Gifts for the kids

Old May 10th, 2008, 10:24 AM
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Gifts for the kids

Going to Tanzania in June. Can anyone recommend what to take for the kids we will probably meet in villages while on a safari?
Thanks!
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Old May 11th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Are you doing a scheduled visit somewhere? Your safari outfitter should have some guidelines for you if you're going to visit a school, for instance. School supplies such as pens and pencils are always appreciated. At the school, cash is also helpful. If you think you'll just encounter kids in a village, that's a different story. If you give one child a pencil, you might suddenly find yourself surrounded by dozens looking to receive the same thing. You should check with your guide in specific situations before passing out any items.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 05:12 PM
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Thanks ShayTay. We have no planned visits to a school, but heard that people encounter kids in villages they pass by while on a safari. I just didn't want to be in a situation where we run into them but have nothing to give. I bought 50 colorful notepads and pens, some candy and chewing gum, but wanted to see if that's appropriate and makes sense. Based on your resopnse it sounds like it's OK.
If I run out of supplies in a couple of days, so be it.
Thanks again!
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Old May 11th, 2008, 07:51 PM
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Hi Ann7544,
Please consider taking inexpensive toothbrushes instead of candy. The children do not have access to dental treatments. You can Google bush dentistry to learn more about the damage created by the candy that is gifted.

Thanks for listening..KhakiF
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Old May 11th, 2008, 11:43 PM
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Note pads, pens and pencils are good ideas. I recall reading somewhere that sweets are discouraged because most of these kids do not have access to modern dental care and do not use toothbrushes and fluoride toothpastes etc so the are very susceptible to tooth decay by eating sweets.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 11:47 PM
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Old clothes in good condition is also highly appreciated.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 04:33 AM
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Even in South Africa, which supposedly has the best medical care in Africa (Ha!) the remedy for tooth decay is wait until it really hurts and then pull it out.

So no candy please and the gum would be swallowed by the animals when spit out. I brought coloring books to the hospital with four packs of crayons and the kids thought they had died and gone to heaven. Also cheap reading books you can get at a flea market (like golden books)

Kim
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Old May 12th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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No candy...bad idea. If you're on the northern Tanzania safari circuit, you really won't be passing through that many villages and won't have kids chasing your vehicle looking for handouts. Mostly, you'll see children in their school uniforms walking to and from school. I would highly recommend having your safari outfitter set up a school visit, perhaps around Karatu. Also, a visit to a Maasai village is interesting. Some villages are more remote and "authentic" than others, but I think you'll enjoy the visit no matter where you go. You can interact with the kids in both places, but it's best to give your goodies to the adults in charge so that they can distribute them in an equitable manner.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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No sweets or gum, please.

And do arrange with your outfitter for a school visit (if in session) and orphanage, etc. Most of the ground operators in Tanzania have affiliation of one type or another. Distribute your goodies to a headmaster or elder for proper distribution as it's unlikely you'll have sufficient for each smiling face.

If you do see children running after your vehicle on the road - DO NOT throw anything out of the windows!
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Old May 12th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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Thank you all so much - it's really helpful! I'll be sure to follow your advice.
Very grateful,
Ann
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Old May 18th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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We brought books and pens/pencils, balloons for kids but it was very awkward. My guide was miffed with us and really didn't want us to just hand things out because he said it taught them to beg rather than work. I remember handing pencils to a Maasai group only to find one of the guys carrying a cell phone with a diamond (fake or real who knows) in his ear by Oldupai. Since we'd hauled the stuff we pressured the guide after several days to find a place where we could offload it. We stopped on a Sunday, at an orphanange in Manyara. They seemed happy enough to get the things but I see money would have been much better. Later on the road, I did have two young men ask me for a pen in trade of a new shirt. I gave them all the pens I had. A pen, how simple. Bring pens.
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