Elephants, Service Learning & Safari Adventures With the Maasai
Sustainability skills and climate change: On this trip, students will see firsthand how the Maasai are adapting to climate change and diversifying their livelihoods. We will learn about the water issues in this area and how the Maasai manage their resources during a drought. While living in the village, we will become aware of the challenges facing many Maasai as they attempt to continue a pastoral way of life in an increasingly harsh and dry environment.
Service Learning: By working with others and fully engaging in a service learning project, students gain an understanding of the Maasai culture and language. And hearing the sounds of an unfamiliar language exposes us to another way of expression, opening up a new world. Cultural immersion is always a part of Gogi Abroad programs! We have found that this is the best way to feel fully connected to a place.
Safari Adventures: Tanzania welcomes Gogi Abroad students with safaris featuring beautiful zebras, giraffes, and lions! During a weekend excursion, students will experience the raw beauty of Tanzania as we embark on a safari adventure to the Ngorongoro Crater and live with a tribe at their boma. By continuing to go outward, we will then discover the waterfalls near Mount Kilimanjaro and observe practices of sustainable farming in the area.
What is included in the cost of the program?
This three week trip working with the Maasai and animals is $3,000. This trip includes all in-country travel, accommodations, and a variety of activities. As a group we will be staying together in the town of Longido at a homestay. Students will be sharing a room and bathroom. Three meals each day are provided by Nancy Francis, the owner of La-Mamaa Cafe. Her food is safe and delicious. A weekend of living at a boma (village) near the famous Ngorongoro Crater plus a weekend safari of exploring the 10-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater.
In-country travel: All group transportation expenses upon arriving in Tanzania are included in the cost of this program.
Food: While in Tanzania, students will be provided three square meals that consist of traditional Tanzanian fare including rice and beans, goat, chicken, tortillas, and fresh fruits and vegetables, whenever available.
Lodging: We will stay at a homestay as a group. Francis and his wife Glory own a restaurant in the village of Longido and a homestay that is attached to their home.
Tuition does not include:
Airfare (approx. $1,500 - $1,900)
Mandatory international travel insurance ($75 - $150)
Personal expenses and souvenirs (each student $300)
Entrance Tickets to the Crater ($100)
SERVICE LEARNING AND ACTIVITIES IN TANZANIA INCLUDE:
Language lessons: Language is the bridge for connecting to a culture, so each day Gogi Abroad students will have mini language lessons to learn how to communicate with our new friends from the village. The oral history of a tribe is handed down through generations, but just like the Maasai on the Tanzanian plains, oral tradition is becoming endangered. It is said that when a tribal leader dies so does a volume of history, so tribe members must pass down this knowledge to preserve it. With this in mind, our language study does not focus on academic language but rather on the spoken language. The daily classes learning Kimaasai and Kiswahili will provide a unique connection and help students engage more thoroughly with the people of Tanzania.
Beading at the women's cooperative: Gogi Abroad students will observe the ways different cultures create art that as a means of self-expression. As we work alongside Maasai women at a beading cooperative, students will soon realize that the experience reaches beyond the basic beading of an ankle bracelet. There is a sense of sisterhood, cooperation, and meditation that weaves into the experience as well as the art forms.
Learning sustainability skills: We will have the opportunity to observe sustainable models of managing essential resources such as water, food, and animals among tribes in Tanzania. Students learn firsthand about how the Maasai adapt to the climate change and how they are diversifying their livelihoods. During our stay with a Maasai tribe in Longido, we will have the option to eat roasted goat in a tent at their weekly cattle market – a culinary experience that will take many of us far out of our comfort zones.
Hand dyeing with Mama Ola: Clothing and adornment represent a sense of pride in tradition and cultural heritage. Despite growing Western influence, many people in Tanzania continue to dress in traditional styles of clothing. The cloth is often made of hand-dyed materials. Gogi Abroad students will learn how to tie-dye cloth with famous Mama Ola of Longido.
Traditional cooking: Culinary arts are an enriching part of the Gogi Abroad adventure. Students will get to know a lot about the local diet and learn to cook with a wide variety of ingredients. Meal preparation is a time for joyous connection with our new Tanzanian friends. We will learn to prepare all sorts of wonderful dishes and local specialties. Our time spent on the local culinary arts also provides an enriching opportunity to connect with people using our new language skills! Students will cook with Leyeyo’s foster grandmother and share their food with the children at school. Students will also learn basic cooking and tribal cooking techniques unique to this area of Tanzania. Through hands-on learning, students will explore the cultural uniqueness of food and learn about sustainability.
The Maasai are a shepherding people, and their animals are an incredibly rich part of their heritage as well as the cuisine. As such we will spend time learning about the goats, including how to prepare one for a meal. Most people never have the opportunity to get this close to their food or understand the sacred relationships that can exist between a tribe and its food.
Hiking to see waterfalls and visit sustainable coffee plantations: The Moshi area is full of coffee plantations, and when Gogi students go outward to hike the paths to the waterfalls, they will walk through both banana and coffee farms. Visiting a private coffee plantation is truly a coffee lover's dream because students get to experience the way Tanzanians roast and brew coffee from scratch over an open fire! It may just be the freshest cup of organic coffee you ever have!
Service learning at the MELOC School in Longido: Gogi students will work on a variety of initiatives at the MELOC school in Longido. Projects include helping to build the school and working with the children directly on variety of different subjects. The MELOC Academy is still in the building phase, but when complete will be an Integrated Special Education School with three tracks supporting mainstream students as well as those who are deaf, mentally impaired, and visually impaired. The main building of the school will be partitioned into five rooms large enough to accommodate 15-20 students per class. One classroom will be for deaf students, and the second classroom for those who are mentally impaired. The third classroom is intended for mainstream students and those who are blind. The fourth room initially will be used as a bookstore, and the fifth room will be a temporary administration office.