This article was originally published in the fall 2014 Harker Quarterly.
In June, more than a dozen upper school students, accompanied by upper school science teachers Anita Chetty and Mike Pistacchi, embarked on an eye-opening trip to Tanzania.
Students had amazing interactions with some of Tanzania’s tribal people. The Hadzabe people are the oldest hunter-gatherer tribe. They speak with clicks and are entirely unfamiliar with cities or cars. The tribe welcomed the students to their village, sharing stories about their lives and culture. The chief of the tribe taught the students how to build a fire and to use a bow and arrow before taking them on a two-hour hunting excursion through the wilderness. Before parting ways with the Hadzabe, the group delivered medical and diagnostic equipment that they had raised money to purchase.
During their visit with the Maasai village of Esilalei, the students ran an eye clinic, fitting and delivering 50 pairs of glasses that they had collected from Harker community donations, in addition to donating 15 goats. Harker’s Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WiSTEM) organization also donated uniforms and book bags for 40 children, enabling them to attend school.
While on safari through Tanzania’s Tarangire and Serengeti national parks and the Ngorogoro Crater, the students had the rare opportunity to see the Big Five over two separate days: elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and Cape buffalo. Students also saw a cheetah stalk, chase and kill a gazelle. During a Jeep tour of Tarangire National Park, the students observed impalas, elephants and a herd of more than 500 buffalo. At one point, several female and baby elephants wandered to within 20 feet of the group, who gladly took pictures.