Two Form 4 students, Eunice and Robert, took out first prize for their unique refrigerator project in the fourth annual St Jude’s Science Fair. The students made the refrigerator out of tiles, cement, charcoal and other materials and it is designed for Tanzanian people who don’t have electricity in rural communities to use. Crops and other food can be preserved and stored in it.
It is a simple method utilising charcoals which are used for cooling and the tubes have porous holes to slowly leak circulating water. The tiles make the inside base for storage and the door is on top, while the double wall wire mesh allows the ventilation.
The students competed against many other innovative projects on the day, including a grinding machine which can be hand operated and used for juice and maize extraction while others developed computer software which could be used for online voting during African elections.
The judges granted the refrigerator first place based on its positive impact on society, its easiness to adopt because it doesn’t involve electricity, the time spent on the task, the application of scientific theory and method, its simple design and low cost.
The students have spent the past few months researching and developing their idea of a refrigerator which differs from what is currently available.
Both were overwhelmed by their win and Eunice took to the stage to accept the prizes, giving a moving speech. “Science is like a body of knowledge that you have to use and know what you think is right to help the entire society,” she said. “You really have to use all that you know and all that you have to bring changes in your societies.” As part of the win, they received 100,000 TSH and a trophy.
St Jude’s secondary students continue to perform extremely well in science subjects, national competitions and exams. “Across the school, two-thirds of our students now do science and love it and many want to become scientists, technologists, doctors or engineers” said Mr Mcharo, Head of Physical science department and Assistant Academic Master. “Our best winner for science fair last year went on to compete for the Tanzania Young Scientists competition and got national recognition with several awards as they ranked 2nd in technology.”
The sponsors of the event, local company Zenith Media and Germany group Freudenberg, donated finances which went towards prizes on the day and science equipment for the school. Zenith Media hosted an engaging stall at the event and gave out merchandise on the day including pens, books and hats. They also had games for the students to learn and stay entertained.
“We’re always looking for the people of tomorrow, they need to be creative and think outside of the box when working with our clients and we’re very impressed by the projects the St Jude’s students have designed at this year’s science fair,” said Richard Mwalyambi from Zenith Media.
Around 150 visitors attended the event including the Arusha Technical College Edmund Rice, Uraki, Soreny Star high and Nkoasenga secondary schools.
Jambo Everyone! Our 12 day Safari started in mid February. Traveling with two of our good friends Dave and Linda, we flew into an airstrip in the Serengeti where we met our driver guide Simon. Game driving the rest of the day, we viewed animals and got to know Simon. Simon’s knowledge impressed all of us. We expected his animal expertise, but his knowledge of the birds was truly a plus.
Venturing out at both 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM for game drives, we saw animals every time. One of our best drives was when we saw a Cheetah stalk and kill a Thompson Giselle. After the kill, the Cheetah made a soft mewing sound and two Cheetahs cubs came running from their hiding spot in the tall grass up to “mom”. It was quite a site.
At one time we came within mere feet of Elephants as they were crossing the road. Another day a bull elephant made a bluff charge at us from about 10 feet. Simon knew it was a bluff, and expertly diverted the Elephant. The Elephants were always great to watch. Some of the herds were very large, while others were much smaller.
While in the Central Serengeti, Simon slowly drove into the middle of the migration and we sat and watched the Wildebeests and Zebras pass all around us. As it was the middle of the birthing season, there was a large number of babies. We saw a Wildebeest calf only minutes old with the placenta still hanging from the mother. The calf was already walking. Friends have told us about the migration and we have seen TV documentaries, but until you see it for yourself there are no words that can do it justice. Everyone should experience this fabulous site.
There were many prides of Lions to see and one day we saw two Lions stalk a Warthog. The Warthog won out this time and the Lions missed a meal that afternoon. Another time a Lioness was giving a hunting lesson to two older cubs. She watched the young Lions sneak up on a baby Wildebeest. The hunt was unsuccessful but the lions surely learned a valuable lesson.
The Giraffes seemed elegant the way they walked so tall and ate the tender leaves from the top of the trees. Tanzania truly chose the right animal for the symbol of the country. We saw so many animals but it’s impossible to mention every event, or even all the animal, there were just so many.
One viewing worth mentioning is when we came upon a pack of African Wild Dogs along the side of the road. There were 17 of them and they were all resting in the hot sun, certainly with full bellies. Simon told us they were rare to see and we took some great pictures. We also saw three Leopards all of which we’re napping in trees.
The camps we stayed at were great. The tented camps were our favorite. They gave us a real Safari feeling with an added bonus of wonderful food and a fantastic staff. The other camps were also very nice and we enjoyed them all, but our favorites were the tented camps. Special thanks to Jonas Of Seronera Sametu Camp and D C of Ngorongoro Lions Paw Camp.
Thanks ADS for a trip of a lifetime. We were treated with a friendly, professional and a smiling face at every step of the way. A special “Asante” to Simon for a Safari filled with a life time of memories.
Mike & Patti M.
Safari Dates: February 13, 2014 to February 23, 2014
Wow! We just returned from our second ADS safari and it was every bit as wonderful as the first, and yet unique. Our first trip was in September 2011 during the dry season, and our second trip was this March during the green season. Which was our favorite? That is a subject for another blog!
Our professional driver-guide, Francis met us at the Seronera airstrip and made us feel welcome. He asked what we really wanted to see during our safari and after saying “everything” we made it a little easier for him by saying baby animals, birds and bat-eared foxes! Francis delivered. We saw baby cheetahs, lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, Thompson’s gazelle, Cape buffalo, and wildebeest. The gazelle was about an hour old and could hardly stand up – in fact it fell down with its legs all akimbo.
We watched as a mother buffalo walked her hour old baby down a hill toward the safety of the herd. Every so often she paused to sniff the air for predators that could snatch her baby. Since there were many spotted hyenas in the vicinity, we watched her progress for over an hour, rooting for her to reach the herd. As she approached the other buffalo, she decided to graze a bit, chomping on the new grasses. Fortified, she and her youngster began the last steps of their journey and rejoined the herd.
We saw many young wildebeests that had been born in February and thought we would not see a new born, but then, as we watched tens of thousands of wildebeests stream from the woodland forests onto the grassy plains after the rains, we spied a tiny, tiny wildebeest next to its mother. The mother still had the placenta attached to her. It was amazing to see these newly born animals and their protective mothers, reminding us of our connection to the creatures that inhabit our planet.
We not only saw lots of new babies, we also saw playful babies. One morning in the marshes near Lake Ndutu, we saw a female lion trying to sleep. Her two cubs were more interested in jumping on her, tumbling with each other, and biting their mother’s tail. We watched for several hours as they pounced on her tail, gnawing on it until she turned her head and snarled her displeasure. At one point she decided to get up and go sleep by a slumbering male lion. As she stood and walked away, one of her cubs was still latched to her tail and it went swinging in the air! We laughed at all the antics. Later she nursed the two cubs and then they made their way to some bushes for a nap.
Another special lion sighting was when we saw a mother lion emerge from a cave in a kopje with her newborn lion cub that Francis estimated to be about 10-12 days old. Lions open their eyes at 7 days and this little one looked just a bit older, wobbling about and straying from his mother. In the same vicinity we saw two female lions caring for 5 cubs. One female was on top of a kopje encouraging the other female to walk the five cubs up from their sun bath in the grasses to the safety of the kopje. We watched the lion parade as they made their way up the red rocks, stopping for a drink, before reaching the top and resting in the shade of the bushes. Extravagantly tactile, the two females nuzzled each other and the babies.
Birds, birds, birds! We were enchanted as always by the resplendent, yet ubiquitous, Lilac-breasted rollers perched atop branches. We also saw the European roller which was spectacular in its colorings. Small Bee-eaters shimmering in deep yellows and greens were a highlight, as were the Rosy-breasted and Yellow-throated Longclaws, Tawny eagles, Greater Flamingos, Lesser Flamingos, Verreaux’s Eagle-owl, Yellow-vented Bulbuls, Firefinches, Fisher’s Lovebirds, and Silvery-cheeked Hornbills to name a few!
Finally, the Bat-eared foxes. Francis found two of these fleet-footed animals one evening as we headed back to Lake Masek Tented Lodge. They took one look at us and fled – our photograph shows two blurs in the distance. We were elated that we got to see them, albeit briefly. Were we in for a surprise! Our reward for all of the rain came the next day when we observed a Bat-eared fox family drying out and grooming one another on the plains after their den had been flooded. We happily watched them for about an hour. Again, we were moved by how tactile they were with one another.
This blog covers the three Bs of our trip – babies, birds and Bat-eared foxes. A separate “highlights of the trip blog” shares a more general overview of our amazing green season trip!
Lynn and Phil
Oak Hill, VA
9-21 March 2014