Thanks to Benjamin, Eleanor and Emma who travelled to Nepal with Sandringham College and shared these stories.
By Eleanor Duggan-Crouch and Emma Williamson
The World Challenge experience offered us the opportunity to learn and develop various skills that could not be developed in a classroom. We learnt about ourselves and the world around us. From day one, it was up to us to manage every aspect of the trip ourselves. We were in charge of getting food, transport, accommodation and managing the budget. We developed organisational skills as well as our independence. Each day one of us would become the team leader; this meant that we could develop our leadership and organisational skills.
During the project stage we went to Mohana Higher Secondary School. There we built a brick wall and were able to interact with the kids. We became friends with several of them and learnt quite a bit about them and their culture. From various forms of media we become desensitised to the harsh realities in the world, we’re also often shielded from what’s really going on. Whilst we were there we were exposed to what it’s really like, thus we learnt about the world around us and ourselves.
Undoubtedly the group all changed on the trip, we were challenged physically and mentally. We all gained so much from the trip. We developed skills and gained new ones that we wouldn’t have had we not gone with World Challenge.
Nepal was absolutely incredible, there’re so many aspects of the trip that we loved, it’s difficult to pin-point just a few. The trek was amazing, we learnt how strong we could be and that it is possible to achieve so much, if you just put your mind towards it. The trek allowed all of us to also become closer, we helped and supported each other and made it to the top, where we got to see the most breath taking view of the Annapurna region. The project was another favourite, not only did we get to meet these amazing people, but we were lucky enough to help them, we taught them about our country and our lives, taught them English, built a wall at the front of their school, and we got to make some amazing friends. Even though we could hardly speak to each other they managed to teach us local games and customs, just as we taught them some of our own. It was amazing!
During the whole trip we were also lucky enough to do some sight-seeing. We saw unbelievable temples, got to go on an amazing jungle safari through Chitwan National Park, visit the Monkey Temple, go white water rafting, see the beautiful Devi falls in Pokhara, as well as experiencing what life is like in Nepal. The trip offered us various opportunities to develop a wide range of skills. The independence that we had was exceptionally beneficial; we were in charge and were the ones to decide on everything. Catering, accommodation, budget, was all up to us to manage. It was really fun to learn to manage them.
We all had the most amazing time; we learnt so many new skills, such as being a leader and budgeting. We learnt how truly lucky we are, we have so much in our lives and we are so grateful for everything. It was the most incredible experience, we all are exceptionally grateful to have be given this opportunity; it is something none of us will ever forget.
By Benjamin Gibson Perry
20 school children went to Nepal. For Nepal had something to teach them that could not be taught in any classroom. Straight away in Kathmandu the children were taken aback. The noise, the pollution, the traffic and the snow-capped mountains far away in the background made the children realise just how far away from home they were.
Precarious roads running parallel with rivers made our highways, looking out the window made for a visual feast. Forests, mountains and large brightly coloured buses flashing past the window made for great entertainment.
Destination Pokhara – a lazy lake side town which spends a third of its day in the shadow of the Annapurna range. The trek was long and arduous; it followed rivers, snaked through rhododendron forest, wound around valleys and ascended up to Machapuchare base camp. Altitudes hardened and calf muscles bulging the children had become legions of the trail, storming their way down the mountain.
Charitable work at Mohana Higher Secondary school came next. A bus full of Australian sons and daughters rolled up into foreign territory with what seemed like 400 eyes staring at them bemused. A strange sensation to say the least. A wall is what they asked to be built as part of the charitable work. Digging holes and mixing concrete is what was required, new muscles were tested this time, at the end of the day hands were sore and blistered as well as not being able to lift an arm above head height. Endure they did. Completed, the wall stood 4 foot 2 inches not including the base and 2 foot of foundations below.
It was remarkable how time extends and contracts while travelling and; without warning, there was only a few days left. Subsequently those days were filled with elephant safaris, white water rafting and shopping. It was time to leave what had become our incredible normality and home for the past month and go back to our mother continent and hemisphere.