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Published: August 23rd 2018
Today we packed up and headed towards Ngorongoro Crater. We head there tomorrow but will stay at Karatu in the foothills of the crater.
We drive out of the Tarengire National Park and I give Masha (our driver) the task of finding Lions. We see the usual suspects, giraffe, Impala then we spot lots of vultures sitting on dead trees about 6ft off the ground. Taking pics when Masha says lion. Sure enough, over the river he has spotted a female lion. I pick it up in the lens of the camera and then another one appears. Paydirt, almost. Being such a long way away, we give him 7 out of ten.
We drive on and there are more. Appears they are hunting in the area. These ones are closer and easier to see. OK, mission achieved. Out of the park, then we are going to visit a local school that APT have been supporting with donations and buildings.
Before the school, we stop at a Tanzenite jewellery place which also has every imaginable souvenir known to African man. Way too commercialised and prices are over the top. On we go.
We then stop at a stationery store just before we go to the school. Moses (our tour director) buys a heap of pads, exercise books, pencil sharpeners and erasers which he will give to the teachers to give to some of the kids whose parents can’t afford to buy these things.
We arrive at the school and are greeted by the headmaster and one of the teachers. Kids are hanging out of the windows, most with no or broken glass waving to us. We wander around and talk about the conditions and what APT has done so far. The soccer field has a distinct slant to one goal end, about a 1 in 3 slope. Kids are there playing soccer and being kids, even in the dusty playground.
We are then invited into a class room. This school has around 450 students and 13 teachers. The room we visit has about 30 to 40 kids. At least 5 or 6 around a thin desk (both sides). They greet us and are all smiles. One of our crew has a long wispy beard. They are intrigued by that. They then sing a song for us. Chris wants to join in......
Eventually they ask if they can ask us some questions. What job do you do? How do tell kids you don’t work. Get around that by saying what we used to do. Then a few more questions and finally we are reminded that they should be at lunch. Let them out, high fives, handshakes, what is your name. Happy kids who seem to be getting a good education.
One of the women is in tears and asks if she can donate some money so kids with tatty uniforms can get new ones. Gives a bundle of cash to the headmaster. Finally tear ourselves away. Kids waving and cheering as we leave. Very heart warming to see they are happy, even if some of the conditions they are taught under are a bit rough.
We arrive at our accomodation for the next 2 nights - Acacia Farm Lodge. An oasis just back from the main road with huge areas of bright green grass. They also have coffee plants and other stuff. We have lunch around the pool. Very nice, then the afternoon is ours. Moses arranges a walking tour of the property for whoever is interested. We meet our guide and he gives us a stick, just like the Maasai so we can walk properly. Tells us about how the coffee plant is grown, harvested etc. also takes us to their veggie garden. Huge area growing everything they need for their restaurant organically.
See their fruit area, bananas, avocado, papaya, Mango, citrus and others. A few other interesting plants then back to our rooms. We meet on the grass area with a huge fire for drinks then into the restaurant for dinner. Sit down when a guy comes over to one of the crew and asks if has a Nikon charger - has seen his camera bag. No he doesn’t but I do. Turns out his son forgot to bring his charger and his battery is very low. I ask to see his battery, same as mine so I say I will go and get the charger so he can charge while we have dinner.
Quickly back to the room. Get charger and converters and back. Sure enough, battery is charging. The main man was about 6ft 6ins and his son not s lot shorter. They thank me profusely, the son in prayer fashion and handshakes. I am happy just to help them out. After eating I go and have a chat. Turns out they are German, but the father and son have perfect English. A family of 6 who are really a nice group. Chat for a while, then the father asks if I can work a way to charge both of their batteries tomorrow so they can obviously finish their holiday with a camera that works. No problems, will work that out tomorrow.
Off to bed feeling good that I have been able to help out easily.
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