Sunday, February 26, 2012

Final Projects

Our final projects are ready to post!  We showed some of them on our presentation night (February 16) but saved some to premiere on the blog.  Below you will find things in roughly the order in which we presented them at our public event with the new ones to follow.  We decided to lead with the revised version of our already-posted blog video about our day of water work at the primary school in Himo.  For the rest of the videos, we will start and end with a safari video.  Enjoy!

Himo from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Safari Experience from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Camp from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Workers from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Word Association from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Himo, TZ - Aqua Sun Filter Installation from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Water - Klachi from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Coffee from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Simon from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

School Video from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Safari from Shawny Anderson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Upcoming Event

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, in the Soda Center on the Saint Mary's campus for the public presentation of some of our multimedia projects from our course.  Each team will show at least one project.  (The others will be posted on this blog after our presentation night.)  We look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Some Excellent Pictures

We're getting requests for safari pictures, so we'll post a few, along with some others that are in a new display in Dante Hall on the SMC campus (come by and see it!).


These next shots are moments from our non-safari time in Tanzania.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Greetings from the Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia! We are waiting for our next flight, which we just learned stops in Rome before going on to Washington, D.C. Fun! (Of course, we just sit on the plane for an hour in Rome, but still . . .)

We had a lovely night and morning in our safari lodge, then made a few stops as we headed into the Kilimanjaro airport. We got to see our friend Kenja one more time before we left and then we had the crazy luggage scramble that always accompanies these trips. It all worked out in the end.

We should warn you of a couple of things: 1) we are totally out of the loop on all news and pop culture, whether important or not, 2) we have no clean socks, 3) we need to readjust to U.S.-style bathrooms, and 4) we got so we felt very at home in Tanzania so -- even though we missed all of you and look forward to seeing you -- we expect to be pining for our African home at least for awhile. Thanks for your patience as we regain our footing at home . . .

p.s. To the Southwestern third graders: Don't worry! We are safe and we were safe the whole time that the buffaloes were outside our tents at Ngorongoro Crater. We think that every time the subject of camping comes up for the rest of our lives, we will always tell the story of that night. The camp, by the way, is called "Simba Camp," which might sound familiar to you. If you didn't already know, the word "simba" means lion in Swahili. On more Lion King vocabulary, "pumba" means warthog and "rafiki" means friend. Now you know some Swahili language! Maybe you should visit Tanzania too some day. You won't regret it . . .

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jesse!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Today is Jesse’s birthday! We are very pleased to be able to spend such a special day with such an impressive person in such an awesome place. We started our day at various pre-dawn hours as different ones of us awoke upon hearing the buffaloes munching grass at the edges of our tents. Some of us could see silhouettes of the animals from the bathhouse light while others just had to imagine their size. No one familiar with the park was alarmed but we, as newcomers, were having trouble avoiding freaking out. It turns out the park vets were right.

Two things we missed in our camp were the presence of hyenas in the early morning hours (chased off by the camp dogs, as usual, apparently) and the visit of some local elephants who regularly walk through the camp in the night to pursue water. We didn’t see or hear either (though we heard the dogs).

We did, however, rise early enough to catch a fabulous sunrise over the rim of the crater. We were the chilliest that we have been all trip, bundled up in every warm thing we own, but it was worth it to see the sky burn orange and blue until the big ball rose over the hilltops just past our camp. A range of different birds flitted all over and around us, including some huge storks.

We started our early drive down into the crater where we encountered a whole range of animals that we didn’t imagine would co-exist side by side in one place. There were zebras and wildebeests, warthogs and gazelles, hippos and flamingos, elephants and buffaloes, medium-sized cats of a few exotic varieties and – perhaps most thrilling of all – a few adult lions. Everyone seemed to be in perfect sync with everyone else out in the crater, with the exception of a few sinister-looking hyenas who seemed to be out for a fight, but who never started one when we were looking. Things were extremely pastoral and serene, but also overwhelming in their perfect simple harmony.

Today’s glitch was that one of our safari cars refused to restart after being turned off at a crossroads, leaving us as a spectacle that other safari vehicles photographed as they passed. It took awhile for our drivers to realize that the problem was the timing belt so we had to pile a little deeper in the two remaining cars to finish our drive and make our way back to camp. Once we were there, the vehicles returned to tow the disabled one out of the crater while we brought down our tents and ate lunch. Despite the automotive problem, the whole experience was exhilarating.

Our afternoon involved a short but lovely walk to Elephant Caves and Waterfalls, two features of a small but beautiful nature preserve just outside Ngorongoro. The caves are actually remnants of a larger cave that collapsed in an El NiƱo year. They are called Elephant Caves because elephants migrate through the area and actually eat the dirt of the area as a means of gaining iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorous. Pregnant elephants are especially drawn to the area, apparently using the earth there as a form of pre-natal vitamin. The waterfall is a long drop that is not flowing heavily at the moment though it is clearly spectacular when in its prime. In any case, the hike is a fascinating look at an entirely different ecosystem than those we’ve enjoyed over the last few days.

We settled in after our hike to our one “fancy” night of accommodations at a safari lodge that has the feel of a small resort. They furnished dinner for us, including birthday dessert for Jesse complete with a couple of happy songs sung in Swahili. We’re taking it easy tonight to prepare for our long trip home.

Once home we need to hole up for a few days in a computer lab on campus to finish our multimedia work. We will try to backfill photos and videos at that time. Also, we will finish our final projects (three for each team), some of which will be screened publicly on the Saint Mary’s campus on the evening of Wednesday, February 8.

We will be traveling for the next couple of days so we will likely disappear from this space for a bit. Watch for an update once we return to California. Thanks!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Return to Tarangire and on to Manyara Lake

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More great experiences but still no electricity. Matt has bounced back and is normal again! Lily dropped into illness mode for a brief period as did Ciara, but both of them have bounced back too. Motion sickness from the bumpy rides might have figured into one or both of our last two bouts.

As for our safari, we are thrilled. Add a leopard, tons of baboons and other monkeys, a hyena and hippos to our list and then be prepared to see LOTS of pictures later.

Tonight we are perched on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater in a heavenly campsite whose only downside is a herd of roaming buffaloes. We hope they aren't interested in us and our air mattresses. We'll let you know tomorrow.

Gotta go.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tarangire Love

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Our safari is great but we are in a camp with no electricity so we don’t want to use too much power to post. Got away in plenty of time to make our safari. One glitch: Matt is now our newest patient. He seems to be turning the corner on the sickness thing but it is terribly unpleasant to spend a safari with a bucket in your lap. Hopefully he will be back to normal tomorrow.

Tarangire is awe-inspiring. We saw zebras before we even entered the gate, monkeys in the parking lot, then giraffes, elephants, lions, warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, dikdiks and beautiful birds. We even saw a mongoose. A MONGOOSE!!!

We got hot and dusty but we were oohing and ahhing so madly that we barely noticed. Loving the safari. Loving it. Gotta go.