Wednesday, February 2, 2011


We finally made our goal thanks to all of you! We are in Amsterdam eager to get home to share our adventures with all of you in person. Unfortunately, we were unable to post our surprise here, but we do have a movie about the trip that we will blog once we are on US land (with fast, free wi-fi)!  Also, we'll attach a link to purchase the fantastic book, which is truly a culmination of everyones hard work. Again thank you so so much, only a few more hours till we see your smiling faces!  Good morning America!

Ja-Z & KT

Monday, January 31, 2011

We're SO Close!

Thank SO much to everyone who has been viewing the blog! We appreciate all the times you have visited the page to help us bring up the view count. We are enjoying our last morning at the beach before we pack up to come home. Ja-Z and KT will update the bog again once we arrive in Amsterdam so please keep visiting so we can hit our 20,000 goal and give you guys a special treat (in addition to our return).

We're counting on you to bring us to 20,000. You can do it!

Coming At You For The Second Time Today!

KT and Ja-Z wanted to share some wonderful pics from this morning!

 Here are a couple of the really cool fish we saw this morning.
...And yes, this is KT and Ja-Z underwater.
Thank you so much to Rachel Kozlowski for these totally sweet pics!

Also we thought we'd take this time to clear the air about our afternoon of possibilities. It ended up fabulous! We watched sea turtles hatch and run to the ocean, how can you beat that? Enjoying the stars from sunny Africa, talk to you later!

January 31, 2011

Yesterday, we spent the day relaxing on the beach no real plans for the day. Some students took the afternoon to walk the short distance into town to see what local life was like. At our meals we sampled some of the local finish including some great octopus at dinner. Today we spent the morning at a near by sandbar snorkeling and enjoying the reef finishing our last class on the boat ride back to camp. The rest of the afternoon is full of possibilities.

Well faithful followers Ja-Z and KT hate to admit this trip is coming to a close. While everyone here is missing their loved one's smiling faces, please don't be alarmed if we all come back a little rosy...the sun here is HOT! As we spend our final hours in pure paradise, it is a good place to reflect on the amazing experiences we have had. The wildlife, the people and the culture will be missed dearly, and no one will ever forget their first time in Tanzania.

On a much happier note the weather is still beautiful here and we still need 20,000 hits by February 1st (aka tomorrow). We will post again during the layover in Amsterdam and if we reach our 20,000 hit goal a special blog will also be uploaded for your viewing pleasure. So REFRESH that page guys and we'll see you soon!

PS The book that has been put together for this trip, a collage of photos and articles written by everyone on the trip, will be for sale coming very soon! We encourage all parents and friends to buy a copy not only as a memento for the trip but also because a portion of the proceeds will go to the Dorobo Fund an extension of the tour group who has so graciously walked through Tanzania. The Dorobo Fund is a non-profit organization that works will all the people we have been so lucky to visit here.

ENJOY THIS VIEW! (We know we are!)

Group photo by Jon Cox

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 29, 2011

As we traveled to our final destination, everyone was excited for our time at the beach; luckily the bus ride was short.  We arrived at Pembe Abwe, Daudi and Truda’s privately owned beach in the early afternoon to the sound of the ocean and one of the most beautiful views. With nearly a mile to explore and swim, everyone enjoyed soaking up the rays. As if that wasn’t enough, we are able to snorkel in nearby reefs and kayak to view a variety of kingfishers in a mangrove forest.
 Pembe Abwe.
Photo by: Rachael Kaozlowski

January 28, 2011

Today was finally a day to relax. The photography group turned in their projects and the wildlife group turned in their checklists and survey sheets.  Some students had the morning to finish their work, while others had the option of going on a butterfly or chameleon hike.  After lunch, we headed to the Amani Butterfly House, where students were able to walk among many endemic butterfly species.  The Butterfly House ships out chrysalis to different butterfly gardens all over the world!  We even had the opportunity to purchase butterfly jewelry, don’t worry they are already dead! The night ended with photography students heading out for a night walk and the wildlife students enjoyed the evening off.

Even the butterflies like our pictures!
Photo by: Lizzie Baxter

Friday, January 28, 2011

January 27, 2011

Morning activities were postponed as students rubbed their eyes awake after their late arrival in the Amani Nature Reserve the previous evening.  Instead, a work session was initiated to alleviate the last of assignments on our to-do lists. In the afternoon those that opted for a study break chose between two hikes to seek out either chameleons or butterflies.  After a candlelit dinner, local chameleon guide, Rasta, led wildlife students on a torch-lit night walk to seek the many chameleon species endemic to the area.
 Chameleon found on walk.
Photo by: Dana DeSousa

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 26, 2011

We left Arusha at 8am for our longest travel day. We piled into a coaster bus, a box on wheels unprepared or the 15-hour journey that lay ahead. 30 kilometers from our new residence, a large rock in the road put a hole in our radiator. We turned back to find the nearest mechanic, spending the next four hours waiting for our bus to be fixed. Students took advantage of the break to explore the local area. We finally arrived in Amani at 11:30pm to a long awaited dinner.  Four lucky students had the chance to ride with both professors for the day stopping to birdwatch at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and a few places along the Pangani River. 

PS Ja-Z and KT apologize for the lack of photo today, but there were not really any photo opportunities while traveling but check back for another one soon!

January 25, 2011

Leaving after breakfast at the Pamoja Expedition Lodge, we headed out to tackle Arusha’s markets.  Traveling by taxi, it was our first chance to experience the liveliness of the city.  Ready to haggle, students were set loose to browse through rows upon rows of vendors with the help of Maggie, one of our guides.  Students walked away with jewelry, spears, textiles, and handcrafted house wares.  The next location was comprised of a supermarket and several small shops, including a jewelry store operated by Maasai women, a clothing store, and ice cream shop.  Upon returning to the lodge, we had to say goodbye to Maggie.  We will greatly miss her but appreciate all that she has added to our experience here.  The rest of the day was devoted to schoolwork as we prepare for another travel day tomorrow. 

 An example of beads bought in the market in Arusha.
Photo by: Liz Rudkin

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FYI We NEED Your Help

Ja-Z and KT have been presented with a challenge. We must reach 20,000 views before we leave Tanzania. On February 1st we will check the blog for the last time, it is at this last time that the total page views (recorded at the bottom of the blog page) must be above 20,000. So, refresh if you must, send the blog out to everyone you know and remember to leave A LOT of comments!

PS On a totally separate note, we have been informed today that in the past there has not always been satellite service in in the area we are headed to tomorrow. When we arrive Ja-Z and KT will try to get the blog updated, but if you don't hear from us right away, don't fret! Refresh that page and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

January 24, 2011

We packed up our tents for the last time this morning and departed from the Serengeti to return to Arusha. On our way out of the Serengeti we drove straight through the great migration and found the remains of a mother and calf wildebeest that had been eaten by lions. We stopped for lunch at a beautiful location overlooking the Ngorongoro Highland in the Maasailand. Our afternoon adventured consisted of a few stops for minor truck repairs during which time we watched wildlife and photographed the beautiful scenery including a double rainbow. After completing our 12 hour unimog journey we arrived in Arusha where we said a tearful goodbye to Simon and Habibu.

The group enjoys a gorgeous view while we take a lunch break.
Photo by: Katie Pusecker

January 23, 2011

An early morning hike led us to an escarpment overlooking Lake Eyasi for the first sun rays of the day. After a late breakfast, students chose to either stay near camp to work on assignments or explore the surrounding Maasailand. Those that chose to hike roamed around a Maasai warrior cave site called an opul, examining recent cave paintings. In the evening, students witnessed a traditional slaughtering and preparation of a male goat which was roasted and enjoyed by all.  Some students were brave enough to sample goat’s blood and kidney. For our final night camping, we celebrated by learning traditional Maasai dance and joined them for a dance around the campfire.   Jon Cox and Jake Bowman were challenged to a Maasai dance off by Jon Stave and Griffin Lotz.  The elder skills of Jon and Jake prevailed!

Griffin Lotz practices his Maasai dancing as students look on.

Photo credit: Camille Legge

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 22, 2011

Our first day on Maasai land in the Serengeti Ecosystem started with a hike to a traditional temporary Boma. We were given the opportunity to ask the Maasai questions and learn about their culture and way of life. We were also invited into their homes to see how they live. We continued our hike up to Oloponi which is a rock overhang that serves as a protected place for warriors to stay during their meat ceremony called an olpul. This ceremony can last anywhere from a few days to weeks. The afternoon was used for class time in addition to completing other coursework. Later, some students hiked up to nearby rock hills to see a beautiful view of Lake Eyassi.  After dinner we celebrated Sam’s birthday with a traditional song and dance of the Maasai.

Maggie, Katie Pusecker, Liz Rudkin, and Jasmine Macies with two Maasai Warriors, William and John
Photo By: Joy Wedge

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 21, 2011

We left Ngorongoro Crater this morning to head out to Maasai land on the Serengeti Plains.  Along the way, we found ourselves in the middle of the great migration, surrounded by thousands of wildebeests for miles.  We felt fortunate to be so close to these animals and to participate in something usually only seen on television.  This sparked discussion about the complexity of the Serengeti ecosystem and how the Maasai and wildlife coexist.  Once at camp, we were greeted by the Maasai and ended the day around a huge bonfire, looking forward to what we will learn tomorrow. 

PS Ja-Z and KT say sorry about the previous blog uh-oh, the video will be re-posted shortly.

Wildebeests spotted on the Serengeti plains during the migration.
Photo by: Sam Mancuso 

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 20, 2011

Today, we entered the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, a UNESCO (United Nations Environmental Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site. The day started off with a bang when we witnessed two cheetahs prowling near a herd of zebra. When we stopped for a quick break, one of the students was shocked to discover a black faced vervet monkey stealing a juice box from their truck! We saw lions, elephants (females and calves, which rarely enter the crater), black rhino, spotted hyena and hippos (out of the water). We also saw hundreds of zebra, wildebeest and buffalo. The wildlife students learned to identify many different species and how to conserve of African Wildlife. At the same time the photography group learned how to documentary wildlife in its natural environment. We have learned together that knowing the behavior of your subject makes for more interesting photos of wildlife and a better understanding of the wildlife. Upon arrival at our campsite on the Crater rim, we discovered the resident elephants eating trash. It brought up questions about our future and what we can do to create responsible ecotourism, such as implementing policies to develop safer trash disposal methods that doesn’t allow for wildlife to eat it.

PS Ja-Z and KT say to check the UD home page for our group photo, #3 in the slideshow!

Errica Capossela and Dana DeSousa watch as an elephant crosses in front of thier truck in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Photo by: Liz Rudkin

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 19, 2011

Our day at the Octagon Lodge in Karatu was spent as a workday for everyone.  The photography students focused on designing the book and 7-minute video that they’ll be presenting at the end of their trip, while the wildlife group filled out survey sheets and wrote in their journals.  In addition, the students worked in their four groups to make progress with their corresponding article assignments.  They enjoyed a short shopping trip in the Karatu village, escorted by Maggie, where students bartered jewelry and explored a common market full of beans, spices, and fresh avocados.  The day ended with a delicious grilled dinner, showers, and fresh laundry.

  the UD students in the Karatu market with their guide Maggie

January 18, 2011

After watching a stunning sunrise over the Yeada Valley, the Hadza helped us roll up our tents and pack our trucks for another day of travel. The journey began with Hadza women chanting traditional versus as we bounced down the mountain road. We said our final goodbyes to our Hadza hosts, and shortly after one of the trucks found its wheels spinning in place on the muddy trail. In desperate need of some exercise, not that we hadn’t spent the last 3 days trying to keep up with the Hadza, the whole group got out of the truck and pushed. Fortunately, it took only a few minutes of effort before we were on our way again.  Following our first hot shower in over a week, we ended the day with a group discussion of the Hadza.

Hadza elder making digging stick.
Photo by: Jasmine Macies

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FYI About Tanzanian Food

Ja-Z and KT have noticed many followers have been commenting regarding the food being served here in Tanzania. We thought we should clear this up. The following is a meal by meal list of what we eat:

Breakfast usually consists of toast along side eggs (hard boiled or scrambled), a variety of delicious fresh fruit ranging from mango, watermelon, pineapple, bananas and passion fruit. Often times there is bacon or sausage and always coffee and tea.

Between breakfast and lunch we take a cookie break, recipes from resident guide Truda.

For lunch we make sandwiches the typical meat and cheese or peanut butter and honey, with a side of vegetables and sometimes amazing guacamole. On special occasions we a treated to Hyrax liver, bee larvae, fresh honeycomb, bush berries or tubers.

Dinner is a standard meal. Typically rice or another starch is served with a curried meat, beef or chicken, and a vegetarian option, usually also curried, and a side vegetables.

Dessert is always BANGIN! Everyone always has seconds...sometimes thirds. So if your wondering about weightless on this trip, its not happening.

PS check back later for yesterday's adventures! We miss everyone at home, hope this satisfies your curiosities.

Signing off for now Ja-Z and KT.

January 17, 2011

­­­After an early breakfast, we broke up into smaller groups to join the Hadza for a morning of hunting.  It was a learning experience for all, as we did not have translators.  Over the next 6 hours, we followed the Hadza into the valley as the scaled enormous baobob trees to harvest honey.  Agile enough to climb one-handed, the Hadza were fearless as they stuck their hands into swarming beehives, throwing down honeycomb for us to taste.  In action, the hunter’s were very impressive as they swiftly moved about, looking for prey. Two groups returned to camp with the day’s catch; a bushbaby and a bush hyrax to cook over the fire.  It was intriguing to see how the hunter’s prepared their kill and made us appreciate how the Hadza people live off of the land.  The day ended with a hike up a cliff side to see rock art that dated up to 5,000 years old.  Although the creators of the rock art are unknown, we plan to use digital imaging software that enables us to see beneath the surface, revealing pictures in their original state.

 Hadza hunter  climbing baobab tree.
Photo by: Raechel Kaozlowski

Monday, January 17, 2011

For Your Viewing Pleasure

PS: Comment for your favorite adventurer!
Love Ja-Z & KT

January 16, 2011

It was an early morning pack up before we headed off to our next campsite in the Yaeda Valley. Instead of driving there like usual, we hiked the 7 miles to our next campsite. While the distance was long, the savanna scenery was absolutely beautiful. Walking also allowed us to see some exciting things, such as two Grey Crowned Cranes and a bullfrog so large it had to be held with two hands, watching our Hadza guides crawl into a Baobab tree full of bees and witnessing a Hadza hunt!  When we arrived at our new campsite, we quickly discovered the amazing 360 degree view of the entire valley. Although we were exhausted, the sight was just what we needed to finish up the day. In the evening on the rock we discussed the Hadza and the future of their people. Some students enjoyed the view so much they decided to sleep on top of the rock and taking star trails!      
View from atop our Rock

Photo By: Lizzy Baxter                                                                                 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 15, 2011

 For our first day in the Yaeda Valley, we joined Hadza men and women in collecting two kinds of tubers (//’ekwa* and shumuko) and honey.  As we gathered, the women showed us how to eat the small, raw tubers, and later we sat around a fire to roast the larger tubers.  In the afternoon, some students learned how to make arrows and jewelry, while others learned to climb an ancient baobab tree.  Later, the group came together to visit a nearby Hadza bush camp and see how these nomadic people live in the wilderness. All of these activities allowed the students and Hadza to bond.

*//’  represents a click in the Hadzane language

PS- Ja-Z and KT we saw some spectacular views today on our hike, hopefully pics to follow!

Picture: Virginia Hall, guided by Hadza women, digs for //’ekwa.

Photo credit: Megan Krol

Photo editing: Griffin Lotz

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 14, 2011

While the rain came down we packed up camp in the Nou Forest, half the group opted for an adventure in the trucks, the other half taking a walk through the village one last time. The final hour in the forest provided some of the best bird watching the group has had in the forest spotting a Golden-winged Sunbird, the beautiful White-starred Robin and some were lucky enough to see a Yellow Bishop. Due to various truck delays the 11-mile trip to the Yaeda Valley took over 6 hours. Arriving at our new campsite the Hadza greeted us and the group got right to work. Some of the wildlife group used the tracking skills of a Hadza guide, Moshi, to set up remote cameras. The group got the opportunity to witness their guide checking for honey in a tree. The night concluded with a shared song and dance in celebration of our tour guide Daudi’s 60th birthday.

PS Ja-Z wants to wish KT a happy 22nd birthday! It was an awesome day :)

 Video from Doudi's birthday celebration!

January 13, 2011

On our last day at the Nou Forest, we were given the option to catch up on school work or go on a surprise hike with Daudi, our guide and founder of Dorobo Tours. The hike was four hours of rigorous work, but worth the effort. Those who went arrived at an Iraqw waterfall, where the students enjoyed the view and refreshing water (yay showers!). For those who stayed around camp went on individual hikes to enjoy solitude and the unique environment around them. Some students even came across a newborn calf among an Iraqw cattle herd. We are excited to travel to the Yaeda Valley tomorrow and experience life with the Hadzabe tribe.

PS- Ja-Z and KT apologize for missing yesterday, expect another upload in the next few hours!

Students enjoy a refreshing waterfall in Nou Forest
Photo By: Katie Pusecker

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 12, 2011

We were awoken to the sound of pouring rain reverberating from the roof of our tents.  After breakfast, we began learning the Tanzanian anthem with our tent mama Maggie, as it was Union Day, to celebrate when Zanzibar and Tanganyika untied to create the Republic Tanzania.  We may have been out of tune at times, but we loved the opportunity to sing in Swahili.  Half of the class met the Iraqw and the others worked on their articles on the Iraqw and Hadza tribes.  Our day ended with a fireside chat with some Iraqw village chairmen and a forest guard. When we asked about the recent election, Karoli, the forest guard, said “if the hyena is the judge the goats fate is certain.”

Photos from our first crit

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 11, 2011

True to form, the Nou cloud forest’s lush flora faded into the morning mist as rain found its way into our tents.  However, the sky cleared up just in time for the students to start the day.  Half the group stayed in camp to complete assignments while the rest followed local forest guard, Karoli, into the nearby village to exchange cultural experiences with the agro-pastoral Iraqw tribe.  The wildlife group photographed an aardvark on the remote cameras set out the day before. After a week of planned activities, we enjoyed our freedom to explore the Nou forest in the afternoon.  Our long day concluded around the fire joined by Iraqw forest guards.
PS Ja-Z says hi-five to all the comments, we love hearing from everyone at home, keep 'em coming! KT would like to know where Kath is, and why she hasn't commented yet? didn't you like the lion?!

Picture: Karoli and his son play outside Karoli’s mother’s home.
Photo credit: Holley Kline
Photo editing: Meg Krol

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 10, 2011

Today as we packed up in Tarangire National Park, we took in the last glimpse of the beautiful surroundings; our destination for the day was the Nou Highland Forest. We paused from our daylong journey at the breath taking Balangida Lake, where children herded their livestock just a few feet in front of us. As we ate, we noticed the lake surface covered with hundreds of flamingos and other water birds. As we drove away we looked back to see isolated storms roll in creating thick columns of rain across the plains below. We continued into some Iraqw villages, ending the day with an bush whacking experience to arrive at our new campsite.

PS Ja-Z and KT like to read the comments aloud around the fire at night, so keep them coming!

The beautiful Balangida Lake.
Photo by: Sam Mancuso

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 9, 2011

Rising before the sun at Tarangire National Park, we expected fewer animals due to last night’s rain.  However, the day was surprisingly eventful.  In a rare occurrence, the photography group shared a tense hour with a pride of lions as they ambushed a pair of warthogs.  Meanwhile, the wildlife group was in awe as a bachelor group of elephants came within an arms length of the truck.  The sight left some students speechless and in tears.  As if that wasn’t enough, the day ended with another suspenseful moment as a lioness attempted to stalk a giraffe.  Although the giraffe was able to escape, a baby warthog was less fortunate. 

PS: Ja-Z and KT are tired of the slacking, please pick up the view count! Tell your friends and family to follow along.

Lion chasing a warthog.
Top photo: Katie Pusecker
Bottom photo: Rachel Kozlowski

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January 8, 2011

After packing up our tents at the Olasiti Village campsite, we ventured off to Tarangire National Park, famous for its elephant populations. We arrived at Tarangire Safari Lodge, which overlooks miles of beautiful African savanna!  From the lodge terrace we were excited to see giraffes, zebra, impala, and elephants. As Tarangire has a constant water supply, it attracts a variety of wildlife; during our safari, we identified and photographed ostriches, elephants, impala, water buck, dwarf mongoose and lions! Tomorrow we will head out at 6:30AM and hope to see some elephants up close!

                   Grace Oldfield, CJ Corddry Caitlin Gormley, and Erica Capossela looking at elephants
                                                           from the top of the unimogs.
                                                                Photo by: John Stave

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January 7, 2011

The children we met on our first day accompanied us in two large safari trucks to Arusha National Park, where we collaborated in teams to identify the most species of wildlife. The art students experimented with photography techniques while the wildlife group learned about diagnostic features of several species. The highlight of the day was seeing giraffes, greater and lesser flamingoes, Harvey’s duiker, olive baboons, and common warthogs. The day ended with the children receiving binoculars donated by a former UD student to continue their interest in wildlife, and everyone parted with fond memories!

P.S. Ja-Z and Katie missed blogging yesterday, look for another one soon though!

                           Greater Flamingoes soar over an alkaline lake in Arusha National Park.
                                                         Photo Credit: Griffin Lotz

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011

On our first full day the photography class spent the morning at the Olasiti Orphanage where students sewed and beaded with the children. The afternoon was spent with the orphans visiting Shanga, a company that employs disabled workers who make jewelry and crafts out of recycled materials. The group also explored Africa art from ancient masks to contemporary pieces at the Arusha Cultural Heritage Museum. The Wildlife Conservation group traveled to the Asogati Plains to experience the unique fauna of the Somali ecosystem. The group searched for the Beesley’s Lark; only 50 exist in the world, and they found not just one but five. In total they found over 50 species of animals including their first megafauna such as zebras and ostriches.  

P.S. Ja-Z and Katie are awesome bloggers...yay satellites!

                                                Joy Wedge sewing with one of the children.