We're a group of Western Washington University students traveling to Tanzania to ask big questions about geography, nature, and culture.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mweka to Kibosho - Guest Post by Elizabeth McMurchie

Today we made a visit to Mweka College of African Wildlife Management, situated in kihamba country on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. 

Our guide for the Mweka tour was named Gumu. He began our tour by taking us to a lecture hall full of  taxidermied animal heads, which he used to explain the animals we might see at various locations on safari.

Gumu teaches us about plains animals... and moose.

The tour of Mweka took us to several locations, including a small firing range, the university library, another Chagga cave, a "biodiversity lab" with many pickled animals, and rooms filled with cabinets of dead birds, mammals, and preserved plants.

Rats and more rats in a cabinet at the taxidermy center at Mweka College.

After taking us around the university, Gumu led us to Kibosho Cathedral, the second oldest cathedral in Tanzania. Along the way Gumu brought us through kihamba country, where we stopped to try traditional Chagga banana beer. 

The group hikes out of a ravine. Many of us did not wear appropriate shoes for this particular activity.

While the group consensus was that the beer was not to our tastes, the people were friendly and the trail was beautiful.

Gumu and the group stop on a bridge in kihamba country.

The cathedral itself had numerous vivid stained glass windows, including several full rose windows. As an addition to the normal tour of the cathedral, several of us climbed up a rather terrifying series of bars set into the wall that led to the bell tower.

Rosemary climbs the bell tower. It was a struggle.

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