NJORO VILLAGE, TANZANIA
Information: The group will fly from Houston to Arusha, Tanzania, clear customs and immigration, meet your Rustic Pathways leaders and transfer to your cozy guesthouse, located a short drive outside the village you will be partnering in for the next two weeks. Once settled in, we will participate in an orientation to learn more about the community, culture, and service opportunities.
You will hit the ground running with an introduction to Tanzania, the local culture, and customs, as well as the faculty and school with which you will be partnering. Outside of the school day, and depending on Rustic Pathways’ progress around other ongoing initiatives in the community, you may find yourself spending time contributing to infrastructure improvement, school beautification, or residential improvement projects with households around the school as we spread out our impact to the village as a whole. Most of the time, community members join in with us for the projects, since they’re community-initiated and overseen by local engineers, construction teams, and community leaders.
In the afternoons, you will participate in a variety of culturally immersive experiences. You may spend time playing soccer with the primary school students, learning to make local dishes, milking cows, hiking to a nearby waterfall, and learning a traditional clay pottery technique from a village mama. Follow the village social rhythm with a trip to the bi-weekly markets where you can buy the local kitenge material to have clothes custom-made by a tailor, and if the timing fits, show respect to the community by attending a Sunday morning church session. Your goal is to fill your days fully and feel the fabric of Tanzanian daily living!
Please be aware of the openness and flexibility to the schedule; things in Tanzania run at a different pace and with a different idea of organization and efficiency than we are used to in the US. Some of the best experiences are in simply spending time with the people you serve.
Boarding and Lodging: Students from Strake Jesuit will stay in local guesthouses near to Njoro Village for the entirety of the program. All meals will be provided by a ‘local chef’ in the community and/or with families in the community. Drinking water will be provided for the entirety of the program.
Excursion Information: Taking a break from service four days into the trip, students from Strake Jesuit will head off for the adventure-of-a-lifetime on a safari in Tarangire National Park, an oft-overlooked gem in Tanzania’s famed Northern Circuit, full of giraffes, buffaloes, and other beautiful animals and plant life.
The evening prior to departure back to Houston, students from Strake will pack up an overnight bag and head out for a day of cultural education with the Maasai community of northern Tanzania. The legendary Maasai tribesmen will be your camp guardians and guides for the day as you experience their culture and learn about their way of life. Split into smaller groups and go with your guides on an extended educational walk, where they will teach you how they track animals, identify plants, and use the environment around them for medicine, shelter, and food. Afterward, visit the Maasai’s traditional home, called a boma, and experience a number of their traditional dances.
Trip Costs: $1995 + airfare. The cost includes all travel expenses, all food and lodging, and program fees. Students are not required to bring additional spending money, but it is suggested for personal items/souvenirs that may be purchased in country. Please note, visa and passport fees are not included in the listed price.
Dates: July 16 - 28, +/- a day or so