10 February 2017
← Tanzania Reflection - Global Immersion Program
Tanzania Reflection - Global Immersion Program
In December 2016, Fraser Killen, House Leader for Quane travelled to Tanzania for a three week Global Immersion Program, please find following a reflection from Fraser.
"On the 2 December, I travelled to Tanzania for three weeks with 41 strangers from all along the east coast of Australia, as part of a Global Immersion Program. This is just a brief reflection on my trip:
The first week we spent in Arusha, Tanzania at St Jude’s, a Tanzanian run and Australian sponsored, private school for the poor. I met Daudi, my sponsor student, who at the age of 17 was just beginning Grade 9 and was a keen footballer. For someone from Daudi’s home town to be able to come to St Jude’s, that student had to first pass an aptitude test which would put them on a shortlist of roughly 500 kids. For those who pass, they are then visited at their homes by a St Jude’s official. The official will look around their house, if they have glass windows or a bed with a mattress they are too wealthy and are cut from the program. This school only took the poorest of the poor, but gave them a future rich with hope, knowledge and success just as St Patrick’s does for us.
I then visited some of the smaller government state schools, of which, didn’t have sponsors or adequate facilities. We were tasked with painting six class rooms top to toe. The ladders we used to paint the tops of the walls were in serious need of replacement. I’m talking banged up fence posts and driftwood nailed to each other in a far from perpendicular manner: never have I been so terrified of heights only a metre above the ground.
I got to meet the students that went to these schools, we taught them to play ball games and sprint races. All in preparation for the sports carnival the next day. On dirt fields, the kids were ecstatic and competed with passion. It was a great day and a definite highlight to take away from the trip.
The following week was the trek of Kilimanjaro, the 5895m monster. The trek to the top of the mountain in total was around 38km along the tracks. It was all very steady walking really, it was just having a chat the whole time to the 40 other people that had been sharing this journey with me, not to mention soaking in the scenery. The summit night was very much a challenge, when oxygen is low you have very little control of your body. All you want to do is let your eyes roll into the back of your head and fall asleep. We started the climb at midnight, after many strenuous hour and many drunken spills, I reached the summit at 7am.
In the last week we had safari, in which we toured through Gorungoro crater. In the pop top jeeps we came across all the herds of impala, zebra, elephant and wildebeest, as well as the odd giraffe and hippo. The rare sightings were of the lion, lioness and rhino all of which made me feel like David Attenborough as I commented knowingly on their behaviour in their natural habitat. Safari was great but what loomed over our heads was the fact that we would be leaving soon.
All in all, I love Tanzania. The main thing I learnt in my travels there is that, the greatest lesson you can learn in life is how to be present. By fully immersing yourself in the moment, you can turn a good time into an amazing experience. In doing so, create memories that you will truly cherish."