Seeking knowledge and studying different sciences is considered ibaadat in Islam. Muslims are ordered to praise Allah Ta’ala through contemplating nature, which leads them to appreciate the wonders of Allah Ta’ala’s creation.

Allah Ta’ala states in al-Quran al-Majeed:

                         وفي الارض اْيت للمؤقنين

And in the earth are aayaat for the people with the truth of assurance

              قل سيروا في الارض فانظروا كيف بدأ الخلق

Say:Travel through the Earth and observe how Allah Ta’ala originated the creation

Al Madrasa tus Saifiya tul Burhaniyah organizes educational trips with Students Exchange Programme every year for its pupils. This year, our Std Seven students travelled to Ol-Pejeta Conservancy, which is located in Laikipia county of Kenya, via Nairobi to participate in the 9th Students Exchange Programme with students from AMSB Nairobi, Mombasa and Kuwait.

In this trip they discovered and learnt different things and skills in an adventurous atmosphere.
To start with

Day 1: On transit to Nairobi, children saw many landmarks and noticed the change of weather, vegetation and scenery. They reached Langata late at night and dispersed to their respective accommodation arranged by the camp organizers.

Day 2: Early in the morning children assembled outside AMSB Nairobi where they were divided into six groups, three of girls and three of boys. All groups had mixed children from the four Madaris. Everyone was given an activity booklet which they had to fill and write the account of each day of the trip. It took 4 hours by bus to reach Ol Pejeta Conservancy. On the way they were engaged in a variety of educational and brain teasing activities such as qafya (recitation of abyaats) and guess me right.
At the Conservancy, tents were ready for their stay. The boys and girls had separate campsites. The kitchen and dining area was common.

An introductory ecological monitoring talk was given by a forest education officer, Ms Eva, about camping in the jungle and the importance of conservation. Children learnt new terms and terminology that they would come across in the trip. At noon time they prayed namaaz and ate spaghetti and minced beef, salad lunch.

In the afternoon they went for a game drive to see the playful impalas, the majestic African elephants, and herds of buffaloes, zebras and black rhinos enroute to the Morani Information Center. Here, all the information about Ol Pejeta in creative snap shots and posters, even real bones were on display. From there they went to Northern White Rhino Boma where they saw the Northern White Rhinos, the only two remaining in the world, and learnt about the difference between a white and black rhino. At the end of an active day after magrib namaaz children were divided in their groups and given hikayat to discuss and prepare an enactment for the next day. This was followed by dinner, butter chicken curry, parathas, juice and water melon. Later, there was a self-reflection session around a camp fire when they recalled the day’s activities and concluded with an exchange of the many life learning experiences they had. They called it a day and got the jungle camping experience of sleeping in canvas tents with blankets and bedding, 4 to 5 children in each tent with pit toilets covered with canvas cloth. There were rangers at night for security.

DAY 3: Fajar namaaz, in the freezing temperature with morning walk near the campsite was something exceptional which can’t be described in words. Spectacular view of Mt. Kenya was amazing. First stop was the Hippo Hide Walk. Children took a walk along the Ewaso Nyiro river observing many different plants like the yellow fever tree, wild daisies, other riverine plants and the hammock bird. Children enjoyed a hearty breakfast of omelette, sausages, bread, butter, jam, tea and coffee after the refreshing and rejuvenating walk in the wilderness. Then they settled down in groups to present a project about all that they learnt on the riverine park. Next they visited the Chimpanzee sanctuary where the chimps from Sudan are being bred. The chimps were active and were fed on bananas, oranges, and carrots. Children observed the chimps behaviour closely. Back at the camp after namaaz was lunch time, rice, mutton curry, roti and fruit salad.
In the afternoon, Ms Eva and a ranger held an illustrative talk on survival skills in the bush. Afterwards they went to see the Rhino memorial site where the rhinos from the Conservancy are buried, some of which are killed by poachers. Evening game drive was filled with excitment when a lion was sighted very close.
Then it was back to the camp. Hikayat skits were enacted. After namaaz girls played a scavenger hunt. Then both girls and boys played Guess Me in groups. Dinner was served. The menu for dinner was BBQ followed by warm up near the camp fire and bed time.

Day 4: After namaaz and mandazi baraazi breakfast children went to see the livestock management at the Conservancy which has 6,000 cows from Uganda, Central Africa and Kenya raised for meat. They learnt about the mobile boma where cattle is kept in the jungle safe from carnivores and also observed the whistling thorn, a kind of acacia tree.
They returned to the campsite to wind up after a good fruity goodbye treat by the cook. They reached the equator point where they were shown a science experiment. Lunch was at Tree Trout Hotel. Children learnt about halal and haram animals and how to say bismillah on fish. They enjoyed their fish lunch at the spectacular hotel. They reached Nairobi by 8 pm.

Next day at 4.30 am it was time to depart for Dar es salaam. The long bus journey back home was filled with discussions and memories of the trip. An exciting journey in the untapped natural landscape was truly a memorable learning experience for all.



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