On The Road

What It’s Like to Go to Tanzania with Christy Turlington

It involves running a half marathon.

By: Laurel Pantin

Fact: accessories designer Clare Vivier has the coolest friends. Last year we profiled her partnership with Beastie Boy Mike D., and this time, she sent us a postcard from her trip to Tanzania to run a half marathon with Christy Turlington Burns for Every Mother Counts. The trip, which included a safari, trips to buy Khanga cloth, and a jaunt to the beaches in Zanzibar—and obviously a lot of running…sounds like a dream.

But in the immortal words of Lamar Burton, don’t take our word for it!

“One of the benefits of Clare V.’s years-long partnership with Every Mother Counts is the opportunity to travel with the organization to see the impact they have firsthand. After an incredibly moving trip last year to Haiti, I didn’t waiver when Christy (Turlington Burns, the organization’s founder) offered me the chance to join her and a group of wonderful women on a trip to Tanzania. We spent ten days visiting EMC Grantee Partners, including The Foundation for African Medicine & Education, visiting students at the Usa River Academy, and running the Kilimanjaro Half Marathon and seeing the benefits of our partnership up close. I‘m so grateful for the opportunity and even more excited for the launch of our latest initiative, the Orange Rose Campaign, just in time for Mother’s Day. Giving back to EMC means even more now being able to see just how impactful their programs are and how appreciative these women and children are to be receiving EMC’s first-rate care. Follow along on my journey with some of my favorite images from my trip.”


“We traveled with a group of 15 women—we all ran the Kilimanjaro half marathon to raise money for Every Mother Counts.”

“Herieth [Paul] was one of the women on the trip—she is a model based in New York now, but she was born in Tanzania and raised in Canada. She was as sweet as she was gorgeous; I loved getting to know her, and she was a great source of local information.”

“Between seeing the good work of EMC, we were able to go on safari with George Mavroudis. It was such a wonderful way to see the animals in the wild. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and deftly navigated the terrain. A highlight of the entire trip was seeing three elephants at sunset one night. They are so majestic and peaceful.”

“I fell in love with these girls and their bags—such sweet little ladies.”

“No matter how many people you know who’ve been on safari and told you about it, or if you’ve seen them in captivity, if you have the chance to see these animals in the wild, it is awe inspiring.”

“A wonderful thing about going on a trip around the world with strangers is that you’ll inevitably form some strong bonds and new friendships. This is me with Patricia Lansing, about to board [the] puddle jumper over to Zanzibar.”

“Very chic Jill Vedder with my salmon Weekender.”

“This mama and her baby were so beautiful. I’m happy I captured her in her red, pink, and orange glory—such a great reminder of the reason EMC exists.”

“Stylish little school boys. Look at their black-and-white-striped socks!”

“I took this picture mid-half marathon. It was the part where I was starting to feel really good about mile 6 or 7—always the sweet spot in a half—and I saw this woman walking down the road, and it hit me how special it was to be running a half marathon in Africa! Was in love with the green head scarf with the red of her Khanga cloth.”

“This was the view from where I stayed in Zanzibar—the Matemwe Lodge, Asilia. It was the most idyllic place I’ve ever been—ocean the temperature of bathwater, baby-powder-fine sand on the beach. I will dream of going back here always.”

“Taken on the market streets of Stone Town. I was obsessed with the beautiful fabrics. Zanzibar is a mostly Muslim island off Tanzania.”

“Our fearless leaders on this trip: Christy Turlington Burns and Clancy McCarty, founder of and producer at EMC, respectively. They wore CV fanny packs throughout the whole trip, which brought me endless joy.”

“Dried octopus at the farmers' market in Stone Town.”

“I love this image that Patricia Lansing caught of me strolling the streets of Stone Town.”

“My African wardrobe.”

“Many of the beautiful Khanga cloths that came home with me.”

“The view from the Emerson Spice Hotel rooftop where we had lunch.”

“Lobby of Emerson Spice Hotel—beautiful.”

Part of the series:

On The Road