Monday, July 21, 2014


We're back at West Kili Lodge for dinner before heading to the airport. We'll see you soon, and in the meantime, here's a shot from our safari!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Back From Homestays!

Students' Buddies

Hi Parents and Friends,

I know Ross and Erin have communicated some of our internet difficulties. We've had overcast skies, which affects the solar panels that run the router, and then the router stopped working. The great news is that the inability to blog has been the only issue we've faced: this has been an amazing program, and everyone is perfectly healthy and as happy and excited as on Day 1! I'm grateful Ross was able to post some photos we texted him last night. Today students are at homestays, so I'm taking advantage of a local hotel's wi-fi.

Berkeley Carroll students wanted to introduce their counterparts from Banjika Secondary School to you. Some conducted brief interviews, while others worked with their buddies on short compositions. Although English is the language of instruction beginning in secondary school, students do not begin learning it until they reach the secondary level, at Form I (7th grade). Therefore, some buddies are more proficient than others.

Danny: Ebenezer

 What is your favorite sport?  Football.
What is your favorite music? Bongo Flava rock.
Do you have brothers and sisters? Yes; my brothers are Elifurha, Edwin and Innocent, and my sister is named Dicla.
What profession do you aspire to? Doctor or tour guide.
What is your favorite food? Ugali.
Who is your favorite actor? Jean-Claude Van Damme
What is your favorite subject in school? History.

Eugene: January

I am January Visenti Dohho. I am 17 years old. I am a Form III [9th grade] student. I like history, English, Kiswahili, and my favorite activity is watching movies. I also like to read different books. I also like to meet with new people like my friend from the U.S.A. and one day I want to visit the USA, if it can be even one day.

Jules: Saraphina

My name is Saraphina Enock and I come from Karatu. I like cooking and I love very much my mummy.

Josh: Yona

What is your name? Yona Slaa
Do you have any siblings? I have three brothers and one sister.
What do you like doing? I enjoy playing soccer with my friends.
What kind of music do you like? I like Hip Hop and Bango Llava.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a doctor or an engineer.
What classes do you take in school? I am studying mathematics, physics, chemistry, English, history and Swahili. And I like working on the computer.

Jackson: Deo

Q: Jambo! What is your name?
A: Hello, my name is Deo.
Q: Where do you live?
A: I live in Kambiyanyoka, Karatu, Tanzania.
Q: How many siblings do you have?
A: I have five sisters and three brothers.
Q: What classes do you take?
A: I am studying biology, mathematics, physics, history and English.
Q: What do you want to do for a living?
A: I want to be a doctor.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I like to play football, and I love the piano as well.

Camille: Mwanaisha (R) and Upendo (L)

My name is Mwanaisha Yasini. I’m sixteen years old. I’m a Form II student at Banjika Secondary School. I would like to explain my hobby. First, I want to study hard and I want to help other people who do not have ideas like to go to school, and second I want to help my parents. My aim is to pass my exam. I would like to be a doctor and my favorite food is rice, pasta and chips, and my favorite subject is biology, chemistry and geography. I would like to say again welcome to Banjika Secondary School. Don’t forget to greet your family and your friends!

My name is Upendo Tiaga. I’m 16 years old. I like to study hard. I want to be a doctor. I prefer to read, and my best subject is biology, chemistry and geography. My favorite colors are blue and pink. My favorite food is rice. My favorite drink is mango. My favorite games are netball, football and volleyball. I would like to help orphans and street children. I would like to welcome you again to Tanzania and Banjika Secondary School.

Myles: Robert

Editor's note: Myles and Robert were having too much fun and didn't quite get to the interview. 

Meret: Sarah (L) & Neema (R)

Sarah Leonard:  I’m 15 years old and live in Karatu. My favorite animal is a lion. I like to play soccer. When I finish school I want to be a doctor. I have my friend, her name is Upendo. I have 1 brother and 5 sisters.

Neema Thomas: I’m 14 years old and live in Karatu. My favorite animal is a dog. I like to play net ball. When I grow up I want to be a teacher. I have a friend name Maria. I have 1 brother and 2 sisters.

Kathryn: Oliva

My name is Oliva and I am 15 years old. I am Form II at Banjika. I like to read and play football. My best subject is chemistry. In chemistry I learn about periodic classification. I live in Arusha region. I like to eat rice and beans, and I dislike to play netball. My best color is orange, and my best friend is Kathryn.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Photos and update!

Hi! Internet is spotty at school. It's strong sometimes, then will disappear. Brandon has been trying to post but can't get a great connex.  Here are some pics in the meantime! All is going great! The kids made about 1000 bricks during the project. They also worked together to get the banjika students email addresses and have been having great discussions. All are on homestay now after having an amazing, FULL day with the Hadzaba people and a celebration at banjika.

Bad internet connection

Hello family and friends of the BCS program in Tanzania. On behalf of the group, we would like to apologize for the lack of blog entries. The Internet connection has been awful. Brandon will be heading into town to post tomorrow. But everyone is happy and healthy. Please call the office with any questions - 303-679-3412. Thank you for your support of this program. 

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations 

Monday, July 14, 2014

First Days at Banjika, by Jules and Kathryn

On Saturday, the group left our comfy beds at the West Kili Lodge, just outside of Moshi, and embarked on our journey to Karatu, where we will spend the next few days bonding with our Tanzanian buddies and joining them in the community project. The bus ride was long and hot, but we didn’t care as we sat with our noses pressed against the windows. As we drove through Arusha (a large city that slightly resembles a more narrow New York), we saw every kind of person you could imagine, and as soon as we left the city we were in rural Tanzania, passing mountains and Maasai (a commonly seen tribe here, often wearing bright red blankets and tons of beautiful beaded jewelry) towns. We stopped for lunch in the small town Mto Wa Mbu, where we were offered a delicious buffet lunch of beef stew, okra, and Tangawizi (a ginger soda, similar in taste to Jamaican Ginger Beer if you’ve had it) as chickens hopped around our feet.
When we finally made it to our destination, the Banjika School, our buddies were outside waiting for us with wide smiles and open arms. In Tanzania, when you hug someone you hug them twice, to your left first and then your right, and our buddies were hugging and hand holding right away. My buddy’s name is Saraphina,  she is 16, and she loves to sing and dance so we get along very well. While we were visiting the school, Camille, Katherine, and I got to visit a music class at the school where we tried to sing and dance to Swahili Gospel.  We’ve also heard Tanzanian pop music playing loudly in restaurants and passing cars. To me it sounds like reggae, only much happier.
 Camille and I have been talking about how beautiful the women and girls here are, and how they wear no make up and most have their heads shaved.  At home, if a woman were to do that, it would be almost the opposite of our beauty standard, and I believe the way women here aren’t constantly doing their hair or curling their eyelashes is very progressive. Most of the many conversations Camille and I have had have revolved around women’s roles and rights in Tanzania’s society. Things here obviously are much different than things in America, and it’s hard to listen to how things work around here and not put your two cents in. However, you have to keep in mind that there are ways to share your opinions without disrespecting the culture. I haven’t figured out how to yet, but I know there’s a way. And even if I don’t get my two cents in, the world is changing for the better, and I can really see it here. In New York, change is difficult to see because we aren’t as far from it as other places are. But here, you can see that people are inspired to improve their world and the lives of others in the way they talk about the future. There is such a strong sense of community here, and I think New Yorkers could really learn from it.
I am so blessed to be here and be a part of this learning experience. Thank you Dad and Papa and I miss you.


            Yesterday, July 13th, my tent mate (Camille) and I woke up bright and early to take warm showers before the other students woke up. We were both exuberant for the day to come, as we were visiting the community church’s service after breakfast. The majority of us are not all that religious; therefore church was a bit of a foreign concept by itself. We walked into a large wooden structure covered in tarps to keep rain and sun from coming in too much. All of us joined on the benched next to the locals, and silently listened to the unfamiliar sounds of Swahili. After the choir sang three songs, led by the beautiful voice of a beautiful woman, we were invited to the front of the room. We teenagers were concerned, as we were not prepared to talk in front a room filled with complete strangers who would not understand a word we spoke. As we introduced ourselves down the line, the first few people said “Jina laku nani  _______________” until the person after me said “Jina langu _______________” and  we realized we were saying “What is your name ______________” instead of “My name is ______________.”!!! I was pretty embarrassed to say the least, but realized that this warm community had already accepted us into their church and appreciated our effort to use their language.
After the amazing experience of visiting the community church, we all walked back to the Doffa Campsite, and awaited our delicious lunch there. The teachers split off to leave us for down time, and the group hung out as we always do. I love the time I spend with this group, as we all get along incredibly well, and I can honestly say that I have never laughed so much as I have during these past five days. We care for each other so much and we all want to have a great time during our first time in Africa. Everyone has had such a great sense of humor and appreciation so far, which makes the experience even grander.
After lunch, the group hopped on the bus to meet the buddies we had met the day before for a scavenger hunt in the local market. My buddy, Olivia, walked on with her exuberant presence, and smiling face. As we drove to the market, Olivia and I stared out the window, with my amazement of the beauty of this country. Olivia had told me of her love of singing, and when I thought I had heard her humming a tune familiar to my ears, we both started singing “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.” We were paired up with Eugene and his buddy to find certain fruits and vegetables, along with a couple other items, and buy them with a phone we were given (this is by far one of the most different concepts I’ve heard of). Once we found the first item, Eugene’s buddy and Olivia could not get the phone to pay the vendor, until we only had 3 minutes left. Frustrated, we boarded the bus again, and sat there in silence, when Olivia asked, “Excuse me, Kathryn, are you happy?” I smiled and told her I was, and she said “me too.” Olivia is such a kind girl, with somewhat limited English, but I have had some great conversations with her over these past few days I’ve gotten to know her. There is something about her presence, which makes me feel like Tanzania is even more beautiful than it already is. She makes me want to know everything about everyone I see walking on the red dusty ground around Tanzania.
After we got back and ate dinner, we had the pleasure of watching the World Cup final match at a restaurant down the road. Let’s just say that the majority of us were greatly disappointed by the outcome.
I’m not looking forward to coming back to Manhattan in nine days, but I’m really trying not to think about that part of the trip. I’m enjoying Tanzania so incredibly much already, and I could not be happier to be here. My mind is blown by the beautiful country and faces. Family, don’t worry, I’m happily thinking about you… maybe not as much as I should though J,

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Microlending and Kilimanjaro

After a long and tiring travel process, we arrived at Kilimanjaro airport at around 1:30 in the morning. After we had obtained our visas we were greeted by our country coordinator, Tim, and our instructor from World Leadership School, Susan. Within seconds we were playing team building games outside of the airport in the middle of the night.   We then took a bus to Kilimanjaro Lodge, which is where we would be staying the first few days. 
            At 11 A.M. we were greeted by a great brunch, courtesy of the chefs and staff at the lodge.  Shortly after we did some group building exercises with Tim and Susan, that would help us prepare for the events in the following hours. After our mellow drive through the beautiful scenery in Tanzania, we arrived at a small village, where we met Miriam, or Mama Erik. She was perfect example of an independent leader. She spoke to us about how she created a micro lending organization within her community. Essentially, she created a little bank in which women from within the village could make small deposits of their money. Because there was no easy access to a bank nearby, villagers weren’t used to saving money for their own personal lives, spending most of their money on necessities like food, water, and clothing. But with this new system Miriam provided, all of the savings from the women together made it possible to make loans to purchase a far more expensive item than any one woman could have ever gotten otherwise, like a sewing machine, or a bicycle, which could be used to make more income. Over the course of a decade Miriam completely changed the way this little village operated for the better.

            The next day we packed our day bags, gathered on the bus and traveled to Mt. Kilimanjaro.   Before we began to travel up the mountain we stopped at the travel head where we played games and registered ourselves for the hike.  After a brief drive further up the mountain we arrived at a spot where we would then travel on foot up the mountain.  It was a dry and rugged terrain; many of the plants were cactus like.  We hiked all the way up to the Simba River, which was 9000 feet above sea level, and had lunch. As we were eating a cloud passed over us and we surrounded by mist.  It was a very peaceful and calming experience.  Lunch ended and we cleaned up our mess and then began our descent back to our starting point and back to the lodge.
- Jackson & Eugene

Note from Mr. Clarke:  I’m sorry about the slow start to the blog; we’ve been unable to get an adequate internet signal. Now that we’re at Banjika, we’ll work to get posts up regularly. Thanks for your patience. Everyone is healthy and having a terrific time! Tomorrow Jules and Kat will post about meeting their counterparts at the school. 

Friday, July 11, 2014


Habari asubuhi! We're enjoying breakfast at the lodge before we load up and head to Karatu. Students will blog in camp later today. 

First few days in Tanzania

Hello family and friends of BCS! The students have had a fun-filled first few days in Tanzania. They did a great day-hike near the base of Kilimanjaro and are very excited to start blogging tomorrow. The group will start updating the blog tomorrow. Thanks for your patience!

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Students have arrived!

Hello family and friends of the Berkeley Carroll School program in Tanzania. The students have safely arrived into Kilimanjaro airport. The group will transfer to Moshi for a good nights rest. They will start updating the blog tomorrow. Please call the office with any questions - 303-679-3412

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tanzania Bound!

Here we go! For the next two weeks, nine students and three faculty from Berkeley Carroll will be in northern Tanzania. We will spend most of our time working with students at Banjika Secondary School, near the small city of Karatu, on the edge of the Serengeti. Students will be posting here regularly. What I hope you'll see is that this is not a typical "service program." Rather, it is a true collaboration, with BC students exchanging ideas about leadership and learning from their Tanzanian peers about local responses to global challenges. It's a model that's very "Berkeley Carroll," in that it helps foster the kind of critical, ethical and global thinking we value. We're excited to share our experiences with you!