Saturday, May 31, 2008

Final Reflections

Reflecting on such an amazing trip in one short paragraph is a difficult task. I have been overwhelmed in the past 3 weeks by our experiences, the people we have met, and the indescribable sights we have seen. Coming back to Springlands and receiving the warm welcome we received reminded me of one of my favorite aspects of this trip and that is the joy of the people here. The hotel staffs, the speakers we heave heard and the politicians we have met have all treated us with such kindness, hospitality and respect. On this trip, I have had the privilege of being immersed in a culture different, but equally as beautiful as my own learning from their leaders, and also learning from each one of the people in our group. I have also been overwhelmed by more beautiful nature that I could hope to see in a lifetime. Between the people I have met, our nature hike, Zanzibar, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and beautiful sunsets in all of these places, I have felt as though day after day I have been drowning in the presence of a God far bigger, more powerful and more loving than I could ever imagine.

There are no words that can accurately describe the emotions and passion I have regarding the incredible journey we experience over the last month. I signed up for this study abroad trip for the chance to travel to Africa for it was a place I never thought I would be able to travel to on my own. In all honestly, I was hoping for a once in a lifetime vacation, an eye-opening experience, and a trip I would remember for the rest of my life. All of my wishes came true, but the profound impact this experience had on my life as well as the people I met along the way was completely unexpected and all of it will have a place in my heart forever.

Before this experience, I only knew my fellow ILA classmates, and as for the rest of the group, I had only heard their names through mutual friends; however, by the time I left Africa, I had established a meaningful friendship with each person in which now I can say they are all a blessing in my life. I am extremely thankful to have met these incredibly talented individuals, but I am also grateful that we were able to experience this amazing journey together. I must admit, I have never grown so close to anyone in such a short period of time than I did with my classmates on our trip. The conversations and discussions we had with one another were out-of-this-world, compassionate, and inspiring. I'm proud to say in three short weeks, I not only developed into a more diverse and driven student/leader but also as a young woman. More importantly, every one of my classmates, possibly even my professors, would say the same thing regarding their own life.

I came to Africa thinking I was going to see pervasive poverty and encounter disease and destruction; I even anticipated anti-American interactions. However, I could not have been more mistaken in my predictions. Tanzania is a country of unity, dedication, and hope. The people are gracious, joyful, and take pride in everything they own despite the fact they have so little from our prospective. The working class far-exceeded my presumptions as they are some of the hardest, most dedicated workers I have ever come in contact with in my lifetime--and to think minimum wage is roughly six dollars a month. I believe they would be top executive multi-millionaires if they were living and working in the United States. Our staff at Springlands Hotel, whom we grew to love, often worked sixteen hour days arriving before sunrise to prepare breakfast and remaining on site until the last guest stumbled from the bar to bed—the same staff, one shift! This would never happen in the U.S.; however, Yasin, Dao, Neema, Gilbert, Basil, and Marianna (our staff) were always there for us and kept a smile on their face as well as our own. From a religious standpoint, the country is divided between Islamic and Christian faiths in addition to native tribal beliefs; yet, unknown to most foreigners, the country resides with peaceful relations for everyone is a Tanzanian before anything else—a characteristic most of the world should intend to emulate. From a business standpoint, I strongly believe Tanzania is standing on the edge about to dive into the global market. Everything they were teaching our group demonstrated their great potential and their ability to become a prosperous country. After all, Tanzania is a very wealthy nation in respect to natural resources, but until the right leadership and production comes along they will remain where they are today.

Upon reading an article assigned for class while in Tanzania, I came across a quote that does a reasonable job in summarizing my reflections towards my experience. The article was titled, "Sharing in Africa" by Mike Tidwell who was serving in the Kinshasa village in The Republic of Congo from 1985 through 1987. The article stated,

"As time passed, it grew easier and easier to let go of what I had. The reason was simple: I had a lot. Like most people who go overseas to do development work, I did so expecting to find out what it's like to be poor. But awakening to my surroundings after a few months, I discovered that that's not what happens. Instead you learn what it's like to be rich, to be fabulously, incomprehensibly, bloated with wealth. Into this jumble of backwater villages, where every man had a mud house, a hoe, and 10 kids, I came stomping and rattling with a motorcycle and cassette tapes and books to read and boots to wear and a bed to sleep on. I had two kerosene lamps and kerosene to put inside them. I had tools to fix my motorcycle and a 200-liter barrel of gasoline to make it run. I had a tin roof over my head. No one in Kalambayi could afford to share more than I."

The author and I shared the same development while we visited parts of Africa as both of our life-changing discoveries were completely unexpected but humbling nonetheless. It taught me that we should not feel sorry for these people or guilty for what we have. We should feel happy for these people and inspired by their genuinely joy and unselfishness; most importantly, we should recognize how blessed we are as Americans for the opportunities we have and for what we have been given.

Towards the end of our journey, my classmates and I all felt the same feelings, shared the same emotions, and recognized the same passion for the country of Tanzania in addition to the continent of Africa. This journey inspired us to continue our relations with the region as some of us even feel called to return to Africa one day for a greater good. Above anything else, we all have challenged one another to share our life-changing experiences with our families and friends and maybe even the rest of the world. I would encourage all of you to travel Tanzania or any other African country, and I hope that you will share the same experiences that I did on our journey. This study aboard was a vacation of a lifetime, an eye-opening experience, and a trip I would remember for the rest of my life, but best of all, it gave me a new prospective on life and made me realize all the blessings in which my country, family, friends, and I should be grateful.

These past few weeks have exceeded all my expectations in every way imaginable, and that is what is going to make it so difficult to leave this place. It has been an absolute blast, and I can't think of a time when I had more fun or developed so many deep friendships. At the same time, though, this trip has challenged to me. It has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and open up to another culture. It has challenged me to learn a new language. It has challenged me to think about practical solutions to stimulate business growth in a developing country. But, most importantly, it has challenged me to change my own perspective and reevaluate the way I see the world. Before the trip, I saw Tanzania as a country just struggling to get by, a place where poverty was omnipresent and commerce was virtually non-existent. Now, I see Tanzania as a country with so much potential and so much life.

Many of the people I met over the course of this trip were not only some of the happiest and most respectful individuals I know, but also some of the hardest workers. And if given the right resources and opportunities, they could be immensely successful. So now I ask myself: what can I do to make a difference? I have decided that the best thing I can do is, ironically, the thing that Africans do best: share. If there is one virtue I have learned from living, eating, sleeping, and breathing in the collectivist culture over here for the last 23 days, it is the importance of giving. In America, I often get so caught up in my daily life that I do not realize how "rich" I truly am. How blessed I am to have a loving family, trustworthy friends, a quality education, and enough food to fill my plate everyday. Now it is my turn to share, and I encourage everyone else to do the same -after all, even a little bit can go a long way.

Aside from the greenbeans, carrots, rice, and beef cubes served at every meal, our first memories will certainly be of the people in Tanzania. From the books we've read and the commercials we've seen, the intial expectations were to find emaciated children and ignorant adults lying in the middle of dirt roads; how wrong we were. Poverty exists -- 60% of the population lives on under $1 per day -- but poverty does not define these people. Rather, they are the most joyous and humble friends any of us have found. For this reason, the people are the nation's greatest resources. The greatest need, however, is leadership to guide the natural abilities of the Tanzanians into the global economy. With the emerging markets, the muyltinationsl corporations, and the foreing investment, the Tanzanian economy is ripe, and we will certainly be hearing more from it soon.

In four short weeks, we explored the depths of the Indian Ocean, got lost in the alleys of Zanzibar, went on safari in the Serengeti, met the U.S. Ambassado, were guests of Tanzania's Ted Turner (Reginald Mengi), and trekked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. this was my first trip to Africa. I cannot imagine what Round 2 has in store for us!

Wow! What an amazing experience. It's hard to believe that this trip is practically over. It has honestly been a trip of a lifetime and I am so glad that I was able to have this experience. I think the highlight for me was starring into the face of God as we drove through Ngorongoro Crater last week. It was truly indescribable.
Another thing I can't get over is how incredibly happy the native people are. They have very little material wealth in comparison to what most Americans have and yet I've seen more genuinely happy people here in Africa in the last 3 1/2 weeks than I've seen in the U.S. in the last 3 1/2 years! I think we have a lot to learn from them.

Emily D.
As we come to the end of our journey and I think back over our experiences the last three weeks, I am overwhelmed at everything we have accomplished. We have learned more on this trip about the culture, politics, and businesses of Tanzania than I could have ever imagined. From the small town of Moshi, to urban Dar es Salaam, to the beaches of Zanzibar, and finally our safaris in Serengeti and Ngorogoroo, we have gotten a whirlwind tour of a country we will always hold dear to our hearts. With a new appreciation of the people and their customs, we return full of extraordinary memories and lessons. We have made wonderful friendships and shared many unforgettable moments. I only hope we can capture the wonder and beauty of this country as we reminisce with our family and friends of the amazing experiences that have shaped our lives, our perspectives of ourselves, and our view of the world around us. It is impossible to explain in words the times that I have had here, and the incredible people that I have shared it with. It has been the most incredible adventure of my life.

Emily E.
This trip has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I think I'm probably just echoing what everyone is saying here, but when you come to Africa you really learn a lot about yourself and your values, and you get to reconnect with what's important. When I first got here I was nervous about the challenges I would face and the experiences I would have but instead I was greeted with the most giving and hard-working people I had ever met, a culture that does not exist anywhere else in the world, and the most beautiful and different landscape that literally takes your breath away. I also was lucky enough to make my journey with 14 others that I truly respect and who really challenged me to learn as much as I could. One of our journals for the trip asked us to write the first and last sentence of our travel book about Africa. Disclaimer: I wish I could write those brilliant and profound one-liners, but I can't. So read the next sentence with that in mind! But, the last page of my book would say something like, "the trip is over but my journey and relationship with Africa and the people surrounding me is not." This trip, these people, and this continent provoke passion, reflection, and thought, and I intend to not let this wonderful feeling disappear. I will be back!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Safari roughing it!


Today we had another amazing safari day. I think that the Ngorongoro
Crater has been my favorite experience so far, but the Serengeti is
not far behind. It is overwhelming to be surrounded by God's amazing
creation. I don't think I'm ever going to want to visit a zoo again!
Today we saw a variety of animals--lions, wildebeasts, warthogs,
gazelles, hippos, elephants, baboons---incredible! The highlight of
the day for most of us was riding around in our Land Cruisers spotting
several lions. They were mostly lionesses, but we saw a couple males
and some cubs as well. The cubs wrestling in the grass reminded us of
Simba and Nala wrestling in the Lion King. We also discovered that
zebras are a dime a dozen in the Serengeti. Another highlight of the
day was witnessing a herd of about 15 elephants crossing the road
directly in front of our vehicle. They were no more than 20 feet away
from us! There were a few babies trailing behind their mothers in the
During our safari we stopped at a welcome center for lunch. At the
welcome center was a trail with several exhibits with information
about the animals and plants seen in the park. It's really incredible
how all the animals and plants work together for the greater good of
the ecosystem--even the dung beetles. This is no accident. Someone
had a pretty magnificent plan.
After a full day of safari-ing, we went back to our 5-star lodge,
watched an amazing sunset, and ate an exquisite four-course meal.
--Talk about "roughing" it in Africa!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just a day in the Crater!


We awoke today to another beautiful scene, our hotel rooms opening up
over a beautiful hillside shrouded by misty fog and covered in dew.
After a quick breakfast, we loaded up our luggage and got in the Land
Cruisers to embark toward Ngorongoro Crater. Our caravan briefly
stopped at the entrance of the national park to register each car, and
then we ventured on. No more than a hundred feet past the entrance,
we got our first view of wild animals - a trio of babboons. At this
point, I realized it would be the first of many animal sightings
today; yet, in typical tourist fashion, everyone stopped for a frantic
photo session before heading on. We then quickly dropped into the
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, the five-star hotel where we would "home" tonight.
Nestled just on the inner edge of the crater, the lodge had a
five-star view to match. The crater was absolutely breathtaking, a
sight that I could not possibly do justice with words if I tried. It
was created two million years ago by the eruption and subsequent
collapse of a volcano, and the resulting formation was a massive
grassy flatland tucked in the middle of a circle of majestic
mountains. The low-lying plains in the crater, spanning over 100
square miles, provide an ideal habitat for a wide variety of fauna; in
fact, its rich species diversity has made it the most highly protected
area in the country. As I stared out over the crater, somewhat in
awe, I couldn't help but get anxious imagining all the exotic animals
we would get to see today. And as soon as we had gotten that
breathtaking preview, out bags had been unloaded, and we were ready to
go on our safari!

As expected, the cameras started flashing from the moment we descended
into the heart of the crater as all our friends from The Lion King
began making their guest appearances, one by one. We first spotted
Pumba and his entourage of warthogs. Soon thereafter, we noticed a
small group of zebras. And no more than fifteen minutes into the
drive, our guide pointed out Mufasa himself, the king of the jungle.
Sure enough, there were two male lions resting near a tree off in the
distance. Before we had finished the first leg of our journey, we had
also spotted water buffalo, wildebeests, and ostriches. It was
amazing how close we got to them! At one point, a wildebeest ran
right alongside our car, darting across the road in front of us at the
last second. It felt like we could've been taping a special feature
for the Discovery channel.

We then stopped at a hippo lake to eat our boxed lunches, an
assortment of chicken, bread, fruit, and peanuts, before continuing on
our safari adventure. The afternoon leg showcased more of the same
wildlife... in much larger numbers. Before we knew it, we found
ourselves amidst hundred of water buffalo, zebras, and wildebeests.
Yet, it was not all the same animals. I was especially excited when I
saw an elephant for the first time! Until you are standing ten feet
away, you don't realize just how big they are - in more ways than
one... My favorite part of the day, though, was getting to see a pair
of rhinos. In fact, rhinos are very rare, so I was really glad we got
to see them at all. Near the end of the drive, we pulled up to the
edge of a massive lake and found an incredible sight. Stretching as
far as we could see, thousands of flamingos dotted the water, each
holding their signature one-legged pose; I had never seen so many in
my life! With that, our action-packed safari had pretty much come to
an end, and we returned to the hotel, exhausted yet very satisfied fom
the eight-hour trek. Watching the spectacular sunset provided a great
ending to another great day. The whole day was absolutely surreal,
and I am sure it will not completely sink in for a while. I had
always dreamed of going on an African safari, and it definitely
exceeded all my expectations. It is crazy to think that today was
just the beginning - tomorrow, it is on to Serengeti!

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's a bird ... It's a plane ...

Several slaps of the Snooze button later, we awoke to an horizon ablaze. The sunrise again restored life to the island of Zanzibar and brought forth the next leg of our journey. I take deep regret in saying that for our last breakfast at Tembo Hotel, there was no Passion Juice to begin our morning. We did, however, share a breakfast showing off our freshly finished farmer's tans and discussing the latest episode of Larium dreams, which seem to be more exciting than the normal as Larium (our malaria medicine) has listed hallucinations as a side effect.

A short bus ride led us to the Zanzibar airport where we would depart for lunch at Moshi (which most of us have begun calling home) before the five-hour drive leading us to the first pitstop of our Safari. Although half of us did not receive boarding passes, we made it safely onto the planes.

Our plane, slightly larger than a coat closet and less than four feet in cabin height (two of our group and the seven dwarves made it just fine), fit twelve passengers, so our group found itself split in two. Thankfully, most of our group found itself in the more exciting flight of the two. Chris made his father (a fighter pilot) proud by taking the co-pilot seat after our Belgian pilot informed us that he was our only lifeline. Kili, however, was our companion, flying wingside for the duration of the flight and presenting us with a fear- and awe-inspiring sight. Soon, seven of us will begin our trek to the top.

BAM! Uh oh, we hit a bird. In the plane. And, in all-American style, it turned out to be a beautiful eagle. I doubt it's beauty is still a point of pride, though, the poor guy is no longer with us. The pilot, however, gave himself ten points and employed the 'frat snap'--an international gesture of cool and tough excitement--in response to taking out the beautiful bird.

Upon landing, we discovered a massive dent in the wing, compliments of our lost eagle friend. Soon after, however, we were greeted by a twenty-first century Mystery Machine (this is for all you Scooby Doo fans). The van, old as molasses, had a tint of pink in the paint and 1970s plastic seat covers with a subwoofer in the back and a set of tassles hanging from the rearview mirror. It was bound to be a great ride. After several sputters of the engine, though, we worried the van would not start up. Thank goodness, a little bit of elbow grease and a manpower push, gave the van a burst of life. To top off the journey (this is for all you Whose Line fans), we played a little game of Props--swapping out random household objects for something other than what they are--for the hour and a half drive to Moshi.

After the stop for lunch, we had another long journey ahead of us in order to get to Highview Hotel, right outside of Ngorongoro National Park for the first round of our Safari. On the way, we stopped at a Maasai Cultural Park, which also housed a Snake Park and a Camel Ride. Yes, we rode a camel. And it was awkward. Although we missed any camel spit, the camel hump was awkward in its own right, as was the mount/dismount. The Snake Park was home to any deadly slithering beast that comes to mind. Pythons, Mambas, Vipers, and Cobras were not enough. No, the Indian Red Poison Bird--the most vicious of all the beasts--claimed a concrete partition to itself. Disclaimer: this is just a joke, one of our number was able to fool several others that a three-ounce birdie was lethal and dangerous.

As the sun set, we hit up Lion King Nation as we approached Ngorongoro Crater and our home for the night. "This is the Garden of Eden," Mama Moshi tried to convince us as we drove past the open plains, "the Cradle of Life." Rest assured, many songs followed as did Mama Moshi's wails of anguish in response.

Finally, the night ended with another birthday celebration--Happy Birthday Bryan! and thanks for the speech!--as we scarfed down our third birthday cake of the trip (good odds considering there are only thirteen of us on the trip). As a continuation of the celebration and a welcome to the new hotel, we were received by a welcome party of a traditonal cultural dance group. The initial dance, a mating/fertility ritual, pre-occupied our thoughts for the first half of the evening but was soon overshadowed by a Cirque du Soleil-esque dance crew. As if the flips, cartwheels and ariels were not enough, one of the members squeezed his entire body through a ring less than a foot in diameter. The performer soon followed by several other skilled moves, none of which would I do justice if I attempted to describe. After the crew solicited for spare change, they were gracious enough to bring us on the floor. Douglas--shimmying--and Brittany--getting low--both deserve Gold Stars for their skills on the dance floor.

Good day, and good night. Love you Dad, Mom, Cullen, and Mary Win!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Day at the Beach . . . aaahhhhh!

Emily D.

We woke up this morning to another gorgeous breakfast overlooking the ocean. After enjoying our second to last ocean side eggs and french toast, we headed to the Jozani Forest, where we saw trees, plants, spiders, and monkies! Without some chacos and zip-off shorts, I felt a little out of uniform, but I somehow managed to escape the wrath of the knettles.
The monkies kept us entertained for quite a while. It was a family with the little baby monkies climbing everywhere. Many of them got a little too close for comfort since they do bite, but luckily one of our group members had experience with the monkey bite so he knew how to handle them. They seemed to enjoy putting on a show for us, while some of us braver ones attempted to feed them. Once we got our monkey fix, we ventured down a wooden bridge parth to view the mangroves. It was a beautiful sight as we learned of their importance in slowing storms and providing nutrients to the soil.
Our tour of the jungle concluded and we headed to the beach, and my favorite: lunch! But first, we waded out into the crystal clear ocean to learn about farming seaweed, those of us without water shoes carefully watching every step.
The rest of the day was ours. The beach was an unbelievable sight. Us girls set up camp in some chairs with our feet hanging in the water of the Indian Ocean. We have anticipated this day for a while, and we were fully enjoying every moment of it.
After a quick game of frisbee, the boys decided to make the journey out to the breakers. They slowly became dots in the distance as we continued to soak up the sun. As the rains headed towards us, we packed up our bags to head to shore. A single vendor on his bike stopped to sell some scarves, which of course were not mzungu prices!! In fact, they were Sunday prices!
Next on our day of paradise was a delicious treat- ice cream! Hershey syrup and all! While we were enjoying our snacks, the boys conned a man in a boat to bring them back to shore. We spent the rest of our afternoon at the beach watching Mandy do tricks, some of us attempting to do the same. Unfortunately some of the boys were unable to escape from the sea urchins and returned home with remnants of the spikes in their feet.
After a smooth ride home, we spent the rest of the evening in Stone Town. We went inside the fort in town to find a hidden market complete with henna tatoos and scarves, while the rest of the crew went to Africa house to join in acrobatics with the locals. Chris successfully completed a backflip off of the stone wall.
With one of the most beautiful sunsets yet, we all went into town for last minute internet and dinner. Cell phones would have been usefull at this moment when dinner plans got mixed up.
We returned from dinner, most of the girls looking snazzy wrapped in their new style of dresses, to convene for our daily journaling party. Sadly, it was our last night in Zanzibar, and we would all be hesitant to leave in the morning. However, our future days of safaris and five star hotels are worth moving forward from our wonderful days at the beach!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Like a Cheeseburger in Paradise


Greetings again from the amazing paradise that is Zanzibar! We had no idea how amazing this place would be before we arrived. After experiencing a couple days here, I'm glad I didn't waste much time trying to envision Zanzibar before because I could never have imagined a place so incredible. Palm trees litter the countryside like wildflowers while the city of Stone Town teems with African, Arabic, and Indian culture. I could a spend another month here.

Today started with a trip out to sea. We had the opportunity to spend the morning snorkling or scuba diving in some of the most picturesque enviornments imaginable. Most people who know me and my passion for the beach and everything Jimmy Buffet would be surprised to find out that I am not actually scuba certified, so I ended up with the snorkling group. I was not disappointed. We traveled by johnboat about 2 miles to Prison Island, a little speck of paradise off the mainland. Before even setting foot in the water, we visited a tortoise sanctuary where we fed 400 pound tortoises spinach while posing for some hilarious pictures. Afterwards, we headed out to snorkel around a beautiful reef, teeming with colorful fish, coral, and other creatures that only the biology professors could name. Connor and I made a game of who could find more colorful starfish to bring to the surface and place on unsuspecting swimmers. After an hour or so in the water, we headed back to Stone Town for lunch. The scuba divers went on two dives in which they came face to face with a Lionfish and exploring a shipwreck dating back to 1904. I need to get certified.

Our afternoon consisted of free time which we spent lounging on the beach or exploring the inner reaches of Stone Town. Some of the girls (I won't tell any names) went to get henna tattoos (a non-permanent style of tattoo) drawn disceretely on their feet so as to avoid the wrath of internship employers. I joined a few others for a sunset walk on the beach, only to stumble upon the local Zanzibar Brothers Acrobatics group practicing their flips and Brazilian dance fighting moves on the beach. One of the boys named Abu (who carried a monkey named Cobra on his shoulder) offered us the chance to join the practice session. Chad and I stepped forward and spent the next 30 minutes learning Jenga moves and doing cartwheels, kicks, and handstands. I stayed a little longer and learned how to do a flip off of a tire they used like a trampoline. It was awesome. We are going back tomorrow to learn more. After a refreshing shower (since I was covered in sand from the failed flip attempts in between the successful landings), we headed to Mtoni Marine restaurant where we enoyed a candle lit dinner on the beach to the tune of waves of the Indian Ocean crashing gently on the beach. Life cannot get much better.

[Editor's Note: There should be no concerns about Chris' health. He is back to full speed, as you can read here.]

Friday, May 23, 2008

Next, me!


Today was one of my favorite days of the entire trip. We woke up early and checked out of our first hotel and rechecked in at the Tembo House Hotel down the street. Originally, the THH didn't have enough free rooms for us to stay the first night. We had to wait a day while more opened up; it was no big deal at all!

After checking in, students loaded in our routine fashion onto the buses. These buses would carry the students to a spice farm for a quick tour. Another smaller van at the hotel was packed with three student volunteers accompanied by Dr. Gauthreaux and Dr. Moshi. This van traveled to the local police station to pay a courtesy call to show our appreciation for keeping us safe while in Zanzibar. The police chief accepted our thanks and comforted us saying, "Zanzibar. Very safe. No problems here... But always stay in groups. Always." Very reassuring? Upon leaving the police station, our van left to meet the rest of the group at the spice tour. Here, common spices such as lemon grass, cinnamon, and black pepper are grown. One highlight of our tour was watching a local man climb a 30 foot palm tree to cut down coconuts. He paused mid climb to sing and dance and put on a show. "Say 'Hello Mzungus'", he would shout. "Hello!" We would reply. He cut down coconuts for us all and we drank the milk from them. He then told us that coconut milk worked similar to Viagra.
The spice tour was the only official business of the day. After lunch, students enjoyed their free time on the island. The beautiful waters served as a great background for some reading catch up work. Around 5, I was sitting on the beach with 5 other students, Connor and I watched as local children took turns burying each other in the sand. It wasn't long before he and I were kneeling down on the ground helping bury the next boy. Eventually we were all in the ocean throwing the children like cannonballs. Word quickly spread, and there was a line of children all claiming "next, me. Next, me." It was one of the greatest moments of the trip. For 15 minutes race, culture, nationality, and language all fell away. The only thing that mattered was how high you could go. The only thing that mattered was fun. It was a good day.