Study Abroad

Tandala Lodge

May 30, 2017

Hello from Tandala Lodge!!

Today we left from Masumbo Lodge around 8:30am and drove 3 hours to our safari destination, Tandala Lodge. But hold on..... let's talk about the drive. So we all split up into three vehicles, a land cruiser, a pick-up truck, and a van. Things were going very well as we listened to throwback 'jamz' on Nicole's high school iPod. Then the van started going slower and slower.... we had a mechanical issue with the injector. We all pulled over and we decided to switch some people around into different cars and leave a handful behind so we could keep going and then come back and grab the rest. We were about an hour away from the Tandala Lodge at this point. I switched from the van to the Land cruiser so I was not one who stayed behind, but I do have some quotes from others on the trip that did stay behind:

"This guy named Nessimo, who saw us break down asked us what happened and then once he figured out what are problem was he offered to take us to a mechanic. The van couldn't accelerate so we were going 15mph with this man driving. We ended up in the middle of a village where there were some tiny stores. Carson gave Seth (The boy of our campground hosts) some money to go buy candy, he came back with about 20 pieces of Carmel candies. A mechanic shows up and came into the van with us so we drive and pull into this compound where there is a Greek Orthodox Church. So we stop and Nessimo is on the phone, Tina got out of the van and a group of village kids ran over to the van and one little girl gave Tina a huge hug. Then we continued to drive into this compound and it turned into an old tobacco plant. We get to the end of the road and drive through a gate to a beautiful White House with turquoise trim. We get out and look around and this wonderful little women named Lula, invited us into her home while her mechanic was fixing the van. So she had us sit down in her living room, and gave us the best tropical juice...ever made, and told us about her life and what we were doing in Tanzania. She was very impressed with our purpose for being here. The van is fixed and we get back on the road with Nessimo driving, and we are doing good but then we hit a bump and the van stopped working again. We're going about 20mph and then we come up to this big hill, Tina Seth and Carson got out of the van to lessen some weight so we can get over the hill. Baboons ran across the road up ahead so Seth pulled out his hunters knife and Carson had a stick(lol). We made it up the hill and then met up with dan and we got into his car and left the van with Nessimo (remember he's a random guy that we don't know) so he could take it back to the mechanic. We finally drove with dan and made it to the Lodge."

"We met the Lodge owners mother after breaking down and finding a mechanic that worked for the Lodge that we are staying at for the next three days. We sat and talked to the women and her husband about their lives and their farming"

"Tina and I needed to use the bathroom really bad so we walked across the road and found a women that offered us to use her bathroom, which she did not have to do but it was so nice. When we came back to the van a man came up to the van and talked to us about how he used to work for the Tandala Lodge and knew the owners and how he knew a really amazing mechanic in town"

"It was one of those times when you realize how fate is so real and how genuine people can be"

We all were at the Lodge at this point and we were greeted by the owner's, Maddie and John. They are very nice and they gave us safety precautions about the grounds.

  1. Do not walk alone
  2. At night, do not leave an area without a Masai escorting you to your next spot. 

We then went to see our rooms and settle in. Each suite is on high stilts so animals are not able to reach. The rooms are STUNNING. I am in a triple with Emily and Nicole, we have one king bed and one twin bed. The entire room is a massive tent with an outdoor porch on one end and an outdoor bathroom on the other. I know it's hard to picture, but Just believe me that it's beautiful. We had lunch around 1:30 and then we went on a short safari after lunch. We used 3 safari land cruisers and had awesome drivers! We saw some elephants, giraffes,hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, and so many unique birds. We came back to the Lodge and swam in the pool for a bit before dinner.... DINNER WAS AWESOME. Let me attempt to explain this setting for you, but there is no words to describe how cool it was. There was a fire going next to tables in the sand, all set up for our three course dinner. It was very dark and there were lamps and candles on the tables which looked so pretty. During our first course, we heard elephants stomping about 100 yards away from our tables. They were so close and calm, (also there was a baby elephant and I totally lost it because it was SO CUTE) anyway we were looking at the elephants while we ate and it was incredible.... so I guess Africa is pretty cool (lol) just kidding it's unreal!!!

I have been loving this trip and the group. I Especially loved teaching the students, it reminded me how much I care about teaching and being in an educational setting with kids. These kids are SO smart and I still am not sure how I said goodbye to them. I'm sure in a previous blog someone explained our last day with the kids, and let me tell you, all of our hearts broke when we left. It's crazy how such strong connections can be made in only 2 weeks. This trip is indescribable and I hope that Lasell students take advantage of this opportunity. I'm sure I am speaking for everyone when I say that we all miss our friends and family but we do not want to leave!! However, we will see you all in just a few short days. To my family, friends, dogs, and bunny.. I miss and love you all! I can't wait to see you!