Tanzania

Reflecting on Trek

15th August 2017

As the venturers begin the third and final phase of expedition, Alpha 1 look back to their phase one trek, outlining what they learned and how they developed both individually and as a team.

Words and photos Alpha 1.

With our guide Morris, we covered more than 200km of terrain in 19 days, carrying all the equipment and food we would need. We quickly established ourselves as a strong team and adapted well to the daily routine of trek, building bonds and learning about ourselves.

Daily Routine

Each morning we woke up at 5.30am and ate a variety of delicious porridge flavours for breakfast. Camp was usually packed up by 8am, with the day leader running an energiser to perk us all up for the trek ahead. We were always eager to arrive in camp after a long day’s trek and tents were put up before we got to work on our various duties. Dinner was either made in camp or delivered by a dinner mama. The roaring campfire took centre stage for our daily de-brief and handover from one day leader to the next. Lessons learnt and motivations were discussed, with the team ready for a new day ahead. Camp settled down around 8.30pm under a blanket of stars and hopefully no snoring!

Working as a team

During trek we learned to work as a successful team, getting the pace right so we could walk together. Volunteer manager Lutufyo commented: “The group developed so much as the days went on. The change from day one was apparent as the venturers had the opportunity to become day leaders and the team learned to work together.”

Cultural Understanding

We walked through many rural villages, and were warmly welcomed by the local community everywhere we went. We were able to learn more about the culture from meeting people and seeing how the houses were built or how the land was farmed. As a team with venturers from many different cultures, we bonded over shared experiences and learned to work together.

“I was nervous about being able to talk with the English speaking venturers. However, it was so easy to connect with the whole group, it didn’t matter if my English or their Swahili wasn’t perfect!” – Christencia, Tanzanian venturer.

Enjoying the Simple Things

Life is uncomplicated on trek, each morning you wake, eat, walk, rest, walk, set up camp and sleep. Tom, a venturer from the UK said, “You begin to care less about the things that were important before, including having 3G or a mattress and just enjoy the journey you’re on. I learned to appreciate beauty in all shapes and forms.” Omari also from the UK commented, “I learned to embrace the moment, slow down and just live day to day. Trek taught me not to rush life and just enjoy it, because nothing lasts forever.”

Scenic Views

The terrain we covered was hugely varied, we walked through highlands, moorlands and forest. Trek was a full work out as we climbed uphill and went downhill carrying heavy back packs, however as Dedan from Tanzania said, “We got to rest in shady places where we could enjoy nature.” The thought of amazing views helped UK venturer Antonia through the harder parts of the trek: “I enjoyed the views, walking uphill can be so tiring but the thought of the beautiful scenery at the top was a real motivating factor.”

Forging Bonds

Trek is an overwhelming experience at times, the relationships we made and bonds formed will last for much longer than expedition. Irene, a Tanzanian venturer sums it up saying: “I am happy to have made new friends on trek. It feels like I have known them forever, even though it was only 19 days.” 

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