Karibu to Canada!
After approximately 40 hours of travel (5 cities, 4 planes, and a heck of a lot of movies) the four of us were proudly greeted by our families in Winnipeg. They brought us some amazing snacks that we had requested before we began our journey (safari) home. Despite the length of time it took us to get from Bunda to Winnipeg, we had a pretty smooth trip back. We shopped a little bit in the Kilimanjaro airport, ate some cheese in Amsterdam, and rushed for some Starbucks in Toronto.
This truly was an experience that none of us will forget. I had an amazing time, meet some wonderful people and gained some awesome new friends (who I already miss).
Thank you to everyone who shared in our experience.
We just got back from our Safari, and a stay over in Serena Wildlife Lodge! We were picked up by our driver in an extended Toyota Land Cruiser with a pop up roof! We packed in, opened our windows and got our cameras ready. It’s so cool, as we started driving we realized that the gate to the Serengeti is only about 15 minutes from Bunda, basically Bunda’s backyard. There was some very funky trees and plants, and we could see herds of wildebeests in the distance. The roads inside the park were surprisingly pretty smooth, especially compared to Bunda’s roads! We were able to stand up during the drive to get a better view of the animals which was super cool!
We saw herds and herds of wildebeest [myumbu] and zebras [punda milia]. Our guide told us that they coexist and protect eachother in the serengeti. The zebras are beautiful, and I think the wildebeests look wise (probably because of their beards). Next we saw some giraffes [twigas] which are very pretty and they have extremely cute faces. They look kind of knock kneed, and a bit socially awkward! We went to this river where there was a huge suspension bridge over it. Zak, Tony and I followed some baboons over the bridge and it was a spectacular view. Afterwards, we spotted some hippos taking a mid day bath in the river. They were big and kind of scary but cute at the same time!
After driving through a lot of grass and trees, we spotted a lone female lion [simba] resting under an acacia tree. We got within 10 feet of her and managed to get some incredible pictures. Eventually she got sick of it, got up, and started walking away. We travelled for a while and came upon a group of elephants [tembo] around a ditch full of water. There was moms, dads, and babies. Again, we got within 10-15 feet of them. It was incredible. They need a ton of water in a day and emptied that ditch in no time.
Later on, it started getting cloudy and then poured so we headed to the Seronera Wildlife Lodge. We had a delicious supper and a Serengeti Lager, while we enjoyed a breathtaking view of the Serengeti. The lodge was very cool, built into the side of a hill maintaining the boulders as part of the structure. Zak got violently ill that night, needless to say he skipped the 6 am game viewing! We took off again in the morning and managed to run into a family of young lions that were just lying in the nearby field and road. We got a lot of pics and videos of them walking and resting. Later on that day, we lucked out and found two cheetahs resting in the grass. Soon after we found 2 hyenas and then started making our way back towards Bunda.
We came home to have chipsy Mayai and turned in early to have lots of energy for our last night in Bunda.
The last few days of the program have flown by. It’s hard to believe it’s our last day in the schools today. Yesterday’s final class at Kunzugu went very well. As their final project, the kids worked in small groups to develop presentations about one of the topics that we’ve covered over the past month. We started these last week, giving the groups time to make posters, come up with creative ways to teach the material, and practice their presentations. Yesterday they presented these in front of the 4 of us and another group of students from their school. They all did an amazing job, and we were so proud of them. Even the kids who had been more reserved and less talkative in class really knew their facts. They all seemed really excited to share what they’d learned with other students, which was so great for us to see. We left Kunzugu yesterday feeling like we’d really accomplished what the program set out to do, and that we had really made an impact with these students. We finished off the class yesterday by handing out yearbooks and certificates to all the kids, which they seemed very excited about. Today is our final day and Rubana, and we’re hoping that the response is equally as positive.
Tomorrow morning we leave for the safari, which we are all really looking forward to. We’ve been brushing up on our swahili words for various animals, including simba, which we recently learned means lion. We were all very excited to discover just how educational The Lion King was.
We’ll make sure to post some pictures of our safari experience later this week.