Dan’s Blog – From Zanzibar to Kenya

Dan Mew
Hello again from Zanzibar – or more precisely, Zanzibar Airport.

I am moving up to Kenya after a great week with here with Uddginston Grammar School and the African Adventures team.

As the summer season draws in, daily temperatures soared to 35c this week and, with humidity at around 80%, the volunteers have shown great mental and physical determination whilst volunteering at their school. The team has focused on two core volunteer roles – supporting teachers in classrooms and multi-sports coaching – with tremendous success.

Uddingston playing games at Kijito Upele

Having generously donated 19 suitcases’ worth of gifts to the schools and children, the volunteers had an array of sports equipment to use. Gifts came in far and wide from friends and family back home in Scotland and it meant that the sports sessions they put on were met with great excitement.

The Standard Five students, aged between 11-12, were introduced to rugby, rounders and some traditional British school races/team games by the volunteers. The games were enjoyed so much that they mysteriously swelled from groups of 25 to around 50 within minutes!

Games at Kijito Upele with Uddingston

In the classroom, Alison led the team on geography lessons focused on the solar system whilst Sinead introduced Irish dancing to her very excited – albeit initially confused – class.

We spent Wednesday evening at Zanzibar’s famous Foradhani Gardens. The square lights up in the evening as tourists flock from all corners of the island to enjoy freshly-cooked seafood and freshly-squeezed sugar cane. Given how quick the week has flown by, it was great to chat to some of the students in smaller groups about the highlights of their trip. There have been so many ‘bucket list’ items ticked off this week that I was expecting to hear that their trip favourites included trying an array of seafood, relaxing on some of Zanzibar’s pristine beaches or swimming in the Indian Ocean. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that each of them highlighted their volunteering as the best part of their trip.

Pristine Zanzibar beach

From introducing new sports to teaching (very large classes!) for the first time, it is fantastic to know that the volunteering is their high point because they are unquestionably the skills that the students will take with them moving forward. It is also testament to the volunteers themselves, who have been a pleasure to work with and I am very much hoping – along with everybody Kijito Upele School – that this will not be the last we have seen of them!

Balloon game at Kijito Upele

Separately, I am also pleased to confirm that for those interested in coming to Zanzibar, we shall be launching some exciting new adventure activity options very shortly, so keep your eyes peeled on our media channels for details!

Next week, I will be reporting from Kenya where we are looking forward to welcoming a number of schools for our half term programme.

All the best,