Bassingbourn Village College students head to Tanzania

PUBLISHED: 20:18 20 September 2018 | UPDATED: 20:25 20 September 2018

BVC students in Tanzania. Picture: BVC

BVC students in Tanzania. Picture: BVC

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Students from Bassingbourn Village College have travelled to Africa to help support a school in need.

BVC's Iain Lynn in the foothills of Killimanjaro. Picture: BVCBVC's Iain Lynn in the foothills of Killimanjaro. Picture: BVC

The teenagers spent two weeks in Tanzania over the school holidays as part of their World Challenge expedition – using their time to explore their environment as well as carry out badly-needed repairs to a village school.

BVC teacher Jude Shortt, who accompanied the students alongside fellow teacher Rachel Ward, said: “World Challenge is what is says on the tin – it is a challenge. “It makes the young people step out of their comfort zone and tests their leadership, communication and resilience skills to the max.

BVC students making music. Picture: BVCBVC students making music. Picture: BVC

“The students are basically in charge and learn how to organize transport, accommodation, food which is no mean feat in a foreign country miles from home with a different language and culture.

“Our young people came up trumps as always and it was wonderful to see them hone and develop a raft of skills that will all be hugely beneficial to them as they set out on the new phase in their lives.”

BVC students dancing with villagers. Picture: BVCBVC students dancing with villagers. Picture: BVC

Highlights of the trip included trekking in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, finding a great supply of local produce from a frenetic and rather daunting marketplace, a group of boys joining in with a local acrobatic team’s limbo routine by firelight, hysterical laughter when a rather large and intimidating baboon decided to hop into the safari jeep without an invite; managing the team finances and learning the local language.

Student Iain Lynn from Royston said: “The best part of the trip was meeting people who were so profoundly happy - we see them as destitute and poverty-stricken and technically we are right, economically they have very little, but their outlook showed that they had their priorities right, that happiness is paramount and money secondary.”

BVC students at work. Picture: BVCBVC students at work. Picture: BVC

Fellow student and traveller Elli Groom, from Steeple Morden, added: ”I enjoyed everything about the trip! I will always remember the waterfall shower with the crabs & monkeys, and also trying new foods like pili pili salt and all the different types of fruit and veg.

“I feel that the experience has made me think about how we take so many things for granted. Silly things like a bath and a ceilings in schools – at the school the ceilings were awful, there were holes in it and bits failing but it didn’t stop all the kids from smiling!”

BVC students on a trek. Picture: BVCBVC students on a trek. Picture: BVC

BVC's Ellie Groom with a schoolchild in Tanzania. Picture: BVCBVC's Ellie Groom with a schoolchild in Tanzania. Picture: BVC

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