Kwaeri (Goodbye) Tanzania

Last thing to do today was picking the winner of our quiz. And the winner is Kristel De Beir. Still one more question to go so check out our quiz.

Our adventure is almost over, we should be thinking about rounding-up and say goodbye to all of you but most likely to all of the nice people we have met here in Tanzania. It is with mixed feelings we are leaving and going back home, on one side we are happy to go back to our families and friends (and our firm J ) but on the other side it looks like we haven’t been doing enough for the needy in this region. Time went so fast due to the well-filled agenda we kept. We hope, no, we are sure, that we have been able to help several people during our stay and that we can count on them to continue helping others by what they have learned from us.

Before we could start packing we still had some last points on our agenda to flag. For a matter of fact, Maxime and Cliff dug into the bookkeeping of our local representative for Close the Gap = Expotech (started up in 2013 by the previous Deloitte team). They went through all the books and checked the final result after one year. They created, in collaboration with John Theodry from Expotech, a new business plan for the coming year(s) and gave him some tips and tricks for his bookkeeping. Diana and Sébastien rounded up their last days of teaching while Klaas went to check some computer installations from previous years.

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And so we arrived at our ‘last evening dinner’ in Musoma, gathering with some of our local friends to enjoy one last meal before packing our bags and getting to the Mwanza airport tomorrow. But if you think we wouldn’t be doing anything on our very last day on Tanzanian soil, you are wrong! Still planned one last thing to do tomorrow. Visit the orphans at GRA as they get together every Saturday morning to spend some quality time together with the volunteers at GRA’s. We are looking forward in doing some craftwork, drawing, playing, … and who knows what else we will discover being with these kids.

We all would like to thank you for following our adventures, for your support, your comments on our blog and for participating in our quiz during these past weeks.

A special thanks to Benoît Vanderstichelen for helping us out in finding our way in Tanzania, for supporting us during the 6 months of preparation and during our stay here. We would also like to thank everybody within the firm who enabled us to participate in this one-in-a-lifetime-experience.

Diana, Cliff, Klaas, Maxime and Sébastien

(almost) The End! (we still have to manage some hours of flight before getting back to Belgium)

Serengeti Yhayo

Dear all, we are back from our trip and, finally, the internet at the hotel is back as well! Apologies for the long silence but being connected is not something to take for granted in Africa, especially while on Safari. Even if for some of us, it took some acclimation, in the end it actually felt nice to live offline and fully connected with nature for once.

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As a matter of fact, on Monday, 15 orphans from Global Resource Alliance (GRA) joined us for a 3 days Safari trip in Serengeti national park. At first, the language was a big barrier, the children were silent and shy and kept their distance. However, we quickly found a solution that did wonders for the little boys: a football game. While spending some more time together and looking at the large variety of animals we found a second way to communicate with them by singing songs.

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Some of us even learned a song in Swahili to reach out to them. As of that moment we could really start bonding together and had an unforgettable time with these joyful children. There is no doubt that we connected, being in an overcrowded bus (we are still amazed that it only broke down at the end of the trip, 2 meters away from our destination).

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We spent hours together, singing, playing and watching several Symba (Lions), Tembo (Elephants), Milla (Zebras), Twiga (Giraffes), Mamba (Crocodiles) and even 2 Chui (Leopards) and 1 Kifaru (Rhino). It was wonderful to see their little faces filled with excitement due to the experience of their first safari.

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At night, covered by dust, the lack of water in our ‘5 star hotel’ (NOT!) barely allowed us to perform the most rudimentary freshen-up, prior to slip under the mosquito net and fall asleep with the sounds of the Savannah in the background.

It has been a journey full of emotions and discoveries and we are quite sure that we provided an unforgettable experience to all of them. We hope they will cherish the memories as much as we do.

Let’s Celebrate!

Our new post is later than planned as internet has been down for 2 days. Luckily we borrowed an internet stick from GRA in order to update you on our latest activities and post new quiz questions. You can find the questions at: http://deloittebe-marketing.polldaddy.com/s/tanzania-2014-01.

 After having picked our first winner, Martin Coquery, we have also just found out who our second number one is: Laetitia Sacré. Thank you both for participating and supporting our project.

Friday was graduation time. Together with our students and NGO participants we celebrated the end of a successful week of teaching. All dressed up, we went together through the history and purpose of our project. This was followed by the topics that we had learned during the week. We also agreed that our participants would continue to share their knowledge with their colleagues upon our departure.  Finally, everybody was officially handed in with a graduation certificate and, on top of that, the NGOs received one laptop per organization. We all had a great time and we were invited to come over more often in order to improve our Swahili. 🙂

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Today we got the chance to experience the African rain. Ready to start our new classes at the usual time (9 am), we arrived at the venue and had to wait for the rain to stop in order to have electricity. Moreover, we were informed that we should wait till it stopped raining in order for our students to leave their homes and attend the course. We rapidly adapted and started working on the preparation of the laptops for the new courses.

After the first full week (Monday till Saturday) of teaching, we were looking forward to our ‘free’ Sunday and to enjoying a ‘grâce matinée’. You should all know that our days have been starting at 7.30 am with breakfast and most of the time didn’t end before 11.00 pm. Even though our classes stopped around 4.30 pm with a break of 1 hour at lunch, we always had some preparation to do and experience to share with each other. If you think that we had a lazy Sunday-afternoon, you are wrong, we had done some more Musoma-city-exploring in the morning and also visited Kinesi, where we checked out the permaculture site of GRA and met some of the orphans that they are taking care of.

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