the past two years (whether it was on my own or with friends) and thank you to my family for helping to get me here and for everything else they have done for me.

Looking forward to what the rest of the week holds, lots of schools to visit and kids to meet!

Anyway! Must dash, tutu onana.

James x

P.S. I overheard some girls from America talking about what they missed about home. One of them said, ‘Twitter and Facebook’! What a saddo!



IYKate smith

Today’s market was absolutely amazing, I got a few really nice things including a shall with red elephants on is so beautiful, I paid 10000 for it, may have been ripped off, however it is sooooo beautiful, and I know that Amy will be sharing it with me. I got me and Adam some necklaces. We will be revisiting arusha market a few times so I will have plenty of time to get Amy a bag and some cute bracelets for everyone. After the market we met out first group of sponsored pupils and had lunch with them. They had a traditional African meal of rice beans and meat, whilst we had sandwiches as out body isn’t used to their food and cooking styles. It was nice to meet the children that all the work the charity has done went towards, and it was fascinating to see how eager they were to learn English and ever some French. Me and Chris taught Happy (my girl) and Lucas (Chris’ boy) how to play top trumps and hey had a whale of a time. Once all the chatting and cards was over we gave them all a bag of maize (kind of like flour but makes a meal) and we all went home, we will bee meeting up with the same children on Thursday. I loved the name of my girl (happy) I’m not sure if she knew what the word happy ment in English, but I thought I was amazing! Love youse loads byeee x