Safari Njema, Kifaru!

We just got word from Alison and Simon, our extraordinary Overseas Educators, that the entire group is safely on their flight and currently in the air on their way home. The semester is officially over, and to all of the friends and families of the Kifaru students – a huge thank you for your ongoing support. It’s been an honor working with each of you, with the students, and with… Read More

Stonetown Magic

The thing about Stonetown, Is you don’t realize you could know new flavors until you get here. Being here is like the sudden discovery of a new color; you think you already know every color you could see, it’s unimaginable to think about one day encountering a rainbow of all strange colors. Then you’re in Zanzibar: a place where your every sense is bombarded with strange and exotic sights, sounds,… Read More


We spent the past week at the Special Needs Education Center (SNEC) up in the hills outside of Kabale, Uganda. The center is home to primary school-aged children with physical and mental disabilities and is one of the only institutions of its kind in the country. Each day we would split up and half of our group would go hangout with the kids either in the classroom or outside playing… Read More

Lake Bunyoni

Hills of green and skies of immense fluffy white clouds were the scene as we loaded up into our dugout canoes for our 3 day trek in lake Bunyoni. The rain came and went periodically while the nine of us, along with our new friends from France and Sweden, paddled across the lake from island to island and hiked over hills and through valleys. Our first day we departed from… Read More

Crazy Amazing

Hello and welcome to the cool side of the blog, I am Valiant Val and I will be your host today as we follow the adventures of one group of young adults as they find them selves in the middle of the Arctic!!! No wait that’s not right…. oh yes Africa! Now now settle down, I know you are jealous of them I mean so am I, I can not… Read More

The Craziest Travel Experience I’ve Ever Had

Thursday October 22nd, 2015 4:15-5:30 AM. We woke up at Ohana Amani. Early. So early. There was a fifteen minute interval of people rolling around, groaning, and kicking each other up. It was pitch black, the only sounds audible were ones of animals in the forest. It was cold, too. Maybe 60 degrees Fahrenheit. We got our bags packed up and made our way from the campsite to the lodge,… Read More

Ruaha Safari and Reflections

There has been no experience in my life that even remotely compares to our safari in Ruaha National Park. From each moment to the next, I only wished for my eyes to see more of the mind blowing beauty that surrounded us. Tall grass stretched to meet the bumpy purple hills in the distance. The savannah was dotted with tangles of thorny brush, clustered around the thick trunks of baobab… Read More


Hello again! So much has happened since my last post…I don’t know where to begin. I guess I can start by saying that everything has been great so far! So many beautiful sights, people, and friendships have blossomed before our eyes during the past two weeks. Everyone on the trip is starting to feel comfortable with their surroundings, almost like a second home. A few days ago we climbed up… Read More

Homestays & Swahili School

So a few days ago we left our homestays in Morogoro where we were learning Swahili. I stayed in a small house type place with Camila and Sam. Our host mother was a single woman named Joyce who taught English at the secondary school. She was so kind to us and made us our meals, got water ready for bucket baths, and helped Camila when she wasn’t feeling well. The… Read More


Arriving in Africa has been very exciting, overwhelming and amazing. There are so many words I could use to describe the emotions and ideas I have thus far attached with this beautiful and intriguing place. We landed in Dar es Salaam then took a bus ride to the town of Morogoro just below the Uluguru Mts. We have started orientation and have already experienced awesome things, such as emerging ourselves… Read More

Five Day Forecast

Karibu, and greetings from Tanzania! My friend Aydan and I are currently sitting in an internet cafe in downtown Morogoro. We took a stroll around the city, browsed shops, and finally found a place to settle down and write about our experiences during these past five days. Personally, yesterday was the most amazing day for me so far on this journey. Aydan agrees. We climbed halfway up a mountain in… Read More

First Week

Hujambo! We are currently on a scavenger hunt exploring the town of Morogoro in Tanzania! Yesterday we went on a walk/hike to a waterfall where we cooled off with some local boy and girl scouts. no matter where you are in the world, kids love play and will do anything to find a way to have fun and just chill with each other. For dinner we had ugali – a… Read More

Safely in Tanzania!

Our Kifaru crew is safely settled into their hostel for the night in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Simon and Alison report that everyone is happy if a bit road weary, and looking forward to a good night’s sleep before transferring to the town of Morogoro tomorrow for their in-country orientation. We can’t wait to hear from them over the coming days and months as they explore East Africa. Follow along… Read More

Kifaru Crew United in Amsterdam

Good evening friends and family of the intrepid Kifaru crew! We’ve just received word from Simon and Alison that our group has safely united in Amsterdam – thanks to all for helping to make this such a smooth process! We wish them “safari njema” (good journeys) as they board their final flight onward to Tanzania. With gratitude, Avy and the HQ team… Read More


Greetings team Kifaru! Simon and Alison here, enjoying our last few days in Portland before takeoff to East Africa! We’ve been soaking up the warmth up here in Oregon as we prepare ourselves for the radiant African sunshine. Seriously. It’s gonna be hot! Yesterday we returned from a 4-day camping retreat with the entire Carpe Diem staff, including all the other amazing leaders who will be traveling with groups like… Read More

Habari za Asabuhi – All Gratitude

Our semester wrapped up in fitting fashion in Dar es Salaam. Alongside the scuba diving off the coast of Zanzibar or the tanning sessions on the beach, we were regaled by the top ten moments of our semester by Eric; Dayle and Chris provided cards and gifts with unique quotes and memories; Nikolle, Natalie and Kristian awarded the perfect superlatives for us all; and Sarah, Gus and Nikolle talked us… Read More

Kifaru is Homeward Bound

We received word that all of the Kifaru students said their farewells to Matt and Gwen and made it safely on the plane. They are all now bound for home or on to new adventures. We wish them safari njema (safe journeys) – thank you Kifaru crew for all of your hard and heart-felt work throughout this semester. We can’t wait to see what adventures you embark on next. Avy… Read More