2013 TRIP – July 22

JA (1)James Small

Jambo! We’ve been to visit Lesiraa Primary School (the school which kick-started what has become The Meserani Project) and Meserani Juu Primary School today. I never got a chance to visit Meserani Juu in 2011 so I was really looking forward to it and I found that there was such a stark difference between the two schools. The pupils at Lesiraa were a lot more disciplined, reserved and introvert whereas the pupils at Meserani Juu were the total opposite – we got absolutely mobbed by them! Nevertheless, the kids were just magic and helped to make it a really good day.

On the way back to camp this afternoon, we stopped off at the home of one of the pupils being supported by the project. Regina will be resitting her final two years at primary school after she failed her standard 7 exams and will hopefully later be sponsored by the project to go to secondary school. Anyway, it was a great experience visiting her home and meeting her family. Her mother was so, so glad to see and even invited us in for a cup of African tea. Even though it was such a simple gesture and something that is taken for granted every 5 minutes in England, the quick cup of tea we had was extremely significant. It showed just how grateful the family were for Regina’s education and how proud they were to have us in their home.

However, while visiting Regina’s home was an extreme high, as we left I saw something (or rather someone) which brought me back down to earth. Away from the main family group, who were waving us off, was a disabled young boy sat in the dirt and dust on his own. Considering my own personal experience with mental health and disability, it was quite emotional when I realised that that poor boy was not only living in poor conditions with limited food rations, he was also not receiving the adequate amount and quality of care he requires. It’s a shame the only people he has to help him are his family – the government don’t bat an eyelid.

In other news, emotions are running high amongst the group and I think the ‘other side’ of Africa (not the wildlife experiences!) is starting to give people a reality check. If it hasn’t already, there’s plenty of time for it to happen! Also, a trip like this – one away from technology, social networking and creature comforts – gives you the opportunity to learn a lot from not only the African people but also the other people on the trip. It’s so interesting getting to know both the younger year groups and even the people I shared the 2011 trip with. Amy, Chloe, Demi, Della, Sarah and Steph have kept me going so far! Asante sana!

Before I go, we’re off to Meserani Chini Primary School tomorrow where I’ll be able to see the end product of the Lake District 3 Peaks Challenge which we completed last year. Lots of photos to be taken!

See you in 13 days, laters!

James x

P.S. Going to be chilling in the bar at MSP with an ice cold Savanna Dry tonight – don’t be too jealous Joe!

P.P.S. Chloe and I are off to get a Mars bar from Ma’s bar later on!


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JA (3)Chloe Crosby

Jambo home!!
How are you all?  I hope you’re all goodJ I am! Although today was a day of a lot of ups and downs. We first saw BJ early this morning and greeted him with plenty of gifts provided by the project including a book which I had helped type up! It’s the book of stupid things said.. Can you remember that one from behind the bar Daniel? It’s thatJ  We also gave overalls, medical equipment, goggles and Atkins diet bars because Ma and BJ are on a diet! Haha J It was mega nice to see how much they appreciated them and I’m sure all their employees will be grateful tooJ

Soon after that, we visited our first primary school Lesiraa. The kids were gorgeous and so well behaved however some were still cheeky and tried to take more than one pen from you. It’s quite sad because to me it’s still just a pen but for them having a pen is almost everything. If I could I’d give them all the pens in the world just to make them happy but unfortunately I can’t!! There are always kids who you become attached to and ones that pull on your heart strings so I was dying to give them more and give out colouring pencils too but that would have been really unfair on the other kids because there was no chance I could have pulled them one side on their own and the other kids reactions might not have been pleasant.

Our second school after lunch was Meserani Juu. The kids were extremely rowdy and a little bit misbehaved, very mischievous!  when we were walking home (well to the campsite)  the kids were walked back  holding my hands and teaching me there school songs and numbers 1-20 J

It’s tea time any minute now so I’m going to get going J but I’ll write again very soon J me and James are the laptop people, so I’ll be putting these all on a USB tonight so hopefully they’ll get to you tomorrow morning!!
I’m missing you all so much and can’t wait to see you but Africa is getting better by the day and I’m loving it J
I love you all, Mam, Dad, Lewis, Daniel + Rocky!
Kisses and cuddles. Missing you, loving you!
Chlo xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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JA (5)Abbie Lavender

Aw today was a BRILLIANT day! First we went to Lesiraa Primary School to visit the children. The journey was a 45 minute walk but we did it in 36 so that was good! However all the way there I kept worrying about Regina. Regina is a 13 year old girl that has a very hard life. Her story is so sad and painful to listen to. Basically, Grace (the lady with us for 3 weeks) was walking with an American woman, and she heard a shout from the bush. It was Regina calling her name for desperate help. What had happened is that her father wanted to marry her off to a 60 year old man even though she is just 13! The lady with Grace immediately wanted to sponsor her because when in school they cannot be married off. This didn’t happen because Regina failed her primary exams, so the woman ended up sponsoring her older sister. When Grace wanted Regina back in school they asked for 200 dollars, well Peter was very unhappy about this as The Meserani Project built the school and gave them lots of things. So today he talked to the head mistress and she finally agreed! This made us all ecstatic and Regina is so excited for her first day next Monday! She will be living with a lady close to her but in secret from her dad.  All the kids sang to us and it was just so great! It gave me goosebumps it was so beautiful! Tonight we had spag bol and it was very tasty!!! Lots of love family and friends


Ps. I’m cutting it short because the laptop battery is low LJA (6)


JA (7)Ellie Steel

Hello again ma famille. I hope you’re enjoying your time at home without me L While I’m in the red hot Africa, sweating to death in long sleeved t-shirts and leggings because I’m burnt L Oh well I’m still good, just unhappy that I’m not seeing you LLLL. Well let me get to today’s diary. Today we visited two schools, Lesiraa Primary School and Meserani Juu Primary School, and let me tell you they were completely different. Lesiraa School was so organized and the children were so obedient and calm .   I interviewed some of the pupils that the project are considering to sponsor and we walked to a pupils – Regina’s – Boma to meet her family and we ended up walking back to the Snake Park with most of the school and they we so so so so so cute. Oh and there was an albino at Juu which was really strange to see. OH OH OH! I forgot to say! At Lesiraa, the whole schoo, sang for us, it was so amazing and I almost cried it was so touching! ANDDDDDD I’ve just got my hair stuck in my tent zipL Well I best be going now L But you all should know that I miss you so much, well you should know this since I’ve told you every time I’ve wrote to you but ah well! Love you lots and lots and lots and I can’t wait to see you all! Miss you loads!

Lots of love, Smell (literally)


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JA (9)Aaron Jardine

Hello Family, sorry for not writing in the last two days but on the 20th it wasn’t exactly the most exciting of day’s as all we did was remove suitcases and boxes off the truck to prepare for the schools in which that we were going to visit. That day dragged a bit but we got it done and then had enough time to chill and go to the bar. I have been really enjoying the orange Fanta over here as it is so much different to home! Anyway onto yesterday it was one of the best day’s I have had yet! On the morning we went to Arusha market where there was loads of stall’s in which I went and obviously had to buy a few things, including one thing which I bought myself which you will be surprised withJ. Anyway, we then carried on and went to a café. Then we travelled to a bar where I was to meet my first pupil. His name was Paulo Meseyeki and he is one of the loveliest boy’s I have ever met, to start with I was really apprehensive, as he arrived 20 minutes before all the others. His English was amazing and we had a great time, we ended up playing cards with James Small and Edward Kuresoi and we were playing this game which I think was just made up but it was really good.   Moving on today we went to two primary schools they were Lesiraa Primary School and Meserani Juu School, the first school was really good, we went and visited the four classes and gave out a pen and pencil to each pupil. We then stood outside playing with the kids for a while which I really enjoyed and was an amazing experience. We then walked back to the snake park and then walked to Meserani Juu school. As soon as we got there we could hear the children shouting. We visited each class and some pupils were shy and some were not, it was nice to see the expressions on the kids face’s when they received the pen or pencil. Then when we were to walk back, some of the kids followed us and held our hands walking back it was something I would never experience at home for sure! We also visited a pupil’s house which was a lot different to home where our living room is the size of their house! These last few day’s have been really good and I am enjoying myself so much but also miss you all so so so much! Hope you are all well and will speak soon!

Love you all lots xx

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JA (11)Abbi English

Today was really good! We walked to two primary schools today, Lesiraa Primary School and Meserani Juu School, which was so tiring.  . We went in every class and met all the children. They loved getting their photos took, they were amazed haha! Then we went to Lesiraa School,   They could hardly speak English but they looked really interested. One girl wrote her name on my hand with the pen we give her. We walked back with a lot of the pupils that held our hands, they were so cute! We also stopped off at one of the pupil’s house, it was tiny! Weird not having any contact with anyone, that’s one of the worst things about it in my opinion. Anyways got tea now, spaghetti bolognese. Really fancy a pizza tho, with lots of garlic sauceL

Missing everyone, Abbs xxxxxxxx

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JA (13)Sarah Rogers

Hello to everyone at home J

The last few days have been busy busy busy. Yesterday we were up quite early because we were going to Arusha market. I didn’t buy much apart from some bracelets to give to the pupils I’ve been paired with and one for me J we also went to a little coffee shop nearby so I decided to get a hot chocolate. It wasn’t as good as mam’s from home with the whipped cream on the top though so I hope when I get home there is one ready for me haha.

In the afternoon we met up with the children from Einoti school and the girl I was paired with (Tabea) was absolutely lovely! I had a great time speaking to her about her family and of course we talked about all of you at home too including Milo( I showed her the picture of him and she just laughed J). The day went so quick because I was having such an amazing time getting to know about her life. Me and a few other girls sat on the same table started to play cards with Tabea and her friends and it was lovely to see how they joined in and found such a simple game of pairs so fun.

Last night I had a nice early night because we had a very busy day ahead. I slept for about the same amount of hours I would usually so it felt like I was at home J

Today has been amazing! We had an early start so that we could fit everything into one day. First thing we did this morning was to give the medical stuff nana got for me to the nurses at the Snake Parks clinic. But the day really began for me when we arrived at Lesiraa primary school after a half an hour walk. I was quite proud of myself for making it there in one piece due to me being very lazy now I have a car haha. The children were so grateful for the smallest of presents (pen) which made me remember why i wanted to come on this trip again.

The children at the school were fascinated at me taking pictures of them as they couldn’t wait to see themselves on the screen J.After Lesiraa we went to Meserani juu to do the same thing and I loved it once again. However the children here were a lot more forceful and in your face.

Tonight me and Amy have shared a shower for quickness and it was very refreshing to get rid of the thick dust that had gathered on my legs from walking to the two schools. I’m loving it out here but also can’t wait to be home at the same time J speak to you later lots of love xxx

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JA (15)Chris Gibson

Hey! This morning we did the same again and got up early and ate breakfast with wasps. After getting ready we went to our first primary school and handed out the pens and pencils too them and also talked to them. It was a draining 45 minute walk there and back so I can imagine by the amount of miles I’ll have done by the end of the trip, I’ll be all fit and healthy. Talking to the kids was good but also I don’t think was amazing. They aren’t like everyone has worked it up to be like so I think I thought it would be better than it was. I was giving them all piggy back rides though like the kid I am which they seemed to like.

After walking back we went to have dinner in the snake park again and then go to another primary school. 

Well we went through the itinerary again today and realised there might not be as long left as we thought there maybe. So I’ll be home before you all know it. I still don’t know what to get you all from the markets so I’m going to guess what to get you all. Currently making the most of the cheap drinks too! I’m still enjoying the trip though don’t worry! Can’t wait to see you all again and hope you aren’t missing me too much. Miss you all a lot, love you all xx

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JA (17)Adam Jefferson!

Hello!! Today was unbelievable and one of the best so far! We first went to two primary schools and handed out books and equipment to them. After we waited and played with them making me proper happy as they were all shy and funny! At first it was awkward until I pulled my camera out and they suddenly became excited and eager for a photo! On our way home we were followed by loads of them holding our hands constantly and not letting go! Missing everyone back home and hope everyone is doing well!

Love always! X

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JA (21)Sophie Sidgwick

Hello home, today was soooooo good. First of all we woke up early so that we could go and see BJ and Ma (who owns the snakepark) and gave them gifts from Peter and Diane of Atkins chocolate bars because they’re on a diet, overalls and goggles for the mechanics who work in the garage here, books with quotes from the bar, t-shirts and the box full of medical things that we brought which they were very appreciative of. Peter told us that there are three young boys, two with snake bites and one who has had his leg amputated because of a buffalo attack. We went back for breakfast when the wasps attacked again and were chasing us all over with our breakfasts. We then walked to Lesiraa Primary School which took ages, I can’t believe the distance that people travel to go to school. We went into each classroom and gave out pens and pencils to the children, they were lovely and we got opportunity to speak to some pupils, they loved it when we took pictures of them and then showed them so we did it loads. They taught me a ‘pat a cake’ routine which was funny because I kept getting it wrong and they taught me how to count to twenty in Swahili. Then as we were walking back to the snake park there were lots of children waving and some of them ran to hold hands with us, one little boy ran over to me and Jonny and held both of our hands and we were doing the 1..2..3..Jump thing with him and he had the cutest giggle ever, David also got a gorgeous photograph of us with him. We then had lunch which was banana stew which was interesting. Afterwards we went to Meserani Juu Primary School.   Today at both schools we also interviewed pupils to see who was going to be sponsored to go to secondary school, we had to ask them questions about their backgrounds and some of it was quite upsetting. I loved every minute of today really. We met a girl called Regina who was 13 years old and because she had failed her exams at primary school was going to be sold to a 60 year old man, but she had ran into Grace crying about it who then told Peter. Peter was going to sort out whether or not she could go to school or not and we found out today that it was all sorted out and that she can go to school and I’m so happy for her. Miss you and see you soon, love you.

I hope everyone misses me the lovely Sophie Sidgwinkle.    

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JA (23)Ross Fairbairn

I haven’t written a diary for a while because as you can probably tell I’m not the biggest fan of writing these. The highlight of my trip so far came yesterday when I met and had lunch with one of my linked pupils from Einoiti Secondary School called Baba. I really liked Baba and we talked for a while about both of our families and any interests. It was great to talk to someone like that and learn about their culture and compare it with ours and to see how ambitious he was is really inspiring for me and I can’t wait to see my other linked pupils!

I’ve also been to the market and spent all my money straight away as usual. I can never ever keep money. Mam if you are reading this you will be happy to know I have bought a present for you and I also bought two traditional swords for myself and a bracelet and necklace which I love. If my Dad and Natalie are reading don’t worry I’m going to a better market tomorrow and there will be presents to come!!

We are currently staying at the Meserani Snakepark and it’s amazing here. The showers are good and the bar we visit every night is great and we’ve come to the realization that Jonny is so so bad at darts and it’s just too easy to get free drinks out of him. Thankfully we have a tab at the bar which may be pretty dangerous for me so I need to keep a watch of that.

Today we visited our first two primary schools and enjoyed myself a lot. It felt rewarding giving pens and other items out to the children and to feel as if I was helping them but at timesThe best part for me was the children coming out and singing their schools song and the national anthem of Tanzania which was very good. It made me realise how little I know my own national anthem. All in all I did enjoy the school visits.

I look forward to the next few visits and for the market tomorrow and I hope everyone at home isn’t missing me too much. Lots of love to everybody at home and see you all in 13 days!

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JA (25)Jonathan Millar

Been here for a week now and I’m really enjoying myself. Having a great laugh with everyone. Today we visited lesiraa and messirani juu primary school; it was amazingWatching the children get interviewed for the charity was interesting. However I felt a bit uncomfortable while waiting with the kids because I could feel their nerves and anticipation filling the air. My favourite part was when all of the children sang to us they sang perfectly in sync.JA (26)

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