The View National Express Autumn 2017 - 55

VOLUNTEERING ◆

School in Tanzania

WORDS: Xxxxxx xxxxxx IMAGES: Xxxx xxxxx

HELP
RHINOS
The
International
Union for the
Conservation
of Nature
warned the
population of
rhinos in the
wild is under
half of what it
was last time
it counted in
2008.
Conservation
projects can
really help.

'I GAINED AN
INSIGHT INTO
A T O TA L LY
DIFFERENT WORLD'

At 52, Colin
Stubbings,
from southeast London,
spent three
weeks with
US charity Cross-Cultural
Solutions in a junior school
in Moshi, Tanzania.
'In my late teens, I wanted to
volunteer for Voluntary Service
Overseas, but didn't have the
self-confidence, money or
passport. The thought was in the
back of my mind for years, but
on his back with his feet
my career, family and life meant
in the air. He was absolutely
it stayed there. As my sons grew
magnificent with a black mane.'
up, I had the opportunity.
'After doing some research, I
REAL ADVENTURE
called
CCS. It had an open day in
'The worst part was when we
Brighton, where I work. I met
captured a sick baby zebra,
with other volunteers, who
who was orphaned. I
Sumatran
recommended Tanzania.
remember covering his
rhinos are hunted
'I chose to volunteer
eyes and stroking his
for their two horns
abroad to make it
head to calm him
and are losing
more
of an experience
down. We took him
their habitat.
- I woke most mornings
to camp for medicine,
to see Mount Kilimanjaro.
but sadly he didn't make it.
At weekends, I was a tourist
'My work in South Africa
and went on safari to see the Big
was a real adventure. If you
Five in Masai Mara.'
fancy taking a similar trip, go
with a reputable company. If it
seems unnatural - stroking a
S TA N D - O U T M E M O R I E S
tiger in chains means it's likely to
'My job was teaching children in
have been drugged - it probably
the passageway of a boarding
is. Don't give time and money to
house, with residents passing
something that isn't genuine.
through, and that scene will
'Do immerse yourself in the
always remain with me. But, a
local culture. I chopped up an
stand-out memory is that I fell
old, rancid, green chicken to feed
in love with a four-year-old girl
to the lions. And write a diary!'
called Victoria. She wore her red

gingham dress and a secondhand Postman Pat jumper on
top - in the 30ºC heat!
'But it was her intelligence and
kindness that impressed me. At
four, she could do addition and
subtraction of sums up to 100,
and her vocabulary was the
level of an eight-year-old. She
also supported a seven-year-old.
He lived in the same house as
her and had a limited attention
span. I believe he may have
had AIDS. I hope she will be
able to use her talents in a way
her mother's generation couldn't.'
LEARNING CURVE

'While there, I leaned how to
speak a little Swahili and about
the political system in Tanzania.
I also met Tanzania's first female
judge and MP, who was inspiring. I
was able to spend an afternoon at
the Rwanda war crimes trial and
sit near (behind bulletproof glass)
a man charged with genocide.
'I made new friends, gained
an insight into a different world,
plus it opened my mind to new
ways of thinking. Back in the UK, I
became a trustee of two charities:
one based in Zimbabwe and
the other for learning-disabled
adults in the UK.'

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