2013 TRIP – July 31

S (1)James Small


It’s crazy to think that the trip will draw to a close in four days’  time and I’ll be on a flight back to the UK. As the old cliché  goes, it feels like only yesterday since we were on the flight here!

This trip, just like the one in 2011, has had its fair share of ups, downs, twists and turns. Up until it actually came to going on the trip, I wasn’t sure whether I had made the right decision in coming for a second time. Obviously I knew I would have a totally different experience to the first time around, for instance, I kind of knew what to expect with regards to the whole ‘Africa side’ of things. Also, even though I am the only person on the trip from my group of friends (which I have found very, very hard), I am proud of myself that I had the guts to go through with it and come back for a second time. Getting to see Grace, Jason and Carter (and now Salim) made me glad to be here in an instant and I’ve had an absolute blast ever since getting off the plane. Meeting Lalahe also reassured me that I certainly made the right choice and I know the few hours I spent with him will mean more to him than my two Africa trips mean to me.

In other news, the past few days have been spent on game drives in both Tarangire National Park and the Ngorogoro Crater followed by a lunchtime meal with the Moita boys yesterday and our sports day today. In the crater we were lucky enough to be just feet away from not one but TWO black rhino! They crossed the road right in front of us and it was one of those moments when you stop and realise just how lucky you are to be where you are doing what you’re doing. The sports day involved all three primary schools currently supported by The Meserani Project – Lesiraa, Meserani Juu and Meserani Chini – and, if I do say so myself, it was a huge success. It was tough going from an organisation point of view and a few people’s patience was certainly tested but thankfully everyone managed to pull together to make sure it was the best experience for the kids involved.

Back to Kenya tomorrow in time for our flight on Sunday! Looking forward to seeing everyone and also for a pint or two at the Corra on Monday night with the lads.

Tutu onana

James x

P.S. D Mac, Carter wants to know when you’re coming back to Africa! He told me to tell you that he’s not dead but very much alive. He’s still an absolute legend Dan!

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S (3)Ellie Steel

Hey mi amigos. I’m an emotional wreck. I thought I would just put that out there. I’m not that bad, but there has been a lot of tears shed if I am being totally honest. But, I’m not trying to depress you; I’m here to tell you about my time here, so here I go.

Yesterday, we went to Arusha to the curios market, where I spent all my money. Hehe. But I have bought you all some quite amazing gifts, even if I do say so myself. But I can’t say what I got you because that would ruin everything! But, even though I did spend all my money, I was able to gain some very valuable experience in the art of haggling, I hope your proud Dad! After that, we went to meet up with our linked pupils for the last time. I was able to spend some time with my linked boy, Daniel from Moita Boys School, and he is really quiet and shy, but I was able to break him out of his shell when we were marching to 500 miles. Not the most glamorous moments of my life, but easily one of the most embarrassing. After we met up with them it was a pretty chilled rest of the day, which I attempted to fall asleep but failed miserably. You know what I’m like.

Today was our sports day for three primary schools – Lesiraa, Meserani Juu and Meserani Chini. I was sat on the desk and had to make sure the kids wrote their names in the right places and made sure we knew who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each race. At times it was pretty stressful because I had a lot of people telling they were first. But hey it comes with the job, hahah. However, overall I really enjoyed it and it was a fun day. When setting up the sports day there was a goat market about 10 feet away so we had crazy Masaai people trying to sell us goats and take away the maize that was for the kids. So in the end we drew a line around the gazebo we were under and they all understood that they couldn’t pass it, it was so funny watching their faces when one of the projects helpers – Lotty – was telling them they couldn’t pass the line, it was so so so funny. But today was our last full day in Tanzania and tomorrow we won’t be in Snake Park, which seems like my African home now.But, like I was saying, we are leaving Tanzania and travelling back to Kenya. It definitely feels like the trip is coming to a close now. I love it here and I would love to stay here longer, but I miss you all so much that I don’t think I can handle any more time here if I don’t see you soon. Even though by the time I get home we’ll probably all be so sick of each other that you’ll want to send me back. Oh and don’t worry Granddad no one wants me to be their wife and I’m not bringing an African home with me, even though you were so convinced I would! I can’t wait to see you all in 4 days! 4 days! I feel like I’ve been gone for years! I love you all loads and loads and loads. I can’t wait to see you on Sunday, even though I’ll probably be crying my eyes out because as I said before, I’m an emotional wreck lately.

I love you all from the sun, moon and stars (as Grandma often says)

Lots and lots of love,

Ellie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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S (5)Chris Gibson

Jambo! Today was the day of sports day! All morning from around 9 till 1 we were working to get it all set up. I looked like a chimney sweeper by the end of it from marking the lines with ash. But still, evening setting the day up was still fun. A group of us organised the sports day whilst some went to do a spectacle clinic and others painting a school. With sports day and setting up, I’ve never seen so many goats and Masaai people in my life. We chose the day to do sports day the same day as the goat market. We marked out a circle around the tent bit we were sat in and they knew not too come inside it which made things funny. When sports day started I was one of the people who collected the first, second and third place kids at the end to give them a certificate and a prize. It was me, Ross, Adam, Jonny and others doing it. But then the end race was us four again in the relay race. Well what do you think the outcome was? Of course we won! But we had to give the second place kids the first prize and so on.

Once sports day was over we came back to the snake park and we had a lot of free time so I’m also using it now to write this diary. We went around the snake park bit where the snakes and crocodiles were. I’ve now felt a crocodile and held a snake. The snake felt so weird. Well we are actually on the last few days and we’ve all just realised how fast the last week has gone. Soon won’t be long before I’m on the flight home and soon talking to you all and telling you about the trip too. Miss you all a lot! Love you all xxx

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S (7)Abbi English

Hi home! Hope you are all okay. I can’t believe I’m home in four days! I’ve enjoyed it so much, but I’m so ready to come home though.

Yesterday we went to the market and I spent all my money, which you would probably expect from me. It was so good, I love going to the market and bartering, I got told from one before they’d like to open a business with me. Then later on we went to the bar and ad a meal with the pupils from Moita boys school. It was nice seeing Elias again, but horrible knowing I probably won’t see him again.

Today it was sports day, it was boring as we once we had set up we were waiting around for hours. Although we were kept company by the odd looking Maasai guys haha. Once it had started it was good, they did running races, egg throw, and other things. Then me and Abbie went on a camel, oh my god. I think I must have given the camel heart failure I was just screaming to get off and I just couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t think I’m ever going on a camel again!! After that one of my linked pupils came to see me for the last time that was one of my favourite moments here. I need to keep in touch with her.

Tomorrow we are driving back to Kenya, which is about 6-8 hours journey so yeah that’ll be fun…

Missing you lots, see you soon though.

Love you all xxxxxxx

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S (9)Abbie Lavender

This morning when I woke up my tent was soaking inside which was so annoying ugh! Then after breakfast, which I had thirds of, me Sophie Burns Kate Smith Demi Womack Steph Crandon and Lisa went to Meserani Chini Primary School to paint the walls for them. There were 4 walls that needed painting and on mine I did shapes and different lines. It was quite good and I was quite proud of my paintings, but Kates was really good! The only bad thing was that because Kates was so good everything seemed focussed on hers which made me feel like mine was rubbish. Then we came back to watch the end of sports day and I took part in the relay with Emily Demi and Chloe. We were last and I was fourth to run and I got us back to second which made me happy J then we had about 3-4 hours of free time which has been fun. I bought a t-shirt, went on a camel with Abbi, which was…different as she screamed pretty much all the way round haha, then I did some jobs for Peter then did a video diary, I’ve eaten all my kit-kats though L tonight tea sounds so great, mince pie and mash apparently. Then tomorrow we are travelling back to Nairobi in Kenya. I’m super excited to see Krista now woo! Soon soon soon! Lots of love


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S (11)Amy McMullan

Hello, hello, hello. Today has been one of the best days of the whole trip for me. This morning I did the spectacle clinic with Diane, Chloe and Amy. It was a bit slow and I think a lot of them just wanted glasses to wear but there was one of the cutest little kids ever. Afterwards we came back to the Snake Park where other people had been organising the sports day for the afternoon. One of the schools had arrived early so Adella and I went over to try and entertain them for a bit. We started off by making them jog and do some stretches but then decided to make them do the hokey cokey and just made them do silly stuff. I loved it, it was so funny. Then me and some others started the race for the children and tied their legs to each other for the three legged race however one of the ropes snapped so I used my shoe lace instead. When I went to get my shoelace I couldn’t find it but then next thing you know a random little Masaai boy was playing with it but I managed to get it back. I really enjoyed the sports day because it was a good laugh and all the children were great. The only down side was when the Masaai men were mean to the goats and some of the girls got really aggressive over what sack they were given. On the plus side though I think all the children enjoyed it and that’s the main thing.

We had a lot of free time after the sports day so quite a lot of us went round to see some of the animals at the snake park and I got to hold a crocodile and two snakes which was rather interesting because I was trying to stay calm but I was so scared! I did enjoy it though. Then we just chilled for a bit and I did a video diary with David just talking about how one of my best bits was meeting Helen and then suddenly Adella came on the truck and said that Helen was at the gates. She’d came to see me again on her way from school so I ran there to meet her and it was just one of the best things ever. She gave me a big hug and said that she’s missed me so I promised her that I’d write to her and keep in touch. I’ll be really sad not to see her again but I’m glad that we’ll be keeping in touch because she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! Great day today so I’m as happy as Larry and Larry’s great! Anyhoodle, love you all very much and I can’t wait to see you all and tell you everything. Amy J xxxxxxx

p.s.kate smith is lush

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S (13)Demi Womack

I loved today! This morning me, Steph, Sophie, Abbie and Kate went to Messerani Chini primary school to paint some wall murals on the outside of the classrooms that the project has build. Taking inspiration from the posters Lisa brought over with her we decided to do a wall of shapes, one of body parts, one of fruit and vegetables and the last a map of the world. It was so much fun, the children sang to us again and David videoed it as we painted, it was one of those moments that I think we will all always remember. We finished up as quickly as we could, because everyone else was back at the snake park organising sports day for Lessera, Messerani Chini and Messerani Juu this afternoon. It had already started when we got back, we saw the last few races and I got roped into participates in the girls relay, of which we came 2nd!! After the hectic morning we had chance to chill this afternoon, we went to see the snakes and visited the Maasai Museum. I just had my first warm shower since getting here and now I’m waiting for tea, it’s our last night in Tanzania tonight, so we will be saying bye to Ma and Bj and everybody else here tonight.

Love and miss you lots, see you very soon. Demi W xxxx

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S (15)Chloe Crosby. 
Jambo home! 
This is just gonna have to be a pretty short diary because tomorrow is a really early start as we have a long drive back to Nairobi so it’s bed time any min now!  
Today was a good day J this morning I helped out at the spectacle clinic which was very interesting! We soon realised that most of the people who came just wanted sunglasses or glasses for fashion and not actually to help their eyesight! It was quite difficult to tell who was genuine but it was a fun morning and in the end was pretty successfulJ  
This afternoon was sports day and I was in the relay…. I didn’t quite know how to feel about it because I’m mega unfit and was nervous running against the kids who are like whippets! But it was ok and we actually managed to place 2nd yay proud of us J mind you, we didn’t get anything for it!  
You can tell it’s getting to the end of the trip because we’re all sat in the snake park bar now writing on an Acklam Grange shirt. It’s a little sad but I’m really excited for home! After our sports day we had a lot of free time so I was sat trying to keep myself busy as I’m missing home a lot but it’s the 31st of august today and there’s only 4 days left so I’m going to enjoy every last minute. 
I’m going to sign off now and put all the dairies on a USB for you all to see very soon J write again asap. 
Love and miss you all very much! 
Co xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  

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