By O.A.T. Trip Leader, Samson Maka
Visiting Foundation-supported schools is one of the highlights of the trip for most of us during Safari Serengeti: Tanzania Lodge & Tented Safari. This was especially true on one of my recent departures. The travelers are familiar with the school systems in the US, and because of that, they were impressed with the students’ desire to be in school—especially the passion of the teaching staff. They give so much, yet they have so little to work with. They continuously find ways to engage the children and encourage them to learn.
We spoke with some of the teachers and learned that many of them have to walk up to 9 kilometers (5.5 miles) a day, each way. Their day starts at 7:30 in the morning and goes until after 4:00 in the afternoon.
As a group, we decided to buy bikes for the 11 teachers who had to walk. We collected the money and took two cars to the market to buy bikes that afternoon. We made a surprise delivery the following morning with just one bike and told them that 10 more would be coming at the end of the month.
I predict that we will be overwhelmed by the gratitude the teachers show. Almost everyone in the group donated around $40. We had a pretty good amount, around $520, but one of the travelers in the group decided to pay the remaining amount. We ended up with $920—enough for all 11 bikes.
After the trip, I volunteered to deliver the rest of the bikes to the Tloma Primary School, and that's the story of how we got 11 bikes for the teachers!
See the impact Grand Circle Foundation is making when you visit a school with O.A.T. during Safari Serengeti: Tanzania Lodge & Tented Safari. Meet the children of Tanzania’s Rhotia Primary School in this video.