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Study Abroad

Asante Sana

June 03, 2018

Lasell students in TanzaniaHabari! Let me start by saying, today was absolutely amazing.

We woke up for breakfast at camp at 7am. We got personalized egg orders, which I think we were all somewhat taken aback by because we have not had that luxury since being home and were definitely not expecting it. It was a pleasant surprise. After, we promptly departed for a full day safari at 8am. As soon as we got into the Ruaha park, we saw a pack of 5 elephants, so we had a feeling it would be a good day.

We went down to a river where we saw many hippos and some crocodiles to start. While looking at them all, we got a call that there were some buffalo nearby so we sped off to try and find them. Although we did not find the buffalo, we did come across the path of some other spectacular animals. We were stopped by a group of six giraffes, two of which were in the road. They eventually got the hint that we wanted to get by and cleared the way. I would say one of my favorite things to see on safari is giraffes running because they look like they are moving in slow motion and it is majestic. Then, we came up on an elephant with two babies in the road and they quickly ran into the bush. We did a bit more driving and passed by another vehicle and asked if they had seen anything nearby, which they hadn't, so we kept driving.

Not even five minutes later, we got a call from the car and were speeding back to basically the same spot we first saw them. Four female lions had been spotted. They were quite a distance away from us, but we could tell that they were surrounding a big lizard in hopes to kill it. We watched for awhile in amazement, and then my car drove off to try and find the van to get them there to see the lions. We got the call that they found their way without us, so we went straight back and saw quite a few elephant on the way. When we returned, the lions were much closer because the lizard was trying to escape and it was coming near the cars. The lions ended up being only about 10 feet away from us which was so surreal. Being able to see them up close was more breathtaking than scary.

LionsAfter watching the lions, we headed off to our lunch spot. On the way, we saw some giraffes fighting and a group of vultures circling something on the ground, which we assumed to be a carcass. So, we drove through the bush to try and find it. We didn't, but it was still fun watching the van traversing the land just as our safari land rovers were. We got to our lunch spot, which had two tables, benches, and stumps to sit on. We were overlooking a couple impala and got to eat some quiche and pasta salad. It was delicious and definitely the best picnic I've ever had. Next, we drove around for a couple more hours and saw some more impalas and small animals. When we got back to camp, we heard that 15 elephants were on their way to the watering hole, so we ran over to the lodge overlooking it and watching the herd of elephants drink and play in the water for about 30 minutes. It was the perfect ending to the afternoon. Relaxing at camp, we swam in the pool and hung out with each other which was a lot of fun. We had dinner, and then stayed in the lodge for the remainder of the night. During that time, we saw two elephants fighting at the watering hole, which was so cool!

The safari and staying at Tandala has been incredible to say the least and has been the perfect ending to this trip. But, as incredible as it's been, it still does not beat the last two weeks of teaching put together. Teaching at Lundamatwe Primary School was hard work but the pay off of seeing our kids understand the English we were teaching them was priceless. I cannot even fathom the amount of love and kindness we have felt from the students, the teachers, the staff at Masumbo, Dan and Tina, and from each other on this trip. I will never forget the smiling faces of my students and them shouting "elephant is big," the 100 times I made them.

I would like to end this by not only thanking my own parents for allowing me to partake in this incredible trip, but by thanking all the parents of the students on this trip. Whether it was your child's first time out of the country or their 7th, you allowed for them to be a vital member of this team and apart of our success here. Asante sana.

- Abbey Coughlan