Crew from WOU
                        in Tanzania

Team Blog
Day One
Day Two

Day Three
Day Four
Day Five
Day Six
Day Seven
Day Eight
Day Nine

Day Ten

Day Eleven
Day Twelve
Day Thirteen
Day Fourteen
Day Fifteen
Day Sixteen

Day Seventeen

Day Eighteen
After Day 18

The Flight

First Full Day
VIllage Bound
A Birthday
Garden Beds
Hot Springs
Back Again

No Electricty
Start Safari

Heading Home
Follow up

O.F.F. Site

Email us

Days of Planning

Even subtle beginnings have a first moment. Ours was in the fall of 2009 when Service Learning at WOU announced a service learning trip to Tanzania. We applied as advisors and were selected. Through the next several months the plan disintegrated and an alternative location of San Francisco was chosen.

A year later the same trip to Tanzania was proposed with considerable support from the administration. To avoid another failed attempt, a different format was formulated, and we were not in the picture. However, the idea was there, the dream was there and after suggesting such a trip around, the team was there. A possible team of ten met in January and the stage was set. By February the team was nine as some of the ten dropped out and others joined in. The plan was to replicate the efforts of the WOU Service Learning team using the same location (Arusha and Lengasti), same contacts for projects (Dr James Lace) and similar projects.

A initial effort to secure flights tickets was very discouraging as tickets seem to come in at over $4000 each. When we found them at about $2100 through the travel agent with whom we have worked for years, we gobbled them up. A couple who decided a bit later to take the same route as us paid a bit more and ended up on a different final leg of the trip.

Six months of planning, fundraising, gathering preceded this moment when we dragged the bags from the back of two SUVs and up to the check-in counters. One bag per person filled with 3000 condoms, dental supplies, clothes to return to Tanzania, children clothes, flashlights, tools, eyeglasses, and five computers. Ethiopian Airlines allows two check-in bags but limits carry-on's to 20 pounds total, which left us guessing as we packed the day before leaving and again at the check-in at Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, DC. The toothbrushes, tooth paste and floss came from Dr Turgeson after Denvy's emergency appointment to fix an artificial tooth that broke off. Just days after we announced the need several boxes of children's clothes were left at the driveway of Linda's home. Only our imagination can determine where these came from.

Tanzania is reported to be the safest and most democratic country in Africa having a history of influence from the Arabs, the Germans before and during World War II and the British after the war. After their independence in the '50's they kept English as the language of education and government. Swahili and numerous tribal languages dominate the daily life in the villages.

Two countries south of Egypt on the east coast of Africa, Tanzania is bordered on the north by Sudan and Ethiopia. In the northwest corner of the country sits Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa and made famous by Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Tucked even more tightly in the northwest of the country are the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengiti famous for their hippos, hyenas, herds of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, elephants, and prides of lions. With a relatively safe government, safaris are becoming very popular with tourists from around the world.

In planning for this trip, made different aspects were detailed. The itinerary for the flights, transportation to and from airports, meals and overnights was rehearsed again and again especially when changes occurred. Because some members confirmed their decision to travel at different times, not all team members traveled on the same flights or the same times. Itineraries for the projects and activities while in country were left flexible entrusting our well being to our host agencies and individuals.

Gathering and recording the incomes and expenses was an ongoing process. Initializing, reviewing and finalizing lists of items to take and ultimately packing was a conversation that threaded throughout the planning period. Vaccinations for the specific country were tabulated and provided for all travelers.