Karibu Musoma

Good evening from Musoma!! Happy to report that we made it safe and sound. After leaving Brussels at 11am on Thursday, we finally got to Musoma at 4pm the next day. First layover was in Doha (Qatar) where we arrived at 7pm and left at 1:45am. Here we got the chance to experience the Arab and European culture blend and to enjoy our first group dinner. After sleeping throughout the flight to Nairobi (Kenya) we arrived in the Nairobi airport at 6:30am to board on our final flight to Mwanza (Tanzania). This was still not our final destination as from Mwanza we had another 4 hrs to go by minivan to Musoma.

Collage trip

Once in Musoma, we first went to visit the headquarters of Global Resource Alliance (GRA) where we were welcomed by our project partners. GRA is the NGO collaborating with Deloitte since 2011 / 2012. GRA is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Tanzania’s water, permaculture, solar cooking, orphans care and natural medicine programs.

At around 5pm we were able to check in at our hotel, Afrilux. Once unpacked, Benoit, already experienced with Musoma, took us for a short tour around the city, stopping shortly at the nearby beach and at the local market, leaving us with no doubt that we were in “authentic” Africa.

Market

On Saturday, after a well-deserved sleep, we did another tour of the market, this time getting the chance to admire the wonderful fruits & vegetables and the hand-made clothes & accessories. After lunch, we departed by boat to Lukuba Island, a wonderful peaceful place in the Lake Victoria, the second biggest lake in the world. Lake Victoria borders Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, its surface is of 68 800 km2 (= more than two times the size of Belgium) and it is at an altitude of 1 133 m above sea level.

During the time spent on the island, we got the chance to bond as a team and to get fully recharged for the upcoming 2 weeks of training.

Group rock

As of tomorrow, we will start our teaching of the students and NGOs. Although we have been preparing this trip for months and we believe that we are ready, we are anxious to see what we can achieve. Therefore, please follow our blog in the coming days.
Don’t forget about our quizzes, you can find the second question at the following link: Quiz question # 2

Departure in 10 hrs

1:04: luggage finally done and all set for departure at 11:00. Among the 30kg checked-in luggage + 10kg hand luggage, about 6 to 10 kg consist of materials that we have collected especially for our hosting university: Deloitte pens, pencils, markers, flipcharts & training materials.

Looking forward to some team bonding during our three connecting flights till Musoma.

Click on the following link to join our quiz in order to support us and win some nice prizes: Quiz Tanzania project 2014

+ 3 (&3) more and we’re complete

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Sebi

As promised, time to meet my other 3 lovely colleagues. Nevertheless, before introducing them, you should also meet Benoit Vanderstichelen, Ivan Meganck and Claire Van Bergen who, despite not being on the posters that you have probably already spotted around Diegem, have been supporting us from the very beginning. In fact, without them this project would not exist. So, thank you for giving us this chance and for your continuous help during the preparation for this trip!!

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Once upon a time..

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..There were 6 colleagues who found out that they would get the chance to work together for the Tanzania volunteering project. It didn’t take them long to get to know each other and to become friends. Today, we would also like you to meet 3 of them (alphabetically chosen for fairness reasons). Tomorrow, we’ll introduce the other 3.

We’ll let you try to match the faces behind the intros.

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Tanzania Project 2014: 14 August – T-8 !!

Hip hip hooray, it’s almost time for departure to Tanzania!! Though the trip will only start on August 14th (with actual arrival on August 15th), the project and the preparations have been going on for quite some time now and should come to an end this week. For this year’s project, we will travel to Tanzania for two weeks to:

  • provide workshops to several NGOs seeking to maximise funding opportunities & to better promote themselves;
  • help teachers and university students to develop their IT skills through a series of business cases;
  • audit “Exponential Technologies” (a start-up created last year);
  • raising funds to buy solar panels for a recently built school.

We have almost finalized the materials for the students, the NGOs and the Anglican Church trainings. Our IT guys (Klaas and Maxime) spent one weekend getting the refurbished laptops nice and ready for being reused by the university. The laptops are also taking their private jet trip, waiting to arrive safely and comfortably to their future home in Tanzania.

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We hope that you tasted our delicious Tanzanian sandwiches in the cafeteria. We were also happy to see that you were enjoying our traditional BBQ today and we thank you for that.

Collage BBQ

Safari time!

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We could not spend more than two weeks in Tanzania without taking the time to visit one of their various park and reserves. When meeting Tanzanian people, the first minutes of the conversation were always the same: “How are you? Where are you from? Have you done a Safari?”

We therefore decided to go to the Selous Game Reserve, one of the closest reserves to Dar Es Salaam, to check whether the Tanzanian Safaris (we must confess, in a very short version) were up to their reputation…

After a short flight and an impressive landing, we are already sitting in a Safari Land Rover, on our way to our lodge, located within the reserve.
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Even after a tropical rain, the landscapes are really breathtaking!

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The first animal we met were Impalas which turned out as shy as they are graceful.

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After a long day spent looking for him, we finally met the king of the jungle! To be more precise, we met two queens of the jungle, taking care of their newborn.

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Lion or not, we were all very touched by the feeding time, three meters away from the car!

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We also did a short boat trip on a lake located in the middle of the reserve. This lake was crowded with crocodiles and hippos: swimming is not recommended…

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We saw a few giraffes during the day, but this one stared at us for at least five minutes!

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Second member of the “Big Five” club, the elephant. No matter how big it was, it was rather afraid of our presence in the area. Our guides stated that this is due to the increasing activity of poachers in the country, who do not hesitate to slaughter them to get hold of the ivory.

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Last member of the “Big Five”, the Buffalo, trying to smell us in the distance. Tanzanie - 189

Final step of our day of safari, a Masai village located at the border of the reserve. We had the opportunity to meet a real Masai woman, who explained the daily life of the tribe.

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Just a few zebras we met on our way back to the lodge…

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This day was really unforgettable and enabled us to discover another face of Tanzania. We realized how important this asset is to the country and why Tanzanian people are so proud of their landscapes and wildlife. Our students were perfectly aware of it: one of their projects consists in promoting local tourism among the youth of Tanzania!

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A weekend in Dar Es Salaam

Hello everyone,

As you know, we came to Dar Es Salaam to organise a business game with the students of the ICT4D foundation, to teach them about entrepreneurship and to support and encourage them to set up their own business and make their dreams come true.

The first week was very intense, the first day was all about assessing the level of the students and trying to figure out what they expected from the course and what they would be most interested in. Each evening, we were adapting our presentation material to make sure it corresponded as much as possible to the level and expectations of the students. We noticed that our students very much appreciated our efforts (they’ve even sent us emails thanking us for our hard work), which was really nice to hear and this gave us even more energy and enthusiasm to continue what we were doing.

Nevertheless, after a week of presentations and business game, we were, as you might understand, exhausted and happy to finally commence the (short) weekend!

We would also like to share this part with you and show you a glimpse of what we’ve done on Saturday and Sunday evening.

Saturday evening, we moved to another hotel, near the seaside, the cool seabreeze and magnificent seaview were a nice change from the warm and oppressive city center. We first had dinner at a restaurant nearby the hotel, as you can see we were very happy (especially Laurent :)):

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After dinner we had… drinks! Of course :)! We had a lot of catching up to do after a whole week of amazing and new experiences.

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On Sunday, we visited a local market where we experienced the Tanzanian way of doing business :). We were hardly able to take it all in in such a short time! Here are some impressions of what we saw:

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After that, we visited a crafting market where sculptures made of ebony wood were sold. It was quite the opposite of the loud and oppressive market we had previously visited. We bought some nice gifts and souvenirs for our friends and family (and for ourselves :)).

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After this nice, relaxing Sunday, we were ready to kick-off week two during which we will be focusing on the Worldloop project. While we are working on this project, our students have some time to finetune their business project and to get ready to present their project on Friday. We are very much looking forward to seeing the result of the business projects on Friday, to select the winner of the business game and to celebrate together with them!

See you soon for some more updates!

Cheers,
The team