Swaziland

5 S5 students exploring Swaziland with World Challenge...

http://www.world-challenge.co.uk

With Anna, Jean-Marie, Joel, Jordan and Christian, and 8 more students and two colleagues from two other international schools (Duisburg and Madrid), I took on the challenge to fly to Swaziland to explore the country and even more so our own strengths and weaknesses...

My god, a challenge it was. When pure essential things become the only thing on your mind, such as finding water to wash yourself, keeping yourself warm at night in your tent – difficult, even with five layers of clothes -, making a fire to do some cooking, wondering whether to get out of your sleeping bag in the cold night and putting on your walking boots to go to an improvised toilet hundred meters further - or just hold on for a few more hours until the sun rises... When group spirit, working together to provide those basic needs and compromising to the group's needs become more important than your own private little worries. When going up hill with a heavy rucksack packed with tent, sleeping bag, cooking utensils, clothes and food is the only goal to reach today. When working and being together with local people makes you realise how incredibly spoiled you are, and how little indeed is needed to paint that smile on your face. When the stunning and fascinating beauty of outdoor life fulfils you with the grateful feeling that life is wonderful. Even without a warm shower, our smart phone, internet, choice of food and drinks, clean clothes and all our luxury problems that make our lives miserable at times…

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.

You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” (Cesare Pavese)

Karolien De Wilde

Every two years our students from S5, S6 and S7 get the opportunity to partake in a World Challenge, always a combination of adventure (mostly hiking in rough country), social work with the local population and a rest and relaxation phase (in our case that was safari). Next expedition for ESF students will take place in the summer of 2018.

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