Monday, October 4, 2010

Taking off soon!

Just hanging out by the pool until our flight tonight. We had a quick trip to the market this morning to get some local crafts and stopped to dip our toes in the Indian ocean. It was very warm, but full of (stinky) seaweed.

This has been the adventure of a lifetime, we feel so fortunate to have been on it. Plan Canada is a wonderful charity and they are doing amazing things here, especially for the Because I am a Girl program.

Over and out :) See you all back home
Sara & Maddy

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Last night in Tanzania

Back in Dar Es Salaam after a flight from Mwanza this morning. That was the smallest, oddest little airport I have ever been to ....

Relaxing tomorrow until our flight at nightime. Not much left to do! We feel like we have been here forever, but it's only been 10 days... Farewell dinner tonight with the whole gang, we are looking forward to that. We have really built up great relationships with everyone here and look forward to keeping in touch.

Kisses & hugs to the boys at home, we'll be there soon! See you Tues afternoon.\
Sara & Mads

Saturday, October 2, 2010

last day in Mwanza

This is our last day/night in Mwanza, we head back to Dar tomorrow. Today we visited a Plan project with goats, and learned how villages are using goats for a wide variety of food sources, and training their people to care for and raise them.

Again, as in other villages, the people were quite fascinated by us as we were obviously so different. In particular they focussed on Maddy and the other two teens that are with us. I'm not sure that's something our guys will ever get used to!

Back at the hotel for a relaxing afternoon and dinner.

Internet tomorrow in Dar may not work, but we will try. Flights out Monday night then home Tuesday morning - looking forward to seeing our boys at home :)

Sara & Mads

Friday, October 1, 2010

Visit to Girls School & Residence

Today we went to visit the girls school residence we raised money for, in a town called Buhongwa.

We met some of the girls and they held a big celebration with our visit. The residence is about halfway built, with the bricks being fabricated (by hand) on site and the walls going up. We took lots of photos that we will share when we return home.

It was very emotional to actually see the school we all (committee, family & friends) worked so hard to raise money for. And all the smiles on the little faces! We felt extremely proud to be part of it.

Rosemary McNarney, the CEO of Plan Canada, has joined us here and is a wonderful, smart woman with amazing stories. We are learning a lot from her!

Love to everyone & home soon!
Sara & Maddy

(Norm, please check your rogers email to see note from me and email me back)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Serengeti to Mwanza

Now in Mwanza, after travelling about 5 hours from the Serengeti. On our way we were lucky to see some baby giraffes and a whole whack of hippos - about 20 together in one area. We also saw a lot of zebra and wildebeest - apparently there are 2.5 million in the Serengeti alone.

We are here in Mwanza for our visit to the school and meeting the 100 girls who will go to our school. Tonight we have our official dinner with 10 of the girls and some officials from Tanzania. I hope we get to spend some time talking with them and learning more about them.

Tomorrow will be pretty special as we visit the school. Maddy will be helping the other young girl here, Hillary, film a commercial for Because I am a Girl, talking with the girls and teaching them about the program. It should be very interesting.

Off to dinner, will be back again tomorrow afternoon/night.

We miss everyone!!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More Serengeti

Today was our last official safari, with 5 hours spent driving the Serengeti this morning, then relaxign by the neat infiniti pool this afternoon.

On safari, we saw a male lion, gorgeous, walk by our jeep and off to nap under a tree. He had a large scar on his hip, our guide tells us this is likely from a fight the male leaders in his pride would have had, and he lost and therefore has to go out on his own. He was beautiful, with a dark brown mane, indicating his older age.

We also saw more zebra (they really do travel in massive groups like on Madagascar 2 Sam!), giraffe, and 2 cheetah. The cheetah were waiting patiently for gazelles to cross by them but never attacked, our guide was quite surprised. There were also the usual baboons and gazelles that have almost become like cows to us :)

Sadly there was an air balloon accident nearby today but rest assured none of us were on board.

Off to Mwanza tomorrow for the next 3 nights and visiting OUR school and meeting our girls! We are all very excited about the next few days and I am already feeling quite emotional about it. I am certain it will be beyond our expectations.

I am sorry I haven' been able to post photos the connection to do that is'nt working - will add when we get home.

Hoping the internet works in Mwanza, if there is no post for a few days that is why. Back in Dar Es Salaam on Sunday afternoon (Tanzania time).

Good night & Asante sani (thank you very much :)
Sara & Maddy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

First Serengeti Day

We left the Ngrongoro Crater this morning and headed towards the Serengeti, seeing some spectacular animals en route. Highlights definitely included a pride of 13 lions including 5 adorable cubs. Maddy thought they looked alot like our Luke at home :) One little guy found our tire interesting and came over to lick it - they really do get that close and are not bothered at all by humans and jeeps.

We also saw some elephants up close again, they would often wander on the roads we traveled on. Zebras by the hundreds were also spotted as well as thousands of flamingos which was an amazing sight!

Tonight we are staying at the Serena Serengeti Lodge, it is just spectacular. They escort you to your room as there is no fence and animals have been known to wander by. But no one has been approached so no need to worry Grandma!!!

Our room looks out over the savanna, we got here late though so we will enjoy the view tomorrow. Here for another night then off to Mwanza to meet our girls and their school and residence under construction. Very much looking forward to that!

Good night :)