All sorts of action!
“Action” was the key word for Khartoum International School. Our newest trip leader, who comes with plenty of experience working with youths in the outdoors, tells us about the time he had:
The week started with a trip to Crazy Horse Buttress, where the group got to experience rock climbing and caving. Some of the students were apprehensive and daunted by the thought of having to climb up a wall or abseil down in a cave but after a little bit of guidance and encouragement they all faced up to the challenge and completed some amazing climbs. One of the group told me at the end of the day that rock climbing was an activity they had always wanted to do and that they really enjoyed the challenge as it was not only physical but also required thought.
As well as the climbing we also conquered the huge drop from the Tyrolean traverse – thirty metres down into a cave. If you had asked me a week ago if I thought I would be doing this I would have answered “no way!”
The next day we woke up early, ready to go into Chiang Mai for the Old City Adventure. My thoughts on this were that it would be pretty boring but how wrong I was going to be! We split up into groups and were given a task sheet that we had to complete, which included chatting to monks, getting members of the public to arrange themselves into letters to spell out “Chiang Mai” (this was funny), doing acts of kindness for strangers as well as finding out lots of info about the city and its history. To me this was one of the most memorable days of the trip.
The next two days involved helping to build a dormitory for an orphanage and yes, we thought the same: how could we do this as we all had no previous experience in building anything? But we were shown the process of how to mix cement, lay bricks and plaster a wall – skills I never thought I would be able to learn but it turns out I am pretty good at laying bricks.
Not only did we all get to help build the dormitory but we also had the pleasure of being able to play with the children that lived at the orphanage. I couldn’t believe that even though they didn’t really have many things how happy they were.
After a restful night – which I can tell you I really needed after doing all the building work –we set off for our next adventure: kayaking. We arrived at Mae Ngat Dam, where we were given a quick lesson on kayaking strokes and then we were put in pairs and set off across the lake. After a while we stopped and played some games; these were funny and involved us all getting extremely wet but that was a blessing as it was nice and hot so it made us cool down a bit. We then set off paddling again until we arrived at a houseboat, where we would spend the evening. After arriving we were allowed to swim, which was fun as they had slides and some other inflatables. The day ended on high and it was time to rest as we were told the following day we would be off to Elephant Nature Park.
Morning came around and we set off from the houseboat to the elephant park.
It was fun and educational at the same time as we learned how elephants had been rescued from all over Thailand from working in the tourist industry carrying people on their backs, and some from the logging and other industries but now they are able to enjoy the freedom of being able to roam around and be pampered by tourists. I’d never seen an elephant before so to be so up close was an awesome experience and I also found it great to know that there were people out there that really cared for their wellbeing.
The last few days of the trip involved trekking, bamboo rafting and also a high ropes course. I found these just as good as our other days but my highlight of the three was definitely the high ropes course as I was again a bit apprehensive as I wasn’t sure how high we were going to be. We started off by being kitted up in our safety gear and also given our safety briefing. After this we were set off on to the high ropes and we faced a series of obstacles and challenges. Each seemed to be getting progressively harder.
After an adventurous ten days, I was ready for home and also so excited to tell my friends and family about my spectacular trip.