Goodbye from 13I

26th August 2013

The venturers have now returned back from their adventure challenge, so it’s time to share this last blog as they prepare to return home and say good bye to Tanzania. The adventure began with a journey through a national park on the way to Iringa. We were lucky enough to see herds of giraffes and zebras, and even caught a brief glimpse of an elephant. All the venturers were very excited - the coach was filled with the sounds of cameras clicking! As Danny wrote in the last blog, the adventure challenge had a tribal theme. The first part of the experience involved staying with three very different local tribes. One group stayed with a Maasai tribe, and Rhys was keen to tell me all about it. “We stayed with a Maasai tribe, and it was the best day of my life. It was so different from what I had ever done before, and I will probably never get the chance to do something like this again in my lifetime. We were the first people from another country to ever visit the tribe. They explained that they had seen foreign people go past in vehicles before, but they had never met any. We learnt all about their customs and how they dressed was so different. In the evening the women sang to us and we danced their tribal dance into the night. It was a great experience that I will cherish for ever”. IMG 0826 IMG 1643 Saskia was part of another group who stayed with a Wahehe tribe. “I loved every part of it. It was great how they accepted us into their home and let us sleep there. They put so much effort into showing us how they lived, from where they fished to how they prepared their food. At the end of the night all of their neighbours came around and it was like we were part of the community”. IMG 0275 IMG 0793 IMG 1660 IMG 1964 IMG 2013   IMG 3307   As you can see from the photographs it really was a special experience that I know both venturers and volunteer managers will never forget. Throughout the challenge the Venturers had to trek around the beautiful but rugged terrain of the local region. They had to also carry their rucksacks and daily supplies. IMG 2588 Saskia tells us more about her experience, “I really enjoyed the trek. It was hard but I got a really good sense of achievement. I found the mountain hike gruelling, but when we got to the top the views were amazing”. IMG 2733 I also spoke to Joachim, a Tanzanian Venturer who enjoyed the challenge of the trekking - “It was great to trek with Venturers from all the other countries. This was the first time that I have ever trekked. It was hard but we all worked together as a team to make it through. We trekked through homelands of different tribes and learned lots of things including weaving and pottery.” IMG 2749During the treks the teams camped out in the wilderness. Part of their challenge was to build a shelter for them to sleep in for the night. Tom Brooks explains more, “We had to build a shelter out of basic material. We used straw, branches and a tarpaulin. I liked the challenge although by the time we had trekked there it was almost dark so we didn’t have a lot of time. It was a little cramped, but comfortable and most of us had a good night sleep. It was lovely after a hot and dirty trek to go to the stream and sit in the water and cool down”. IMG 2687 IMG 2901 IMG 3277 As I sign off from this expedition, having spent a lot of time with the Venturers I know that this will be an experience that they will never forget. Although they will be returning with a lot of dirty washing, they will also be coming back to share some great stories. As Daf said to me, "the person coming back home is a different person to the person who left." Thank you to all the ventures, volunteer managers and all those involved for the time of our lives.