Monday, December 15, 2014

Construction Zone

Today the Wire-tailed Swallows were busy building their new nest above my head while I was sitting outside on the back deck. Taking breaks from my work to capture videos of their artistic abilities, I thought about how many times these two birds have tried to build their nest on these beams. The last few nests they have attempted to build  have been ruined from the hard rains, they have a lot of patience and never give up.  I believe this time they have chosen an area that is more protected from the rain, hopefully they will get to enjoy their new home. Working together they are building what looks like a great nest.
 


Flying away to collect more mud, sticks and grass they will continue to work as a team.  While one is adding their collection to the nest the other is sitting on the wire below, waiting his turn to help with the construction or off getting more material. They seem to have a system for communicating what needs to be done next. I like to try and think about what they are saying to each other. It seems they have amped up the construction today, perhaps they will be having babies soon!?




 Wire-tailed Swallows are often found in pairs and, although common, never are found in vast numbers.  You can see these fast flyers while on safari in East Africa.

Contact Amanda at amanda@tembotours.com to plan your ultimate safari!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

This week in Serengeti

For the last month and a half I have been getting exercise by running around the soccer pitch just next to the balloon base. As I walk to the soccer field I'm always wondering what animals may join me while I run around. Most often the Marabou Storks are also on the field, standing with their wings fully open.  They do a lot of preening on the soccer pitch so it's great for my feather collection :)  

Today was a special trip to the soccer field as there were a few other animals who joined me. A large family of elephants have been hanging around the back yard for the last few days and as I headed towards the soccer pitch the elephants where there to greet me.  I just love watching the elephants interact with each other. They are so caring and sensitive, one of the reasons I resonate with them. It really does hurt me that so many elephants are being killed every day. When I look into the eye of an elephant all I feel is love. I spend a lot of time watching these strong yet gentle creatures and deeply wish with all of my heart that there is more I can do to stop the killing.  I can not imagine not being able to see elephants in the Serengeti National Park.  I have hope and faith that we humans can change the predicted future for these amazing animals. For those who are animals lovers I ask that you too send positive energy to all elephants in Africa.

Earlier this morning after the balloon flight, on the drive to the champagne toast, we saw a lion relaxing on top of the rock. The safari goers were commenting how much it reminded them of "Pride Rock".





There are a lot of young warthog around the park right now, they are pretty cute! 


Here are a few of my favourite photos from this weeks game drive around Seronera, Serengeti National Park.






Don't forget to check out the latest video on my YouTube Channel. 


To learn more about planning your safari to East Africa contact Amanda at astrowbridge@tpi.ca

 Also visit www.TemboTours.com to view sample itineraries and learn about the National Parks in Tanzania.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Many Thanks, Asante sana from Rudisha Foundation

It always feels like "home" when I step off the plane to the welcoming smell and warm air of Tanzania.  When we arrived into Kilimanjaro the second of November Martha was waiting for us so we loaded our bags into the back of the 4runner and headed for Moshi. I was able to sleep a fair amount on the flight from Amsterdam and we had a transfer in Nairobi so I was  wide awake when we arrived Moshi, we stayed up chatting for a while on the front porch with Martha. I caught a few hours of sleep then got ready to go meet a new child that we are adding into the Rudisha Foundation Sponsorship program for the 2015 school year. 

Gidion Aminiel Njiro is 8 years old, he was born September 10, 2006. He is a bright young child and is very thankful to be added into the Rudisha Foundation Sponsorship program for 2015. Gidion’s parents were not going to be able to afford his school fee’s as their youngest daughter Loveness needed emergency surgery which put their family very behind for the upcoming year.  We are thankful for donations from Norma and Tom Isotamm which will allow Gidion the opportunity to continue with school. When visiting with Gidion, his sister Loveness and their mama Magreth we asked him what he wanted to do once he finishes school, his response was an accountant, he says he likes numbers.  Gidion and his family are so thankful to Norma and Tom for their donation, he can now continue his schooling at Shule ya Msingi Sango and will start grade two in January 2015. 

 Martha and Gidion at Shule ya Msingi Sango


Later the same day we had visits from a few other children in the sponsorship program. Athumani, Abida and Elizabeth live near Martha so they are able to visit often. When they arrived Martha gave them some fruit, a glass of water and some candies from the bag of Halloween treats I brought from Canada to leave at her house for the children.  

Athumani was keen to play a game on Moses's iPad, it was hard to get him to look away for the picture. 



The girls were in the living room playing with the dolls and taking pictures and videos on my camera and watching themselves on the video. Elizabeth brought her school work with her to show us all her great grades, she is very excited to be finished for the year with excellent marks. 


I love seeing the positive changes in each child every time we are able to visit with each other.  It makes me realize why it is so important to keep working to find people willing to sponsor these wonderful young souls. 

Now that the 2014 school year is over, all of the children are off for break and are awaiting the results of their final exams.  The children do not have a summer break like the North American school system so they have nice holiday from the end of November until school starts again the second week of Januaray. During the last few weeks Martha has been running around Moshi and surrounding areas, driving and walking up dusty, bumpy roads meeting with different families and children as well driving to each school (there are 12) to find out school fee’s for the 2015 school year. Keep following my blogs for more updates from the children in the Rudisha Foundation sponsorship program. New photos and updates on the children will also be added in the following weeks to our sponsorship page on www.TembTours.com 



Moses, Martha and I have many family and friends to thank. When we first thought about helping a child in Tanzania we had no idea our program would grow to this size, we owe that to family and friends.  

We would like to thank Lois Tamburrini and Donna Brown for spreading the word about Rudisha Foundation, we are grateful for your enthusiasm to talk to others about helping children who are unable to attend school in Moshi, Tanzania.  Also thank you to Donna Brown & Stuart Ion as well Lois Tambourini & Zenon Szewczyk for your donations for 2015 school fees.  As always we are very thankful for past and future donations that allows these (now 13 children) the opportunity to attend school. Thank you to Maureen Carswell & William MacKinnon for donations for 2015 school fees for Hasani and Ally Rashidi.  Also, thank you to Margo & Sidney Strowbridge for donations to send Rashidi to school for 2015, Heather Leadbetter for the continued sponsorship. Thank you to the Elmwood Breand St. Johns Lutheran Parish for continued donations towards school fees for 2015. Lastly, Moses and I can not say thank you enough to mama (Martha Msuya) for all the hard work she does getting the children registered for school each year.  None of this would be possible without Martha doing the running here, there and everywhere. Asante sana mama, tunashukuru sana.  

To learn how to help make a difference and help a child attend school you can contact Amanda at astrowbridge@tpi.ca or make online donations on our sponsorship page.   


Now that I'm back to the "pole pole" lifestyle I will have more time to continue my blogging :)  Thanks to my readers for following my adventures in East Africa. Here's one of my favourite photos from this weeks game drive. 



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Africa, through the eyes of children

What's more exciting than spending your summer holidays in the wild African bush of the Serengeti?  

I took a quick trip to Canada and back to pick up Lizzy and Marcus, my step children. They just love their visits to Tanzania! They love the carefree lifestyle and all of their animal friends in the Serengeti National Park. Lizzy and Marcus enjoy taking many photos while out on game drives or when hanging out in the the back yard.  They wanted to share some of their adventures with you! 

Waking up at 4:30am is never hard to do when there is a balloon ride with dad to look forward to!







Hanging out in the back yard you just never know what will come visit.  Lizzy and Marcus have quite a few "pets" to care for, including Mongoose, Hyena, Hyrax. They kept busy trying to keep the vervet monkeys and baboons away! The sunsets from the back yard are very beautiful!





While flying in the balloon in Kirawira they took note of the wooden bridge over the Grumeti River.  Of course we had to go check it out....





On our last day in Kirawira Lizzy got a photo of the hard to find Colobus Monkey, great shot Lizzy!


 Speke Bay Lodge on Lake Victoria was a cool stop in our adventure and a nice day with new friends. 







Lizzy and Marcus brought some of their old toys, books and clothes to give away to children in the Serengeti.  The items were really appreciated and the children had fun playing together...


Afternoon game drives...








The kids love getting right in the middle of the action!!








Great shot of the lion cubs, by Marcus! 







More game drives and balloon rides...






Until next summer, Lizzy and Marcus say good-bye to their friends of the Serengeti! 


Kwa Heri! 
(Photo's taken by Lizzy and Marcus Msuya)