Become Immersed in a Wild African Safari
GLA student Maddie from the June 14th session is seen here with a python that was one component of a traditional dancing performance by the Kill Wizard dance troupe. Troupe is comprised primarily of street children and orphans.
Students from the June 23rd program rode in all-terrain vehicles through a raw landscape, traversing over bodies of water and unpaved land as they worked to spot wild, native animals.
During an incredible weekend excursion, these GLA adventurers made their way over to Tarangire National Park, a 2-hour drive from the Arusha base camp.
“It’s one thing to see zebras in books and National Geographic films, but it’s completely different when you see the animals so close. It was so real and each moment was more breathtaking than the next! There were also more than twenty different species of unique colorful birds that rested on the branches of these gigantic hollow trees! Then we saw tons of wildebeests trotting in huge numbers across the spacious plains!”
– Ariana Finkelstein
The students appreciate the opportunity to get so close to animals in their native habitat – a real asset in wilderness education and awareness that is impossible to duplicate at a zoo.
“At the beginning, we saw mostly zebras and wildebeests, but then we saw a few elephants! They were humongous, and moved much faster than we thought they would move given their heavy weight! We also saw a little baby elephant with its mama and baba (Swahili for mother and father)!”
– Ariana Finkelstein
True Tanzanian immersion isn’t possible for many high school students in the U.S. – but more importantly – it isn’t an opportunity taken advantage of by the many people who can. Summer days are plentiful. True summer adventures aren’t. For the students who had the chance to dance with the Maasai people, perform critical service work in a developing country, and see a pack of wildebeests sprinting through the tall grass, the stories they tell from this summer won’t be of just pool parties and sleeping in till 1pm every day. The stories will be of things dreamed about but rarely experienced, except for these students, it won’t have been a dream at all.