A couple of weeks back we said kwaheriåÊ to our last lot of November volunteers and it felt like juståÊ the other day that we made this huge move into our own location in Tanga. So many volunteers have come through since Jan, 2011 and a huge impact is evident in the little fishermen‰Ûªs community of Mwambani. Tommie has been reflecting on life in the sleepy and peaceful little fishing village where our main Tanzanian base is… Community: Our volunteers have built both traditional houses and kitchens to the less fortunate members of the community in Mwambani Village. [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-3580″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”223″,”height”:”168″,”title”:”Untitled14″,”alt”:””}}]]           [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-3581″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”217″,”height”:”163″,”title”:”Untitled11″,”alt”:””}}]][[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignnone size-full wp-image-3584″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”218″,”height”:”164″,”title”:”Untitled12″,”alt”:””}}]] [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image size-full wp-image-3583 alignnone”,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”272″,”height”:”182″,”title”:”Untitled10″,”alt”:””}}]] Education: Mwakidila Primary will never look the same again. Before camps went calling, the School had a hand full of toilets to be shared amongst 600 pupils. It is a different story now as we managed to refurbish the ones that were in use but in bad state and others that were rendered a hazard and earmarked for demolition. Some of the classroom blocks looked like a ‰ÛÏdetention centre‰Û according to the volunteers. They felt that the School lacked life and the whole vibe of being a learning institution. The walls were dirty and full of cracks. However, it has all changed: the walls are bright white and full of learning aid and murals. BeforeåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊåÊ After [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-3585″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”207″,”height”:”156″,”title”:”Untitled8″,”alt”:””}}]][[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignnone size-full wp-image-3586″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”234″,”height”:”156″,”title”:”Untitled9″,”alt”:””}}]] [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-3587″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”213″,”height”:”142″,”title”:”Untitled6″,”alt”:””}}]][[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignnone size-full wp-image-3588″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”224″,”height”:”150″,”title”:”Untitled7″,”alt”:””}}]] Fun and social life: At Camp Tanzania, we have a good balance between work and play. This is evident when volunteers are tested with all sorts of activities that challenge them both physically and mentally and some are just part of entertainment: Trivia nights, themed dress up parties, sports days, movie nights and games nights are some of the activities that we do. [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-3589″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”218″,”height”:”146″,”title”:”Untitled4″,”alt”:””}}]][[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignnone size-full wp-image-3590″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”214″,”height”:”143″,”title”:”Untitled5″,”alt”:””}}]] Just to sum up the whole Tanzanian program, here are some of the volunteer‰Ûªs comments: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-3591″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”308″,”height”:”206″,”title”:”Untitled3″,”alt”:””}}]]”Spending 3 months in Africa was one of the best things I have ever done. The first 6 weeks were spent at ‰ÛÏhome‰Û in Tanga, in which we focused on our project work. At times was rather challenging but also extremely enjoyable and rewarding. In these 6 weeks we also formed a close connection with the villagers. We then set off to Kenya, and after having some difficulties with the weather, we finally got there. In Kenya we did our safari adventure which was definitely one of my favourite things that we did. After that, we did a sneaky trip to Zanzibar which was really lovely and relaxing, whilst some of the other girls climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. After our short holiday, it was back to work. [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignnone size-full wp-image-3592″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”323″,”height”:”216″,”title”:”Untitled2″,”alt”:””}}]] The memories formed with the staff as well as the other volunteers will be memories I will never forget. This has been a once in a life time opportunity and an amazing way to learn about another culture! Asante sana Camps International.” (Ashley Stein) “Spending 3 months in Tanzania with Camps was one of the best experiences of my life. The project work we undertook allowed us to form relationships with the villagers, learn about their culture and daily activities and feel as if we were assisting their lives whether it was in a big or small way. [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:null,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignnone size-full wp-image-3593″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”304″,”height”:”203″,”title”:”Untitled1″,”alt”:””}}]] åÊI also made many new friends from all over the world. The camps staff were welcoming and supportive from the very beginning and ensured we were always having fun. Organising quiz, movie and games nights and bonfires. Throughout the trip we also travelled around so that we could experience other African countries and locations. It was truly a great experience- one I will never forget.” (Chloe Silver) “We have ended our trip in Africa where we began it ‰ÛÒ in Moshi, but I know we are all very far from the same people we were when we arrived. Red eyed, fresh off the plane 3months ago. Africa has been life changing for me, the Tanzanian people and crew are beyond welcoming and I wouldn‰Ûªt change a thing about my trip, even the parts that felt horrible at the time. The best advice I can give to someone coming here is to bring with you an open heart, a sense of humour, two towels, a lot of mosquito repellant and a spare pair of pants just incase you have to climb a mountain in the wet season.” (Emilie Werrin). “East Africa is a place that should be visited by everyone. My experience was unforgettable and life changing. The relationship I made with the people in my group, the camp leaders and the villager was emotionally spectacular. I have managed to learn a lot about another culture, whilst learning about my own self. Physical labour definitely was a challenge but in the end I believe I‰Ûªve made a slight difference. Thank you camps for providing me with a unique experience with such a special village.” (Taylor Saul)