World Challenge 2017
A group of 18 pupils, 3 teachers from Fraserburgh Academy along with a World Challenge leader travelled to Tanzania on Wednesday 28th June 2017 to embark on a 32 day expedition of a life time. The pupils had spent the previous 21 months fundraising to pay for the expedition costs and working on their fitness levels to be suitable equipped. The expedition was split into 4 different phases that all challenged pupils in different ways.
Phase 1 – Acclimatisation
After 2 days of familiarising ourselves with the climate and surroundings in Dar Es Salaam the team travelled up to Lushoto to tackle the acclimatisation treks. These 3 one day treks were in the beautiful Usambara Mountains in Northern Tanzania. During the three one day treks the team were greeted by many locals as they walked through tiny local villages and embraced the beautiful scenery. Each trek was progressively harder and on the third day the challengers trekked up to 2800m in altitude, which was excellent preparation for the challenge of Mount Kilimanjaro that was looming! The team set up camp in the back garden of a local man (Jerome), who was very welcoming. During this time the team cooked their own meals outside on the camp fire and had delegated roles such as the budget team, cook team, wash up team, transport and accommodation team. Each member of the team was responsible for certain tasks and rotated round these roles on a weekly basis with the exception of the budget team. This team were responsible for the whole budget – over $18,000 for the full month!
Phase 2 – Rest and Relaxation Safari
After a challenging yet very enjoyable acclimatisation phase the team travelled further north to have a once in a life time experience – an African safari! The safari lasted two days – day one was a full 8 hours spent in the famous Ngorongoro Crater and day two was a half day spent in Tarangire National Park. Both Safaris were breath taking and the team were lucky enough to spot 4 out of the big 5, with the sighting of a leopard being the only piece missing. In addition to this the team witnessed many other beautiful animals in their natural habitat including Giraffe’s, Zebras and Flamingos!
Phase 3 – Mount Kilimanjaro (challenge phase)
Following on from a relaxing few days at the safari the team travelled to Moshi to rest before they embarked on Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro presented a mammoth 9 day trek, covering over 42km of walking distance and 5895m in altitude to contend with. The scenery during the trek was very diverse offering trekking through giant heather, grassy moorland, volcanic rock formations, valleys, hills as well as a 900ft cliff climb! Several challengers returned to Moshi at various points throughout the trek, but all had achieved a personal achievement of trekking part of Mount Kilimanjaro, with many trekking higher than they had before! Spirits were high throughout the trek which set us up for the most mentally and physically challenging night of our lives – summit night! On summit night we trekked from base camp (4650m) to Uhuru peak (5895m) which is known as the “Roof of Africa!” On summit night we left at midnight and walked through the darkness taking frequent, short breaks in order to cope with the altitude. By 7am 10/18 challengers had managed to summit to Uhuru Peak – a truly incredible experience.
Phase 4 – Waramu Primary School (Project phase)
For many of the team their main objective of the whole expedition was to contribute to a local community, and this phase offered the team the opportunity to do just that. The team were volunteering at a local primary school just north of Moshi. During this time the team had identified the school was in need of a new classroom, renovating existing classrooms as well as teaching English to the primary pupils. The pupils used part of their budget to buy the necessary materials such as cement and paint. During the 4 days all the challengers rotated round roles and by the end had managed to lay the foundations of a new class room, painted another classroom and helped the primary 7s prepare for their upcoming exam. All challengers found an area that they were very competent in and contributed to the community in a fantastic way!
Phase 5 – Rest and Relaxation Beach days
For the final 3 days the team travelled down to Kipepeo beach resort to relax and reflect on the last epic 4 weeks. Over these days the team enjoyed a day out snorkelling in beautiful clear waters, played volleyball on the beach and generally just chilled out with good food and hot weather. On day 32 of the expedition it was time to depart for the airport and start the long travel home! One thing is for sure, we were definitely the most colourful group in Amsterdam and Aberdeen airports thanks to our vibrant African trousers!