We have been very privileged and honored to have hosted 2 school trips over the last couple of weeks. The first was a group of 6 students from the Merenga school and the second was 6 lovely, young girls from the Hope for Girls and Women Center in Mugumu.
Nomad, and in particular the Nomad Trust, is currently working with both of these lovely organizations to better understand how to help. The Hope for Girls and Women Center is one of our newest partnerships, as the project was only started a year ago, and it helps protect young girls who are fleeing female genital mutilation; something that is illegal in Tanzania, but very hard to inforce.
The aim of the trips was to show the youth of Tanzania, particularly those who live in close proximity to a National Park, the benefits of tourism and long term conservation. None of the students that visited us had any family members who worked in tourism, and none had ever stepped into a National Park, so to have them all here and show them what is involved with running a lodge was absolutely amazing.
(both groups started with a talk about the overview of the lodge and day to day operations)
(It was amazing to see how interested these groups were about everything, their eyes were flying all over the lodge as there was so many new experiences)
After the briefing, we took both groups to one of the rooms where one of the housekeepers spoke about what it was like working in a lodge, and what the job entailed.
(On the way there, we were lucky enough too see a Klippspringer)
(They loved the rooms, especially the two-way coffee cupboards built into the wall… that’s my favorite part too!)
It is amazing how much a trip like this can change someone’s life and open their world and eyes to something new. Last year, this little girl was lucky enough to visit Denmark through the Hope for girls and women center and you can already see she is viewing the world from a different angle.
We then went to the kitchen, where all of the students got to speak to our chefs and find out about cooking.
(A quick lesson in how to identify a Hyena footprint)
After the tour of the lodge, one of our young trainees, Vicky, spoke to the girls about a life in tourism and her personal experiences in the field.
(Maybe a future Nomad Guide?)
It would personally like to thank all of the teachers and the students for being so amazing. I truly believe that these students’ lives will never be the same after these trips. It only takes one small moment, one thought, one experience to change someone’s life forever and set them on a course they had never previously imagined embarking on.
One of our cooks at Lamai started his career in a similar way. Emanuel lives in Katavi, and when he was a young boy, he got the chance to meet Roland Purcell and visit Greystoke in the Mahale Mountains. From that day, he knew what he wanted to do in life, and today, he is an amazing member of our team at Lamai Serengeti.