A “Challenging” Week
By Nicholas ‘Gandalf’ Snel of Heyerdahl Tent
This past week has been an exact representation of the variety that Quest provides on a daily basis. As before the intake was once again split into two groups, although the groups had been changed a little, incorporating within them all the various Ironwill groups, and for good reason.
This week was composed of electrics as well as preparation of playground equipment for the community work we will be doing in Mana Pools, and added to that was a special surprise dubbed the “M Challenge”. The week started off slowly enough with the electronics course, a day of theory, a bit of fiddling with some lamp fixtures and wires before we were given the final test which was a huge leap forward and didn’t go down as well as we had hoped.
Then came the “M Challenge”, full of mystery. And although it went well for most, my particular group followed our GPS on a detour that instead of being a 2-minute run became an hour’s cycle or so. Thank you, GPS, for being bad at the only thing you were made for. Luckily, however, the rest of the challenge went smoothly enough, incorporating a cycle, an orienteering course and all that topped off by a swim/walk through the dam and marshy areas near Quest. The swim was a mixture of getting half drowned by reeds, or your own water logged shoes, as well as hitting your legs against rocks and tumbling under water. Although, for some it did remind us of a video game…. walking slowly through the marshes, we could almost imagine ourselves in a warlike situation, with guns in our hands and awaiting an ambush at any second. Our ‘mission’ was to find all the floating bottles with letters in them, so that the end we could spell the word “IMPALA”. Playground equipment prep passed without much event……. and so we finally get to Chegutu Touch Bowl, the much-awaited event that we had been training for for mon… I mean weeks. The ride there was cheery enough, ending in our setting up our tents and having a wonderful meal. The following day was the main event, although I’m sure a few of the guys were looking forward to the after party more than the tournament itself. We all wore our Quest ‘strip’, our custom-made shirts which were black and blue, as well as blue zinc on our faces provided by Nick “Ush” Proudfoot, and then, through some chance, the image was completed by the entry bracelets for the tournament which were also blue. During the day while one group excelled, losing only one match, the other, despite its efforts, won only one match. However, at the end everyone received rewards, the first team winning the ‘Piston Pete’ Cup, and spirits were high. The week ended with a blast, the party was great, (although I’ll exclude the details), and the next morning was an early wake up, for some earlier than others, for our trip to Kariba and Mana. Overall the week was great, everyone had a great time, some more than others, many memories were made and even more stories were shared. Many of the guys are looking forward to going home as the first break approaches, the homesickness is finally coming through a little bit, and everyone is discussing their plans for their 2 weeks off.
I would like to use the end of this blog to give a big thanks to all the facilitators for making Chegutu such an amazing event, as well as for the coming week which will be amazing, they went above and beyond to make it a ‘hell of a good time’.