Tanzania Expedition

The final countdown: changeover part 2

7th December 2017

As our time on expedition enters the third phase, 17P volunteer teams assembled once again at River Valley in Iringa, following the end of phase two on program. Alpha 1 returned from the youth leadership trek phase in the same district, while Alpha 3 made the journey from their natural resource management (NRM) project in the mountains of Iyegeya and Alpha 2 travelled the furthest, from their water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project in Nyamwezi. The two days were marked by reflection as some volunteers looked ahead to the final phase while other sadly said goodbye to their companions and the Raleigh adventure…

During changeover, is custom to keep allocations a secret and make an event of revealing them, but due to the natural rotation of volunteer among the projects, most knew where they would be headed to next phase. Taking a pause from the organised activities, each volunteer manager (VM) was told to spread out, and subsequently volunteers were asked to find who they thought their leaders would be for the next phase. There was no confusion, until the teams were asked to form a human pyramid:

Alpha 1 – Youth Leadership Trek, Iringa

Sophia, Maria, Ben S., Idsart, Liv, Nick, Dan, Cat, Mzigwa made up the new Alpha 1 trek team.

Volunteer managers Cat and Dan will lead the Alpha 1 team on the 19-day trek through rural Iringa, supported by trek guide Morris who returns to after his phase one adventure. I also joined the trek team on their first five days and will be recounting the experience.

Alpha 2 – WASH, Nyamwezi

Alpha 2 team: Willeke, Renatha, Lydia, Christopher, Sean, Abu and Gustave.

Volunteer manager Sean will take a break from Iringa after two phases on trek and join volunteer manager Renatha in concluding the WASH project at Nanenane primary school in Nyamwezi. Finalising construction of the handwashing station and the disabled toilet access ramp as well as teaching awaits.

Alpha 3 – NRM, Iyegeya

Louisiane, Abi, Ben B., Natalia, Mark, Leo, Angel and Amiry – Alpha 3.

Volunteer manager Abi left her previous assignment as field base medic for the second phase and joined with volunteer manager Amiry in Iyegeya, finishing the tubing for the tree seedlings with the aim to begin transplanting; also continuing teaching twice a week at the Iyegeya primary school on topics including climate change and environmental conservation.


Last, but by no means least, we said goodbye to our magnificent seven: Scarlett, Max, Rory, Eliott, Simon, Connor and Josh all returned to the UK and to Buildbase / Hirebase, after their time on expedition with Raleigh. Having picked them up at the airport in Dar Es Salaam, seven weeks previous, and having visited them on both phases, it is remarkable how far they have come and how much they developed along the way; some of their parting words to me, were indicative of that:


We witnessed the highest of the pyramids as Buildbase / Hirebase / Raleigh volunteers lifted Emily, volunteer manager on their trek.

“It’s the work ethic for me– the team drove each other on; we all wanted to do that and see it and work for each other”, Rory, on what he will take from expedition.

“All we have done is built a school toilet and improved hygiene but the impact that has means girls can stay in school, go to college or university – get a proper education. We are giving people the opportunity to best themselves and bring more things to Tanzania”, Scarlett reflected on phase one WASH.

“The second time I was day leader they [VMs] left us – we all worked as a team, did a whole 16k by ourselves with no instruction and got it done”, Simon recalled of trek.

“Seeing that we actually made a change; everyone was so grateful. It made me realise I’m still young and can do anything I want. Think I’ve got the travel bug, loved it, loved every minute of it”, Max imparted his Nyamwezi WASH experience.

Safari njema.

Words by Miguel. Images by Miguel.

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