Olasiti Orphanage and Tanzania Safari

July 30, 2010  By: Gretchen

Jennifer Gerwing recently spent time volunteering at the Olasiti Orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania and then enjoyed a safari in Tarangire and the Serengeti. Here is her story and how her adventure changed her life.

“I have always wanted to go on an African safari and this was the year to do it as I celebrated a milestone birthday. I had researched various travel agencies and I decided to go with Africa Adventure Consultants for various reasons noted below. Once I knew it was a go, it hit me one morning that if I am blessed to have this opportunity, I must give something back, and that is where AAC fits in. I was working with Lyndsay and I told her that I would like to combine both a safari with some type of volunteer work. To make a long story short, she made it happen and it has changed my life.

I spent two days at Olasiti School and Orphan Center in Arusha where I assisted the teachers and played with the children. Thanks to family and friends, I was able to bring two suitcases full of books, pencils, bags, toys, money, etc. It was unbelievable to watch the children’s gratitude when they received the donated items. Something as simple as a pencil brought happiness to these children. I also witnessed the older children helping the younger ones with their homework; it was very heartwarming to watch this. As Margaret Mead once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

If you are interested in reading more about the school/orphan center, check out their website.

After a few days at the school/orphan center, I spent a few days at Tarangire National Park enjoying both a walking and driving safari which was truly amazing. The animals, plants, nighttime sky and birds were beyond what I imagined it would be like. That experience sparked an interest in birding for me. What a great group of people I met at Oliver’s Camp, both the staff and other visitors.

I ended my journey at the Serengeti. Yes, I witnessed the migration of the wildebeest, what a sight!!! Overall, I can’t say enough about how wonderful this trip was (organization on behalf of AAC & the beauty of Africa), it truly was a dream come true.”

For more information on safaris in Tanzania or volunteer trips