Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Final Videos

Throughout our time in Tanzania, teams were planning and preparing three final videos each.  One needed to address the theme of "Global Perspectives," one needed to address "Community Engagement," and one could be a topic of the team's choosing.  Here are the five videos we showed on our presentation night in the order in which we showed them.  We'll add the other seven after we've had a chance to watch them together.

A Glimpse at our Camp.  We lived and worked in Mweka at an eco camp.  We had to make it our home, including adjusting to sleeping in tents and using bathrooms different than those we usually use . . .

Another view of camp and our group.  One team made a lip dub music video to show a bit of our camp life and our overall personality as a group.

Mama Grace.  One of our main projects was building a new kitchen at a primary school in Mweka.  Mama Grace is the cook who will use that kitchen.  Here's a peek at her life.

Safari.  When we left Mweka, we did a three day safari in Tarangire, Lake Manyara, and Ngorongoro Crater Parks.  One of our guides helped us understand the economics of safari.

Climate Change.  Mt. Kilimanjaro faces huge challenges in the coming years.  We got a few insights into what is happening there.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Presentation Night!

Join us live in GALILEO HALL, Room 201, if you are on the SMC campus.

Join us live on Facebook if you are not in Moraga:


Final videos will be posted soon . . .

Monday, January 29, 2018

Safari Survival!

Warning: The video below contains some adult language as we react to a lion attempting to pounce on a family of warthogs.  Listen at your own risk.  (Spoiler: the warthogs escape.)

It's Monday evening in Tanzania and we have arrived at a beautiful safari lodge called Kudu Lodge in  Karatu.  It is a stunning departure from our recent accommodations.  We have had a successful safari, starting in Tarangire Park, then on to Lake Manyara, and finally to Ngorongoro Crater.  We can't believe what we have experienced.

We will try to post a few pictures but will promise that there will be a final video that highlights the safari.  Over the course of the days, we have seen hundreds of species both beautiful and exotic, including something like 13 lions, four of whom went on a hunt right while we were watching (but don't worry; the warthog escaped!).  We also had the rare experience of seeing FIVE black rhinos, including two babies.  We have seen thousands of buffalos, zebras, giraffes, antelopes of various kinds, monkeys, and baboons.

We camped the first two nights, first with monkeys and warthogs outside our tents, and second with buffaloes literally sniffing at our tent walls and munching the grass surrounding us.  One of our tents had its ropes chewed off by a buffalo (with a HUGE silhouette!) but no one suffered any other problems.  We caught the sunrise at the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater this morning, then raced down in to the crater to catch the sunrise again once it hit the bowl.  It was awesome.  Truly.

We'll have more to tell (and maybe show) soon, but we have one more excursion: a morning hike to the Elephant Caves near our lodge.  After that we will drive most of the rest of the day to get back to the airport and board our plane.  We'll try to post a few pics and videos before we leave here, but if we don't, it might be awhile before we get back to it.  Thanks for your patience as we've gone dark these last few days!

This will be a classic moment for years to come.  A lion parked itself right in the shade of our safari vehicle and suddenly we heard Colleen say "My phone is outside."  It had gotten bumped by someone else and suddenly we had a problem.  We waited quite awhile, then finally moved the car to get the lion to move.  Once it was safely out of range, a different safari driver got out and got the phone.  Memories.

 This video shows that there were actually two lions right where the phone landed.

Here's part of our hike today to Elephant Cave Falls.  The mud of the caves has nutrients that the elephants dig out with their tusks; when they eat the mud, their digestion is improved.  The nutrients are especially useful to pregnant females, especially because the gestation period is almost two years long for an elephant infant (21 months or 22 months?).

 The greenery in the Tarangire during the dry season was truly remarkable.

 In the early morning game drive in the Tarangire, the skulls of Cape Buffalo and other animals were seen scattered along the landscape.

 At Lake Manyara, a Baboon was occupied cleaning himself in the hot, afternoon sun.

 The strength, grace, and beauty of African Elephants is always breathtaking.

  In the Tarangire, Giraffe companions are continually searching for food.

Team Bila Kikomo (aka Team Limitless) were extremely excited to see the Ngorongoro Crater for the first time. 

 First morning on the safari and we were lucky enough to see elephants close to us.

 The lake near our campsite looked calm amongst the trees and bushes.

 On our way to our second safari expedition, we saw many Maasai children who wore all black with white decorations on their face. These children are becoming warriors and wear this traditional attire for 3-12 months

 Early on one of our safari expeditions we saw a lion’s paw print on the road.

 A giraffe galloping in front of the safari car.

 A beautiful bird enjoying a morning dip out in the national park. Jesse had great excitement looking at all the birds and knowing their name.

 A baby baboon monkey being comforted by its mother. These baboons were very close to the parking lot of the national park and would frequently jump on the jeeps and trucks.

 Colleen enjoying the jeep and the safari. Her favorite animal that she saw was the elephant.

 Overlooking the crater near our campsite. It was such a beautiful view.

A herd of zebras walking in a perfect line.

 Although a single photo will never capture the immensity of the Ngorongoro Crater, its depth and steep incline can be seen.

 A young Zebra sprang up for a photo right after rolling around in the dirt.

 All in all, the DIRTies saw around 10 male and female lions—more importantly, they were only an arm’s distance away!

 Sunrise over Simba Camp—simply beautiful.

The Hyena, one of several predators in the Crater, could be seen wandering between the large herds of Prey.

    On the flight from Moshi to Amsterdam, Megan, Max, and Colleen shared a special moment with sleeping Maddie. The flights are very long so the DIRTies find ways to stay preoccupied and have fun.

 This pile of bags was just the small start to the mad rush to check all the bags in at Kilimanjaro Airport and make all of them fifty pounds or less.

    Aidan and Matt acting brave and strong as they stand in Elephant droppings.

     The Elephant Caves serve as a home to Elephants, because they eat the minerals in the caves which helps them to digest their food more effectively.

    On the hike to the Elephant Caves, the view displayed the rolling hills and fertile agriculture.