Lessons from Campers

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at Noloholo. First the Scholars Bootcamp Retreat, then a week of Summer Camp interspersed with a couple of different visitors. I’ve only been to camp as a camper before, never as a counselor type person so that was a new experience for me. Mostly I hung back and took pictures. The kids were shy at first but by the end of the week, I could no longer carry my own bags – one of the campers was always ready to grab it for me! This week was full of surprising and memorable moments. Thursday we went out on a wildlife count and got completely hammered by tsetse flies. The kids hardly complained (astonishing in of itself) and one of them, Michael, pointed to the flies and then pretended to fall asleep, telling me the flies carry African sleeping sickness. It was so cute! He is a very serious kid – I never saw him smile until the last day as he said goodbye to me. Then Friday, we were for a hike up Ngahari Mountain which overlooks Tarangire National Park. The elders spotted some elephants in the park and I was having a difficult time seeing them. Grace William, an adorable seventh grader, came up to me and said “Uliona tembo?” (Did you see the elephants?”) I said no so she put her arm around my neck and directed the binoculars to the right spot – I was able to see them easily. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment – it was so unexpected and highlighted her sweet personality. It is these memories I will carry back to me to America, reminding me of the kids here and how little they have but how willing they are to share with you. It’s a very humbling experience.

2 thoughts on “Lessons from Campers

  1. Wow! Where are these kids from? I assume they’re from the city, and not tribal? How old are they? How long do they stay and what do they do there?

    1. They are from the village of Loibor Siret. Some are Maasai (Grace William is) and some are Swahili. They are all in primary school but age is exceptionally hard to judge here. They stay for a week and do all types of activities related to wildlife conservation. Check out African People & Wildlife Fund’s facebook page for a bunch of pics and details about the activities. I’ve been able to upload pics there!

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