Matthew Slack – Signing Out
“Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. Get to know someone who grew up in a different culture. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.”
We’ve all had the time of our lives these past two weeks. Botswana was absolutely incredible and Vic Falls was unbelievable. Our last and most recent trip was most probably a group favourite and one we all wished would never end. It was our last trip as an intake and the last chance to have fun with the boys before the inevitable goodbye approached us.
The first thing you notice about Botswana is the crazy heat. The deeper we drove into the country the hotter it got. As the trip progressed so did the strip show. By the time we had our first pee break across the boarder, the majority of the intake was half naked or in the bare minimum of cloths as they scrambled around the overlander trying to find a good patch of bush.
After 14 hours of traveling we reached our rest camp that evening to find a really nice set up for us all. We were briefed by some of the workers there who fancied themselves as quite the comedians. The dinners at Delta Rains were amazing! The whole place was amazing to be honest. An awesome little place packed full of overlanders, many traveling guests, a pool, volleyball court, a dam and the best part of all was that there were hot showers.
Our first full day in Botswana was a day out in the Okavango Delta. We went out onto the water in pairs, a driver and a long hollowed out boat. We travelled for an hour down the water admiring the scenery and took this great opportunity to catch a sweet tan for graduation. The following day was a real highlight of our time in Bots. It was the day we all climbed into a plane and flew over the Okavango Delta. A really amazing experience as we watched the wildlife undisturbed move around so naturally below us. The third and final full day in Bots was a day to work on our PDP’s which was very interesting to watch as most of us had some very sore heads from the night before.
After our amazing time in the beautiful country of Botswana we were off yet again on towards Victoria Falls where we’d be working real jobs but before we reached our destination we stopped halfway and spent the night in a pan and headed off the following morning.
We’d be spread out around Vic Falls working in the hotels, tour operations, croc diving, construction in Hwange and six guys were sent off to Zambia to do some fish farming. We arrived in Vic Falls late Monday afternoon and on Tuesday morning we went to our new places of work, introduced ourselves and found out what our work hours and rules were as well as briefed on how to do our jobs most efficiently.
From Wednesday to Friday we spent our days working real jobs. I myself have never had the opportunity of actually working and found it really cool waking up in the morning, getting in my little hotel outfit and heading off to work. The shifts varied depending on where you worked and what area in the hotel you were situated in. The earliest shift was mine starting at 06:00am and ending at 15:00pm which wasn’t very great seeing how my hotel was a 25 minute walk away. The latest Shift was James’s which started at 14:00pm and finished at 22:00pm.
Shoestrings was the ultimate place to be after a rough day at work. It was a local backpackers lodge with a well priced bar and restaurant that served some really delicious pizza. We spent everyday there because the people were so great to be around and learn from. Later on in the evening the nightshift guys would show up and we’d all be together enjoying some good food and drinks. Friday night was a little different though…
A massive party at Shoestring left most of us screaming for paracetamol the following morning before we went White River Rafting at 07:00am. We all managed to make it out okay except for Mitchell who managed to chip his tooth after his boat capsized sending his paddle flying at is face.
Let’s take a look back at the quote I mentioned right at the very beginning. I specifically chose it because of how well it relates to our time at Quest. The time where you socialise, enjoy the company of new people and learn about them too. During my time in Vic Falls I realised the importance of this all and how vital a role it played in developing us young Questors into the men we are today. At the beginning of Quest we were all strangers from all over, but now we’re one unit with one home called Quest. We will all be going our separate ways in a few hours but we’ll never forget the time we’ve shared, the struggles, the joys but most importantly the memories of Quest will live on with us all forever.