Tsavo, day 1 The excitement grew as the bus pulled out of school. Before we were even on the main road everyone was munching away on their snacks! Card games started and laughter filled the air. We were miles away from Tsavo but the fun had already started ‰ÛÒ we spent the whole time playing cards, chatting and singing. we arrived! There was a huge elephant made of snares ‰ÛÒ what a fantastic camp! Immediately we had lunch, which was delicious, and got to know our guide for the week: ‰ÛÏPeter, cheetah, the lion eater‰Û who gave us a small tour of the Camp Tsavo, showing us the room of the dead, which was full of bones and dead animals, all of which had come from the sanctuary. Then we went to make the elephant dung paper – we were all disgusted when we heard people ate it to survive!!!YUCK!!! We were split into 2 groups, 1 to do the smashing of the poo, the other to make the paper. Even though we all (well most of us) got considerably dirty no one could beat Luc‰Ûªs record from last year! After tea and loads of biscuits, it was time to go on the night game drive!We were all so excited but first we needed to climb Pride Rock. We rushed out of the truck and scrambled up the hill. There were huge boulders scattered everywhere. We jumped about, posing, snapping pictures of each other. After our energy was squeezed out of us we got into the bus and started our night game drive, but we didn‰Ûªt see much. After even more scrumptious food, it took us forever to get to sleep, and it was way past 10pm‰Û_. but Miss Williams eventually managed quietening us all by saying she was going to get us up really early in the morning, and when the boys continued being noisy by saying they wouldn‰Ûªt be allowed to play football in the morning‰Û_‰Û_. Instant silence! Day2 True to her word, Miss Williams woke us up at 6:00am. We had breakfast: sausages, toast, jam, marmalade and cereal, and then started team challenges activity. We played the ‰Û÷I have a ball‰Ûª game. We then became blindfolded caterpillars and had to use hand signals to direct each other obstacles. Next‰Û_.out in the bush to learn how to survive! Girls against boys‰Û_.. We had to build a den which would survive a lion attack! Needless to say‰Û_. The boys all got eaten up! We tried‰Û_‰Û_ and failed‰Û_.. to start campfires and learnt how to use a bushman‰Ûªs bow and arrow. Tatyana was the only one who shot the target. And none of us could untangle the rope problem. After a five star lunch, we ventured out to a water hole and learnt how to identify animals by their poo and tracks. We stood in big holes made by elephants‰Û_. Lorna wanted to have to swim in a mud bath of pee‰Û_but we stopped her! We went back to the camp where we had more delicious food, our first camp fire, and toasted lots of marshmallows. Getting us to sleep this night was not a problem‰Û_..we were all very tired after such a great day. Day 3 Oh my, Miss Williams is really getting her revenge on us‰Û_‰Û_ up at 6am yet again! Today, we went to Sasenyi school. The kids there, were very kind and enthusiastic, rushing towards the bus when we arrived, shaking hands and giving us lots of ‰Û÷high 5‰Ûªs‰Ûª. It was quite an eye-opener though, going round each class and introducing ourselves in Kiswahili. Most of the classes had between 60 -80 children crammed in, and we only saw 3 teachers in the whole school. We were there to work though as volunteers, and our task was to mix cement for a floor for a new classroom being built and paint the walls. We worked really hard‰Û_.. it was so hard and tiring‰Û_.but actually good fun too. After a bush picnic, sat shaded under a big tree, with spectacular views of Mt Kasigau, the boys went off to play football with some of the boys from standard 5. At one point there were 15 people in goal, but that still didn‰Ûªt stop our boys winning 5-0. Meanwhile the girls went round three classes and shared out the pens and pencils we had brought with us. They were all so excited and grateful to us ‰ÛÒ and we only gave them a pencil or pen each! We had also collected in all our old reading books which we donated to the school to start a library‰Û_‰Û_but not åÊwe spent a couple of hours with standard 4 reading stories, and drawing and colouring with them. What an afternoon we had with the children ‰ÛÒ they were all so creative you should have their faces. They were so many good artists and they were so smart, especially on Aliya‰Ûªs table.We all had so much fun but the time flew by,and it was soon time to go. We all said our goodbyes ‰ÛÒ aching from all our hard work, but very much enriched from feeling that we‰Ûªve made a little different to children who have a very different type of life and education to us. Yet another campfire, and even more toasted marshmallows, and much needed sleep for our aching backs. Day 4: Ha, ha‰Û_.. it wasn‰Ûªt Miss Williams who got everyone up this morning‰Û_.. it was the girls! The boys were snoring their hearts out at quarter to six, when‰Û_. Us girls bashed through their door and sprayed silly string on all of them But‰Û_ the tables were turned, Miss Williams started the comeback, stealing Philine‰Ûªs spray and starting to spray the girls, the boys took the chance, grabbed cans of the girls, and with Bert just in his boxers, the boys completely and utterly covered them. After yet more delicious food‰Û_. And with the girls still trying to pick the silly string out from their hair‰Û_‰Û_. We set off to the Imani women‰Ûªs group. This project is led by a lady called ‰Û÷Mama Mercy‰Ûª who really does live up to her name: she has single-handedly fought for the ‰Û÷girl-child‰Ûª in her community and stopped young girls being married off at the age of eleven or twelve, fighting for girls to stay in school and be educated. Today, our job as volunteers, was to help the ladies in their shamba, and we spent 2 hours helping them harvest their crop of cow peas. Again it was hard, back-breaking work, but we really felt we had made a difference. After more great food, we sat with the ladies making bead necklaces and bracelets‰Û_‰Û_. And then we all danced together. None of us will ever forget Alister‰Ûªs dancing!!! On our way back to the camp, singing our hearts out in the bus, we spotted the Black Tsavo cat, sat in the middle of the road, and then, a few minutes later, a herd of elephants, followed by a hyena ‰ÛÒ so exciting! Our final bit of work was to do our presentations on poaching that we had been working on all week. We did pretty well on the quiz that Peter gave us, and enjoyed each other‰Ûªs dramatisations. We had lots of time to chill together after that, even more marshmallows to toast on our final camp fire, and even Miss Williams didn‰Ûªt try to get us to sleep too early ‰ÛÒ we really wanted to enjoy our last night together. Day 5 I don‰Ûªt suppose our parents are going to believe this bit‰Û_.. but all the girls got up really early‰Û_.. a quarter to 5‰Û_. (a bit grumpily!) to say goodbye to the rugby team who just sat there and waved us goodbye without a care in the world (did they know at that point that had taken our ‰Û÷going home‰Ûª bag of sweets? ‰ÛÒ Do we really believe Bert when he tells us he took the bag by mistake????) A real sign of just how far we‰Ûªve come as a team, and just how much we mean to each other. Later in the morning we surprised Mr. Williams because ‰Û_IT WAS HIS BIRTHDAY. The journey home was uneventful ‰ÛÒ especially without any of our sweets ‰Û_‰Û_.BERT!!!!….. And even though we‰Ûªd told Miss Williams that we‰Ûªd never fall asleep on the bus‰Û_.. we all did‰Û_. Thoroughly exhausted, pretty filthy, but full of many happy memories had together. VIDEO It‰Ûªs fair to say, none of us really wanted to leave Camp Tsavo – IT WAS AMAZING! ‰Û¢ From being covered in elephant dung, ‰Û¢ Playing games together, ‰Û¢ learning about the problems of poaching ‰Û¢ Eating delicious food ‰Û¢ Chatting and dancing ‰Û¢ smothered in silly string, ‰Û¢ singing our hearts out on the bus ‰Û¢ singing reggae music badly ‰Û¢ spotting animals, ‰Û¢ learning about poo, ‰Û¢ toasting marshmallows ‰Û¢ surviving in the bush ‰Û¢ mixing cement ‰Û¢ harvesting cow peas ‰Û¢ making bead necklaces A truly, truly memorable week that we will remember forever! We would like to thank all the parents for paying for us, the teachers for making this dream possible, and of course, the best dancer out of all of us- Peter cheetah, the lion-eater. We would just like to say thank you so very much and we‰Ûªd like to give you this from all of us.