Friday, 20 January 2017

Visas are back :-)

Received all the passports with lovely Tanzania visas inside today ... another step closer :-)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Update following Pre-flight meeting

I thought Lucy did a great job last night and hope you all feel more confident and prepared.

Some of the key points I thought I'd reiterate and build on here:
  • Luggage - you have 30kg of hold luggage (one bag) and 7kg of hand luggage (one bag). Please make sure that you have some key things in hand luggage in case your main bag is delayed i.e. malaria tablets, toothbrush and toothpaste, clothes to cover 24 hours ...
  • Remember that hand luggage can not contain any liquids in bottle of over 100ml size
  • Please make sure the luggage is large and has lots of space in it so that I can add netball kits, sports equipment etc into various bags!!
  • Anti-malarial tablets - we will be taking these at breakfast time so please ensure that you start taking them at this time before we leave.
  • Journey to and from Heathrow - students should all be in school for a normal periods 1 - 4 on Thursday 16th Feb; there will be a classroom put aside for luggage at the start of the day. After lunch we will gather together and prepare to leave by 2.30 if parents want to arrive to see us off. On our return we will update you on arrival time back at school but I imagine it will be sometime after mid-day. If you are unable to pick your child up when we return, that is fine as I am sure they will want to interact with their classmates over lunchtime and we can find somewhere for them to gather until the end of school. Please note: I expect all students to be back in school on Wednesday 1st March as normal.
  • Money - take US Dollars. I will hold all money and then distribute it to students as per your instructions. We will exchange for Tanzanian Shillings at the airport and there will be another opportunity later in the week at a bank in Dodoma. Please give me the money in an envelope clearly labelled with name and instructions.
  • Medication - if your son/daughter brings any medication such as paracetamol, other medicines apart from anti-malarials please given them to me in an envelope clearly labelled. With things like inhalers/preventers these must be fully labelled; with students under-16 please give these to me and please provide a spare for me to hold onto in case of emergencies.
  • Footwear - please ensure it is light and comfortable; please ensure they include 'jellies' or something else suitable for being on the beach and in the water.
  • Email/mobile phone - Tanzania is a developing country. They use mobile phones as a key feature of their communication including the use of Whats app, Instagram etc. I would suggest that students do not give their phone number to anyone from Tanzania, but that they set up a new email address that can be deleted if necessary.
  • Swahili lesson - please remember that on Tuesday 7th Feb at 3.15 there will be 45 minutes of an introduction to Swahili by Derek Cole. We will follow this with 30 minutes discussion about lesson planning. It is important that all volunteers attend this session.
I will work on the groupings for the trip based on what students have suggested but will have to make some changes to accommodate numbers.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Visa update

Visa applications sent off today by special delivery so hopefully we should have them back in three weeks so long as there are no issues (fingers crossed) ...

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Tanzania update - email sent home

Dear all,
another week closer to the trip ... I have now added some blogs to the Tanzania blog (accessed through the school website links tab) including a link to the trip advisor page about where we are staying in Zanzibar ... well worth a look ... we believe it is even better than the last one we went to.
On Tuesday (6pm start in the old hall) please bring details of your doctor (address and phone number) and of the last tetanus shot your son/daughter had so that we can complete all forms on the day ...
I am now just waiting for one passport before being able to send off for the visas, so hopefully they will go off tomorrow at the latest ...
I hope all the vaccinations etc are going well ... look forward to seeing you on Tuesday

Exciting - Hotel in Zanzibar

Check out this link to photos of the hotel in Zanzibar ....;geo=482884&detail=1238255&albumViewMode=images&albumid=101&cnt=30&offset=0&filter=2

Saturday, 7 January 2017

All recent info about the 2017 trip

Dear volunteers and parents,
There has clearly been a problem with emails from school to the volunteer group so we have set up the group again on the email system. For this reason I would ask for a response, by return to to confirm receipt of the email.
There are a number of pieces of information that I have given over the last two months or items that were up for discussion that you need to be aware of:
1.       There is an additional £90.00 cost to the trip to enable us to keep the Zanzibar experience. This is due to the loss of value of the pound (20% loss in value over the last year). This needs to be paid by 31st January.
2.       Visa applications – I need a visa form completed (attached), student passports, 2 passport photos and a letter of consent (draft version attached) by Tuesday 10th January as we need to get visa applications off to the High Commission.
3.       At 6pm on 17th January there is a pre-flight meeting with African Adventures in the Old Hall. It is important that all volunteers and parents attend this event.
4.       I have reactivated the Tanzania blog from 2015. This can be accessed via the school website links tab. You can access the 2015 blog and see what happened and view the photos. I will also copy all email communication to the blog from now on. Whilst we are away, I will update the blog daily (wifi permitting!) and would encourage you to interact with the blog.
Please remember to email my PA ( R Darby) to confirm that you have received this email so that I am sure everyone has all the relevant information.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Getting ready for BES Tanzania 2017 volunteer visit to Umonga secondary school

So once more a merry band of students and staff will be heading off to Tanzania to experience life in this wonderful country and hopefully help the students make progress with their learning ... we leave on February 16th and return on the 28th and I will be adding to this blog daily during the visit (wifi allowing!!) and periodically before then ...

Feeling excited!