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Tanzania 2016 Trip Report

Tanzania 2016 Trip Report

On 20th June, a group of 7 S5 and S6 pupils (Cameron Wilson, Cameron Betts, Chloe Harris, Amanda Henderson, Lucy Higgins and Robert Jewell –Smith) and Mrs Rhind (head of Social Subjects faculty) travelled along with pupils from Jedburgh Grammar school to spend two weeks in Tanzania on a Vine Trust building project.

Here is Mrs Rhind’s account of the trip:

After a long flight from Edinburgh Airport, we finally arrived at Mount Kilimanjaro Airport.

For the next 12 days, we were to be based in Moshi, northern Tanzania and spent most of that time working on two sites building homes for vulnerable families.  It was hard work digging foundations as well as carrying stones, sand bricks and water to the 'fundi' (builders).  We worked with local volunteers, villagers and members of their families.  For the first few days the paths were very muddy making our job harder.    By the twelfth day both houses had taken shape but will not be completed for another couple of months .  

In addition to the construction work the pupils visited local schools and orphanages where they enjoyed playing games, singing and dancing and organising activities.   We each took an additional suitcase with us which we filled with toys, clothes, books educational materials and toiletries which had been donated by teachers and staff from Whitburn Academy.   Some of these donations were given to the orphanages and we also provided the families with gifts for their new homes.

The pupils managed to pick up some Swahili words, learned some Swahili songs and enthusiastically embraced the Tanzanian culture.    

At the end of our trip we left the Moshi area and headed south for a 2 day safari trip.  We went to the Tarangire National Park and came really close up to elephants and giraffes.    On the second day we went to the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, where we saw lions and a rare black rhino. 

It took two years to raise funds for this trip which could not have taken place without the support of the Whitburn Community who generously donated raffle prizes, sponsored students and supported our fund raising activities .

Amanda Henderson, one of the pupils on the trip said she thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“The Tanzania trip was a great success, as not only did I have an amazing experience but I also got the opportunity to change a family’s life for the better.

“Meeting the children from the orphanages was also a great way to spend our time in Tanzania as they were all lovely children who never stopped smiling.

“Being able to donate a couple of suitcases to each orphanage we visited was such a privilege as the children would appreciate the gifts more than we would.

“I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who gets the opportunity to do it as it is so rewarding and will give you a whole new perspective of live and the way people live.”

We hope to offer another Vine Trust trip in two years’ time for our current S4 and S5 pupils.  More details to follow in the near future. 

To view more photographs from our visit to Tanzania, please visit our Image Gallery

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