Travel Programs

Volunteer Trip

TDS Work-Study Program

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A “work-study” trip is an experience for travelers to volunteer in the communities they are traveling to and enhance their cultural understanding of the region by attending culture-related seminars. This type of travel experience allows the traveler to explore as part of the community.

This year’s two-week trip is set to begin on Saturday, June 11, 2016. TDS’s Work-Study Program combines a traveler’s desire to visit a foreign place and also give back in the community while they are there. This year will include working alongside teachers as they develop their computer skills, learning from locals about Tanzanian culture and a safari and camping in the Serengeti.

Learn more about the 2016 Work-Study Trip.

NIU Study Abroad Program

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This study abroad course offered through Northern Illinois University explores the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the development of poor countries, with Tanzania as a case study framework. The primary instruction will be meetings and interactions with officers and clients from a variety of NGOs in Tanzania, operating at the local and national levels. Students will ground their observations and interactions in-country with assigned reading and discussion. A major aspect of the course is the experience of working with local teachers as they improve their computer literacy skills.

Learn more about the 2016 NIU Study Abroad.

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Tanzania Development Support led a fundraiser to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for the second time in January 2016. The purpose of the 2016 Kili Climb was to launch the second phase, the addition of two computer labs to the Library and Community Resource Center. The trip began with the climbing of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a 7 day experience. The second week included an overnight camping trip to Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater and a drive across the Serengeti to deliver the money raised from the Kili Climb. Thanks to the dedicated volunteers, the 2016 fundraiser raised over $56,000 and construction of the computers labs was able to begin in late March.

 


Latest Travel Updates

The Breakfast Wall

The Breakfast Wall

Our climbing crew tackled The Breakfast Wall this morning after breaking camp and kissed the kissing wall. It is one of the most difficult stretches of the journey! Mary Snieckus is the focal figure in this shot. 8.2 miles and 18,577 steps so far today. Yesterday was over 30,000 steps. Note that the sun is shining!

There’s a lot of bravery and determination on Mt. Kilimanjaro now – as there has been over the years. Here’s to their successful summit!

Meet the Climbers – Kurt Thurmaier

Meet the Climbers – Kurt Thurmaier

We are now one week from the 2019 Kilimanjaro Climb officially beginning! Our climbers are all making their last preparations for the long journey to Tanzania, and are eager to get things underway. Today, we are featuring a climber that almost all in the TDS community are familiar with, co-Founder and President, Dr. Kurt Thurmaier. Professor Kurt, or Baba Anna, as locals in the Mara region know him, is no stranger to Kilimanjaro. This will be his third, and last (or so he says), trek to Kili. Read on to hear what motivates him to continue returning to Tanzania. You can also donate to his personal fundraising goal and help us get closer to our overall goal of $75,000 by visiting Professor Kurt’s fundraising page.


Q: Who are you?

A:Kurt Thurmaier

Q: What do you do?

A: Presidential Engagement Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Administration at Northern Illinois University, and Volunteer, Donor, and President of Tanzania Development Support

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A: I like traveling to new countries to explore new cultures, meet new people, and taste new foods. I enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, biking, and swimming for recreation.

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: This will be my 3rd climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak. It is a major challenge physically and emotionally; it takes determination and perseverance. The first two climbs we raised money to build the Madaraka Nyerere Library and Community Resource Center in Nyegina. This time we will fill it with more books and computers, and make it a 21st century learning center for the students and their families in the Nyegina area. The challenges they face in getting a 21st century education are much more difficult than climbing Kili. The money we raise in this climb will help them overcome these challenges and help them escape poverty for themselves, their children, and their children’s children.

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 foot mountain?

A: I swim longer and more often, walk instead of drive or ride my bike to work, and go on more and longer walks, especially on weekends. And I will add more weight to my pack in the last month (about 5-7 pounds) for the hikes to get my shoulders ready for the 6-8 hour hikes carrying my water each day on Kili.

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A: All of them.

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain.

A: Yes, this is my 3rd fundraising climb, and I am also co-founder and president of TDS.

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: I read three newspapers daily and write every day. I read scholarly articles and books as part of teaching.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Currently reading Parker Palmer’s book, The Company of Strangers. Published in 1981, it is prescient 40 years later: we need an active public life to strengthen our private life and nourish our souls. Serving others heals our souls and is a guiding compass to help make the world a better place.

Q: What is your favorite memory from school?

A: Which school? I have a newspaper clipping from when I was in primary school, 3rd grade. My classmates and I raised money, I think to buy the school a shovel! (Not sure why, but it was 1965 in Virginia.) I still exchange Christmas cards with my first grade teacher, Mrs. Reba McClanan. My family surprised me by helping her fly to our wedding rehearsal in rural Wisconsin in 1983. She later was elected to the Virginia Beach city council and I heard her praised from the city manager who was attending the International City/County Management Association conference that year. She was a dedicated public servant and “all in” council member, according to him.

I enjoyed high school at Stevens Point Area High School (in Wisconsin) and especially enjoyed the fun mentoring relationships with most of the teachers. One April Fool’s Day in advance algebra class we decided to create a math scavenger hunt for the teacher. He couldn’t find the dreaded red pencils unless he followed the equations that gave him distances and angles to get to his pencils. At the end was a stool with a dunce cap, which he willingly donned for a picture that appeared in the year book. He must have appreciated all of the work we put into building the equations!

I just learned that my favorite English teacher, who was also the high school debate team coach, died in February. Mr. Bonikowske loved teaching and loved his students. My favorite memory from debate was when we won the 1974 state championship. Bonikowske was in heaven. As a teacher myself now, I can only imagine the joy he felt for all the work he and his students had put into crafting and honing the arguments to win the debates.

The reason these are some of my favorite memories is that they are about teachers who inspired me, who engaged with their students, who were so dedicated to the teaching experience that they went above and beyond the 8-4 classroom (as most teachers I know do). I hope that the help that TDS is giving to provides teachers and students with the books, tablets, and training they need for a 21st century education will help create these moments and memories for them as well.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A: I am looking forward to meeting my friends in Nyegina and Musoma again. I’m looking forward to working with Azizi Msuya and his incredible Trek2Kili guides and porters. If I’m nervous about anything, it is getting all the volunteers to Moshi on time, without delays caused by airlines. Once we are all together in Moshi, everything and everyone will start clicking together.

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A: My family and friends share my commitment to community service. They volunteer in so many ways to make their communities better places to live. They also know that when they donate to TDS, their gift is having 100% impact on the girls and boys we are helping to educate in Tanzania. Our TDS track record is excellent over 10 years. We built a modern dormitory for 160 girls. We built a library, computer labs, a teacher resource center, and a community classroom for adult education. Now we are filling the library and computer labs with books and computers to make the facility come alive. In a few short months, Nyegina will have the largest single library collection of Swahili language books in Tanzania! With generous donations from family and friends, we are going to help our Tanzania friends and families create a thriving 21st century learning community.

Q: Is there anything else you want TDS followers to know about you?

A: I am very excited that I will be climbing Kili with 4 of my student alumni from the NIU study abroad programs to Tanzania. What will be most special for me is that they will be going back after several years to see the dormitory and library that they helped build. They helped pass sand bags and rocks to pour the floors, painted window frames, and did other tasks that helped create a 21st century learning center for boys and girls whom they will never know, but who will know that they were blessed with the help of my students and other TDS volunteers. I am a man with many, many blessings.

Jason and Edith arrive in Musoma

Jason and Edith arrive in Musoma

Hamjambo from Musoma! After a long and bumpy bus ride overnight from Nairobi, I was greeted by Gabriel’s friendly face at my drop-off point. Having been my first solo long-distance bus trip in Africa, his greeting of “karibu sana” brought relief that I had finally arrived. Despite the arduous journey to get here, the several reunions with friends in Nairobi and Musoma over the past few days have been worth it.

Views from Afrilux Hotel in Musoma Town

After checking in, the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent sitting on the charming hotel patio sipping tea and getting organized while waiting for the others to arrive. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!

After Edith arrived from Mwanza, we ordered some bites and were joined by Father Kazeri shortly after. Eventually, the rain chased Edith and I inside where we chatted until our prep meeting with Frank, Gabriel, and Esther. Esther has been a librarian for 15 years and recently completed a program through the African Library and Information Association and Institutions (AfLIA) to help train other librarians in Tanzania.

Grilled tilapia from a few feet away, naan, greens, and tomato stew.

Esther traveled from Dar es Salaam to join us this week and provide several training sessions with LCRC staff, Nyegina Secondary teachers, and staff from the Musoma regional library. Sessions will include community engagement for libraries in Tanzania, library management, and cataloging with KOHA. We all look forward to learning from Esther this week!

Meet the Climbers – Sam Blazey

Meet the Climbers – Sam Blazey

This week’s featured climber is the second of two Blazey’s that will be trekking with us up Kilimanjaro. Sam knows a thing or two about providing safe water to communities, one of the areas that we know plays a critical role in education and keeping children in school. We look forward to learning more from him on the trip. Sam just hit his fundraising goal, but you can still help him exceed that by making a donation on his page today!

Q: Who are you?

A: My name is Samuel Blazey, and I go by Sam or Samuel. I’ve recently entered my 30s and am currently a resident of Zionsville, IN on the northwest side of Indianapolis, IN.

Q: What do you do?

A: I’m a geologist for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management working on water quality issues pertaining to public drinking water systems.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A: My big three hobbies are rock-climbing, cycling, and backpacking.

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: It is a unique opportunity to have the chance to climb/hike one of the “Seven Summits”.

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 foot mountain?

A: I’m currently highly active in the climbing community and all the training that comes with that. In addition to that, I am adding lengthy weekend day hikes and extending my daily dog runs/walks (it’s good for him too!).

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A: Any and all!

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain.

A: No, this is a first time experience.

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: Extremely, it is invaluable for work and pleasure reading.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: I’m a huge fan of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series. It’s an intricate story that leaves you attached to characters and missing them when it’s over.

Q: What is your favorite memory from school?

A: Having the opportunity to learn a wide range of topics and the resources to get hands on in class.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A: I’m excited and nervous about it all! It’s a totally new experience for me and way outside of my norm. There will be challenges that I expected and many others that will catch me off guard.

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A: To make an impact on the lives of others.

Meet the Climbers – Mary Snieckus

Meet the Climbers – Mary Snieckus

The next 2019 Kilimanjaro climber in our spotlight is Mary Snieckus. Working for the US Forest Service, she has extensive knowledge about land management and we look forward to learning more from her during our climb up to 19,341 feet! To support Mary’s fundraising goal and help us get closer to our goal of raising $75,000, you can visit her page and make a donation today.

Q: Who are you?

A: Mary Snieckus

Q: What do you do?

A: I work with the US Forest Service, focused on land management policy

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A: I lie to hike, ride my bike, camp, orienteer, read, sew, cook – and try new things!

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: The adventure of it and the opportunity to help the people of Nyegina while doing it.

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 foot mountain?

A: Extra walks, with weight

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A: I’m happy with whatever we see.  Have had the chance to see many animals on a past safari. I also love the landscape – the big open plains and the trees.

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain.

A:  i have contributed to TDS in the past; Jeanine is my cousin so have followed it from the beginning.

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: Very important – both personally and in my work.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.

Q: What is your favorite memory from school?

A: Reading aloud to kids in kindergarden when I was in second grade. I felt so proud to share the book by reading to them.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A: I’m excited to climb, and nervous about climbing – I’ve never been at that elevation before – aside from in an airplane. Really looking forward to meeting the people of Nyegina, and being on safari again. Also am excited to avoid mosquito bites – lol.

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A: Because it supports education, especially for girls so they have more choices for their lives.

Q: Is there anything else you want TDS followers to know about you?

A: I appreciate this opportunity to support TDS in its work to build community.

Meet the Climbers – Jerry Blazey

Meet the Climbers – Jerry Blazey

Our next climber spotlight is the first of three Blazey’s that will be climbing Kilimanjaro with us. Jerry and his two sons, Ben and Sam, are avid outdoorsmen and look forward to the experience of climbing the largest freestanding mountain in the world together. Jerry was also one of our climbers that logged 16 miles in five hours during last weekend’s training session on the Great Western Trail.

Q: Who are you?

A:  My name is Gerald C. Blazey, but I go by the first name, Jerry.   I’m in my early sixties and a resident of Kaneville, IL on the western edge of Kane County, IL.

Q: What do you do?

A:  I’m a professor of physics at Northern Illinois University serving as Vice President for Research and Innovation Partnerships.  When time allows,  I also work on a rare muon decay experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL. 

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A:  My three biggest hobbies are long distance biking, in-line skating, and backpacking.

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: The chance to trek a stratovolcano reaching over 19,000 feet in altitude and to take in Tanazani from the summit.

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 foot mountain?

A:  Biking for extended periods and with high effort three to five times a week and weightlifting as often.

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A:  All of them!

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain.

A: Nope, this is my first time out.

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: Essential, wouldn’t be able to perform my job or enjoy down-time otherwise.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A:  Not a book, but Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy.  I imagine  the summit of Kilimanjaro will be reminiscent of Mars.

Q: What is your favorite memory from school?

A:  Solving intricate mathematical or physics problems.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A:  To summit Kilimanjaro, see Olduvai Gorge, and take a safari; the rigors of Kilimanjaro are daunting.

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A:  So we can leave as much good will in Tanzania as we receive.

To support Jerry’s fundraising goal for the climb, visit his 2019 Kilimanjaro Climb page and donate today!

Meet the Climbers – Rachel McBride

Meet the Climbers – Rachel McBride

For this spotlight, we are featuring the first of four NIU alumni that will traveling to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with us. Rachel participated in the 2013 TDS Study Abroad trip and worked with Nyegina Secondary School administrators on her service learning project. Her recommendation included rearranging the meals that are given to children so they are consuming higher amounts of protein in the morning, which is great for learning!

Rachel McBride during the 2013 Study Abroad Trip

Q: Who are you?

A: Rachel McBride

Q: What do you do?

A: I serve on the Navajo Nation as a Registered Dietitian for the U.S. Public Health Service by helping people manage their Type 2 Diabetes, among other health issues, with nutrition education and behavior change.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A: Exploring – by foot, by flight or by Jeep! I also enjoy playing organized sports – basketball being a favorite. 

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: The seed to climb Kili was planted while on the 2013 study abroad trip. Since then, I have really enjoyed hiking around the southwest and look forward to summiting the highest peak of Africa while raising funds for the school. 

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 footmountain?

A: I am looking forward to a few backpacking trips in Arizona (Havasupai, Navajo Mountain, GC Rim to Rim) prior to the Kili climb and enjoy being active on a daily basis. 

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A: I’d like to see a leopard – but totally love simba (lion) and tembo (elephant) and twiga (giraffes) too!!

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain. 

A: 2013 study abroad trip 

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: Reading and writing is incredibly important to develop one’s self – to see the world from a different perspect or just to learn something totally new. With long commutes from city to city, I’ve recently developed a love for audiobooks.  

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Q: What is your favorite memory from school? 

A: Hard to narrow it down…in general it would be the feeling of stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to do things I was uncomfortable or unfamiliar with.  An example would be interning with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in Italy in 2015.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A: I’m excited for each step of the journey,seeing beautiful things and meeting beautiful people. I’m most nervous about – the unpredictable and hanging out at elevation J

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A: To help advance the education of children in Tanzania.

You can support Rachel’s fundraising goal by visiting her 2019 Kilimanjaro Climb profile. You can also keep up with Rachel on her adventure by regularly checking our blog between May 31 and June 15, or following Tanzania Development Support on Facebook.

Meet the Climbers – Jonathan Justice

Meet the Climbers – Jonathan Justice

With a little more than 50 days until our 2019 Kilimanjaro Climb gets underway, we are featuring climber Jonathan Justice. To support Jonathan’s fundraising goal and learn more about where the funds that we are raising will be going, visit his personal fundraising page.

Q: Who are you?

A: Jonathan Justice

Q: What do you do?

A: I’m a professor in the (newly named) Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware, where I study and teach public budgeting and finance (guess how I know Kurt!), policy analysis, urban affairs, and local economic development.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A: I’m an avid (but slow) recreational cyclist and concertgoer (mostly jazz, opera, and the extraordinary Philadelphia Orchestra. I also spend a lot of time walking a personable standard poodle around our quaint village in downtown New Castle, Delaware, where I am a member of the City Planning Commission. And of course, when I can, I love to read for pleasure, completely unrelated to my work.

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: Actually, I have wanted to do this since I was a child. The exact reasons are lost to the mists of time (50 years or more), but probably I saw a TV show about Kilimanjaro or the Leakey family’s work. This is in fact the #1 item on my “bucket list.” Plus a memorably excellent former student lives and works in Arusha, and I hope to visit briefly with him while I’m there. So when Kurt said TDS was going to climb the mountain again this year, I knew I had to get into it.

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 foot mountain?

A: Cycling for an hour, two-four times per week is my normal aerobic routine. Just to be sure, I asked at my annual physical exam. The doctor recommended a treadmill stress test, just to be absolutely certain I wouldn’t be a danger to myself or others, and I passed with flying colors. And I walk the dog two hours per day. He’s old and slow now, but at least I can get my brand-new (I’m going to REI to buy a pair as soon as I finish this questionnaire) hiking boots broken in that way. And maybe this will give me an excuse to visit my parents in Santa Fe (elev. 6000 ft.) during spring break, and go for some vigorous walks there. And of course I’m reading up (I AM a professor, you know) in travel guides, a beautiful National-Geographic coffee-table book about Kilimanjaro, and on the web. I’ll probably quiz my former student by email, too.

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A: Yes! Meaning: All of them. But if I had to choose a most-wanted, it would be a boringly familiar choice: elephants. Yes, I’ve seen them in zoos and circuses, and yes I know they can be dangerous in the wild, but they are somehow utterly fascinating to me for their physical grandeur, psychology and intellect, and family and social arrangements.

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain.

A: Only as a donor. I wanted to go to Kilimanjaro with TDS a few years back, but couldn’t make it work schedule-wise, so I just sent a check. This year, I just felt I had to make it work.

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: Well, at one level, it’s what I do every day as a professor to put food on the table. So I value it as a way to earn a living. On another level, it’s how I keep informed about the world around me – via the internet and (I know, what a dinosaur this shows me to be) printed newspapers and books – both to satisfy my curiosity and to get the information I need to navigate life and be an informed citizen of a democracy, and how I share relevant factual knowledge with others. But most fundamentally it’s been my portal to the world for a lifetime: a way to gain access to the world beyond my immediate sight and to communicate in thoughtful ways (I think writing gives us time to think more deeply about what we want to say, and gives us more time to edit and refine our thinking before we share it with others). Reading brings me the whole universe of human and natural-world information, as well as the deep intellectual and emotional experiences of fiction and poetry (I’m pretty wide-ranging in my tastes: I still love science/speculative fiction, popular fiction, and literary fiction from the ancients to the 21c.) Besides those instrumental values for reading and writing, I have to say that I also just enjoy reading and writing as pleasures in and of themselves. I don’t have a way to justify that for any skeptics out there, but it’s nevertheless a fact that I just plain enjoy writing and reading, in spite of Socrates’s complaint that by inventing writing the Egyptians destroyed our ability to memorize information. (Of course, I know of Socrates from reading his comments in one of Plato’s Dialogues! I can find out which Dialogue if that matters.)

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Whichever one I read last. At the moment, that’s V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas. It was a remarkably powerful account of a fictional but apparently much like Naipaul himself protagonist who was deeply human, utterly flawed, and perhaps not even very likeable. But the writing was so direct and so real that somehow Mohun Biswas demanded my sympathy even when he was behaving badly or making self-defeating decisions. And the book transported me to a new time and place – mid-20c. Trinidad – and into the lives of people unlike myself as they lived experiences I have never had. The obituaries of Naipaul said this was his best book, and I definitely found it to be a very rewarding read. I broadened my horizons and got a lot of direct pleasure from the story and characters. Actually, this is a book that will be a favorite for years to come, I think, even when other books become my most-recent reads.

In terms of what books do I tend to read and reread, number one is Homer’s Odyssey in the original (back when I could still read ancient Greek, Homer’s Doric Greek was my favorite dialect) and in translation. Every time a new translation comes out, I read it. And I have read Robert Fitzgerald’s translation a half-dozen times, including once during a “blue voyage” of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast – very near the places that are the settings for the poem’s events. Interestingly, one pretty good translation of the Odyssey is the one by T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia.

Q: What is your favorite memory from school?

A: That’s a hard one, just because there are so many good memories for me from many years of school (over 20 and counting, excluding my time on the teacher side of the room). I have been privileged to attend excellent schools from kindergarten through a Ph.D. Wonderful memories include brilliant lectures by teachers, interactions with teachers and schoolmates in classroom and non-classroom settings, and moments when teachers or classmates found something I said or did or wrote to be especially valuable or noteworthy. My time at high school was especially joyful for me, but the part that stands out is basically all of it. It was a residential school, so we were immersed in learning 24/7. Even leisure activities often involved our teachers, so we could learn from them (and from each other) in unstructured time as well as in the classroom.

I almost feel that by singling out particular memories or teachers I’d be unfairly ignoring others. So maybe I can highlight the pleasure of free reading time in school libraries. I love libraries as places to do research, but I also love just finding a secluded chair in a library where I can settle in with a book – maybe one I’ve brought with me, or have just sought out, or maybe one I’ve just happened across by accident (I have a thing for open-stacks libraries, even though I’m told they’re going the way of the dodo bird, at least in academia).

OK. Here’s a pair of favorite memories from a college seminar devoted to reading Homer (in Greek). One was when I went to class incompletely prepared, but somehow managed to deliver an excellent translation of a difficult passage on the spot. Another was a particularly good extended argument – this time I prepared scrupulously in advance – about the ethics of a particular passage in the Iliad.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A: Most excited about – probably the mountain and the natural setting, just because that’s been on my mind for 50+ years. But I’m also very excited to contribute to the work of LCRC and TDS, and to experience the people and culture of Tanzania. I’m also really looking forward to seeing a new country – actually a whole new continent for me, since I’ve never been to any place in Africa before – and visiting my former student.

Most nervous: maybe the climb itself. I haven’t been camping for over 40 years, and I know that the high altitude is very challenging for even physically fit people. And of course there’s always the general nervousness of making a very long journey to a new and unfamiliar place: did I pack everything I’ll need? Am I going to be able to act appropriately? Will I get lost? Will I get some annoying travelers’ disease and be a nuisance to myself and the others? But all of this can be mitigated by preparation, and I know I’m traveling with an experienced and well prepared group!

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A: Because otherwise I’ll have to make up the difference myself! Seriously, this is an opportunity to share the joy as well as the material advantages of learning, with children who might otherwise have less access to that. I won’t say that this is the only place or the only cause in that place that deserves their support, but I certainly think that it is a good enough cause to be worth supporting. It promotes equality of opportunity, economic development, citizenship and democracy, and all the other personal and social benefits of an educated population. Plus, of course, it’s a chance to share with children the immediate and intrinsic joys of reading, writing, and learning that we enjoyed as children and continue to enjoy as adults. (As an aside, I did check it out with a former student, now a management consultant, because I know he was often critical of well-intentioned but unhelpful American charity efforts in Tanzania. He said this is legit, and I should do it.)

Q: Is there anything else you want TDS followers to know about you?

A: I am grateful to be in a position to participate in this program. It’s a great opportunity to help school-age children enjoy access to the privileges, economic advantages, and sheer joy of knowledge that come from education, reading, and writing. And it’s a great thrill to travel to Tanzania and the mountain. I really appreciate the many privileges that make it possible, and I hope I can contribute in whatever way to making similar privileges available to others.

Meet the Climbers – Denise Weinmann

Meet the Climbers – Denise Weinmann

In just under two months, our group of TDS volunteer climbers will be starting their summit of Mount Kilimanjaro! To get to know our climbers, we asked them to answer a few questions about themselves and what made them want to climb the highest peak in Africa. Introducing our first climber, Denise Weinmann!

Q: Who are you?

A: Denise Weinmann, 58. Proud grandma.

Q: What do you do?

A: Commercial real estate broker.

Q: Do you have any hobbies? Of course you do! What are they?

A: Backpacking, hiking, landscaping, wood carving, furniture building, biking, basically anything outdoors.

Q: What makes you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

A: Bucket list top 5. I have always had a burning desire to go to Africa.

Q: How are you preparing to hike to the top of a 19,341 foot mountain?

A: Stairs, cardio, cycling & weight training.

Q: What animal do you want to see on Safari?

A: Elephants in the wild. Giraffes are a close second. A picture of an elephant in the Serengeti has been hanging on my office wall for the past 15 years.

Q: Do you have any past experience with TDS? If yes, please explain.

A: No, but plan on staying involved going forward.

Q: How important is reading and writing to you on a daily basis?

A: Very important. Reading is the key element in obtaining an education.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: Undaunted Courage.

Q: What is your favorite memory from school?

A: I always liked Geography.

Q: What about traveling to Tanzania are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?

A: I am a hands on person, so meeting the Students and Teachers will be a life changing experience.  Hiking Kili and a safari thru the Serengeti are once in a lifetime events.

Altitude sickness.

Q: Why is it important that your friends, family, or acquaintances donate to your personal fundraising goal?

A: I want them to share in my excitement in being able to see first hand how their contribution will help further the efforts of the Tanzania development.  Education is so important.

Q: Is there anything else you want TDS followers to know about you?

A: I am very blessed and excited to be a part of this TEAM.

 

We are so excited to have Denise joining us on the 2019 Kilimanjaro climb! If you would like to help support Denise’s fundraising goal, visit her fundraising page and make a donation today!