Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rudisha Foundation 2016 School year

Nancy and Martha
Rudisha Foundation is happy to have had their first graduate of the program. Nancy Mmary graduated form four in December 2015. She is the first of the fifteen children in the Rudisha Foundation School Sponsorship Program to graduate.
Congratulations Nancy! 

Rudisha Foundation sponsors children in primary (standard 1-7) and secondary school (form 1-4). Nancy and her family are thankful to those who have supported her education for the last three years which has allowed her the opportunity to finish form four. 

In Tanznaia it is customary at celebrations where cake is served for each participant to receive a piece of cake from the host or guest speaker. 

Nancy with some of her siblings. 

It is with great pleasure we announce that Lucas Costatin placed 9 out of 63 in his class and had three subjects with perfect marks of 100%. Naomi Patrick placed 16 out of 100 in her class. Way to go Naomi and Lucas! The other children also did really well, finishing with great marks. 

Sara and Abida's class at the end of 2015 school year 
All of the children are in school again for the 2016 school year. Classes started for most on the 11th of January. We are extremely grateful to those who have helped make this possible by sending donations and sponsorships for the fourteen children for 2016 school fees. - THANK YOU

Thank you does not say enough to Martha and her hard work, as always, making sure each child is enrolled into school and has everything they need to start the school year. This year was especially challenging with new regulations for each school, parent - teacher meetings to attend, to discuss changes laid out by the new government. - THANK YOU MARTHA

The schools are really "cracking down" on the children having their complete uniform, fully intact. Should the children arrive at school with holes or torn uniforms they will be sent home and are not able to return until it has been fixed. This year we have made sure that each child has two full sets of their uniform and a good pair of shoes. Martha has been running here and there fetching the "strong material" to have uniforms made, others purchased already made with the school colours. The uniform expenses have been covered from the fund, many thanks to those who have graciously extended their kindness to this great group of children. 

A few of the children have been stopping over to Martha's, very happy and proud of their new school uniform.

Abida with her new uniforms 
Athumani with his new "duds"

There are a variety of school colours, these being one of my favourite designs, representing the Tanzanian Flag.

Rudisha Foundation is continually in need of donations and sponsors. Without the funds and sponsorship we will have to tell these children they cannot attend school. This is not something we wish to do.  

The current situation - we have a few children who do not have yearly sponsors. We are searching for people who wish to make a difference and help these children continue their education, any amount is appreciated. Contact Amanda and ask how you can help provide a more hopeful life for children in Moshi, Tanzania.

In two weeks time I will be heading to Martha’s house in Moshi, to help host our annual gathering with all of the sponsorship children. I am excited to experience the changes that I see each year, as the children sprout up, the once 5 year olds aren't so “little” anymore. I love seeing the smiles on their faces as they are learning, growing and making the best of the opportunity given to them. 

Each year we like to mix up the gathering location and activities. This years theme will be “relay races”. I look forward to sharing photos of the gathering and the children. A special thanks to my parents, Margo and Sidney Strowbridge for the donation which will cover costs for the food and prizes (books) for the "relay races" at the Rudisha Foundation gathering. - THANK YOU

We would like to thank the following sponsors for the 2016 school year. 
  • Donna Brown & Stuart Ion 
  • Lois Tambourini & Zenon Szewczyk
  • Norma and Tom Isotamm 
  • Elmwood Brant  St. Johns & St. Peters Lutheran Parish 
  • John and Debbie Baer
  • Residents of Blue Waters Lake Campground
  • Mary and Ron Tally
  • Amy and Geordy Bennett
  • Megan Matheson Hamilton and Craig Hamilton 
  • Jennifer Mikus
  • Maureen Carswell & William MacKinnon
If you have donated in previous years (2013,2014,2015) we thank you for your contribution as well. Should you wish to make another donation or sponsorship towards future school years please contact Amanda

Moses, Martha and Amanda wish all fourteen of the children a year of hard work and continued success. We look forward to launching and sharing the new Rudisha Foundation website - coming soon! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Manta Resort - Pemba Island

If you Google "the most amazing hotels in the world " or "most unique hotels" you will find several lists and articles of such. On these lists you will find, The Manta Resort! 

Disconnect from your busy, hectic lifestyle and bury your feet in the powder white sand of one of the most beautiful beaches in Africa. 

Photo from my husband, Moses Msuya
Staying at The Manta Resort has been one of my most memorable moments so far in East Africa. Located on Pemba Island, at the northern tip of the island you will find this breathtaking "all-inclusive" hideaway. 

Driving from the airport to the resort I quickly noticed that Pemba Island is much hillier than Zanzibar. Many crops and farming are spread from the south to the north of the island. Pemba Island is still the world's largest clove producer, about 70% of all cloves are farmed and exported from Pemba. Locals also farm rice, bananas, coconuts, cassava (like a yam or sweet potato) and red beans. Pemba is acclaimed for its rich fishing grounds. The Pemba Channel is one of the most profitable fishing grounds for game fishing on the Swahili Coast.

Pemba is known as "The Green Island" and is part of the Zanzibar Archipelago. The island lies 50 kilometres north of Unguja (also known as Zanzibar Island) which is the largest of the archipelago. The island is known to be less "touristy" and a fantastic option for travellers who are looking for a more "off the beaten track" beach experience. 

Adding a few nights or a week on Pemba Island is a great way to finish off your safari experience or the perfect way to recoup after climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

To reach The Manta Resort you can expect a one and a half hour drive from the airport. The drive provides a glimpse of the way of life on the island as you pass through towns and the major city on the island, Chake - Chake. The last leg of the journey takes you through the Ngezi Forest, one of the world’s oldest rain forests. Hikes through the forest can be booked as an extra excursion while visiting the resort. 

Arriving at The Manta Resort you are warmly greeted by the islands friendly staff. You will be assigned a service fundi (personal waiter) who will take care of you for your entire stay.  We had the pleasure of staying in a SeaFront Villa as well as the "once and a life time experience" underwater room, sleeping with the fish! 
Photo from Manta Resort
Boat ride to the underwater room
If booking the underwater room you will depart around 2pm from the main resort. Just a short boat ride from shore to the unique floating aquarium room where you have all the freedom of the world at your fingertips. It really was like being inside a fish tank, except we were the "fish"!! As soon as we climbed down into the underwater bedroom, a school of hundreds and hundreds of silver fish came to greet us. 

My favourite were the bat fish that hung around the room all night and were still there when we woke the following morning. 

Photo from Manta Resort

Moses swimming down to say hi while I'm in the underwater room

Trumpet Fish were hanging around with the bat fish

Watching the glowing sunset while gently swaying with the waves was spectacular. Followed by the most delectable seafood platter dinner with; fresh lobster, prawns, calamari, octopus and king fish. It was a pure delight for this seafood lover!

Sipping our morning coffee from the middle deck of the underwater room, we watched the locals who were busy working their fishing lines. 

Back to land with the C-Kayak in tow. 

The options for accommodations at The Manta Resort all offer a comfortable nights sleep. With only 17 rooms in total (including the underwater room) the resort offers a genuine personalized experience. 

Choose from the spacious SeaFront Villas....

Photo from Manta Resort
The Superior Garden Room
Photo from Manta Resort
The Standard Garden Room
Photo from Manta Resort
The Spectacular Underwater room
Photo from Manta Resort
Photo from Manta Resort

The fresh meals during our stay were as equally wonderful as the courteous service. The all-inclusive plan is truly that! The daily massage at the Kipepeo spa is just what my body and mind desired. Here's a list of what's included in the all-inclusive plan. 

Breakfast: Pastry & Fruit platter, followed by English Breakfast

Lunch: Choice of 2 options for starter and main course 

Dinner: 3 course dinner, 2 options for starter and main course

Beverages: Soft drinks, Juices, Mineral Water, Coffee/Tea, Cocktails, Wines, Beers and all alcoholic beverages  

Spa Treatments: One treatment per person, per day at the Kipepeo Spa 

Kayaks from the beach 


WiFi internet in main lounge area

The fresh seafood was my personal favourite, particularly on our last evening when our service fundi arranged a private seafood dinner on the beach, under a sky peppered with millions of stars. What a special way to end our holiday!

Besides the beautiful Manta Resort, diving is known to attract tourists to this tranquil Island. Located on site you will find the PADI certified diving centre, offering 9 dive locations and 24 dive sites. The untouched coral reefs that surround Pemba Island makes for some of the best diving in the world. 

Thanks to all the staff at Manta Resort for making our visit a wondrous and unforgettable one! Here's a video taken by my husband, Moses. 

Contact Amanda to book your holiday at The Manta Resort.