Business, Historical Cycle Tours and a ‘New Boy’!
By Jermaine, Ethan and George of Nansen Tent
Coming back from an eventful week in the mines and on the farm, we seem to all be getting along very well. There have been some great “bonds of friendships”, not talking about your green paper bond notes but actual bonds. The intake has never been this strong. Unfortunately there is one thing that can destroy a group of boys….It is the mention of a New Student. This was done on Sunday evening ..someone called Michael Dickenson. This was basically the worst news the lads had heard. This felt like a reality show. This was the Quest Kardashian part 2. After being able to tolerate the nonsense of Julian and Ethan, introducing Michael Dickenson was too much to handle for everyone. So much for enjoying our Sunday evening!
Nevertheless, we had an exciting 5km run during which we would think about how we could make ‘Michael Dickenson’ suffer the way we suffered for our first 2 weeks. Not much thinking happened because we all ran that 5km so fast. Well there was enough time to do so in the business lessons.
This week was our introduction to the business sector of life. Barely paying attention to our lecturer, waiting for Michael Dickenson to pull through and make an unwanted entrance, we then noticed that our business adviser, Mr. Denzel Chalmers looked very much like young Michael. All he needed was the crazy outrageous mustache which Michael had. Amazingly and much to our surprise, he was actually Michael Dickenson. Besides our disappointment (and relief) about the arrival of the fictitious Michael, we had an educational 8 hour business lecture on how to SMILE. Not your average wide teeth showing smile, but a smile from a business prospective. Types of entrepreneurs which consist of System, Money, Innovative, Lifestyle or Empire entrepreneurs. Greatness beyond business could explain.
Lessons are long but not as long as Quest lessons. Quest gives you the best lessons provided. Just be prepared to dedicate 8 hours of your time to these lessons. Throughout the entire day. Morning and afternoon.
Tuesday was a lot better. We started developing on our projects. Two groups will be allocated to a project and compete against each other to present their business plan to the ‘Big Dogs’. This is basically Quest Africa Dragons Den. Projects consist of the Eco Park, Pumula Camp and Livestock. May the best entrepreneurs win?
During the planning, where great minds were sharing ideas with each other, there was news circling the campsite of a blind kudu that was having a hard time running into trees and the electric fence. At this stage Mr. Randle had to put an end to its misery by putting it down. What was a sad and tragic for the animal was an exciting excuse for us to escape the business lesson. Instead of business which switched over to biology. Skinning the kudu and removing the inner organs under the guidance of Mrs Kelly, was a much needed stimulus after a long lecture session.
That evening we had social acumen with Mrs. Randle. Learning about all kinds of poetry and how we should see life. A delightful evening section. With so much happening we went to bed straight after the evening session. What more could Quest do for us.
So much for more business, the intake split into 2 groups on the Wednesday morning. The first group was shipped off to Matopos and the other group stayed behind and was introduced to a cooking course. This is where they ate like kings and enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately no one was poisoned. Maybe next time.
With the other group that was shipped to Matopos, we embarked on a completely new experience for us young fearless young men. Helping with Riding for the Disabled (Healing with Horses) was our first experience. This was a recently new activity added to the Quest agenda which gave everyone a sense of appreciation of mental health and wellbeing. Finishing our shift we loaded ourselves on the bus and continued our journey over to our campsite in Matopos. The cycle that happened on this day was a distance of 25km. We all battled through the pain, suffering and close to a death experience. So much pain but it was all forgotten about when we reached World’s View. They don’t call it Worlds View for nothing. The views are out of this world. At this point we took this opportunity to sing Happy Birthday to Mr. Randle. Would you believe me if I told you that he was 61 years old?! Best thing about this was that we got chocolate Black Forest Cake. The cycle back to the campsite was mostly downhill which was great for most of us who were trailing at the back. Straight after supper we all crept into bed at around 8 o’clock, prepared for a full day of cycling the next day.
Barely getting any sleep, Thursday came a lot quicker than we expected. Legs in pain, energy levels lower than normal. 1 box of cereal that had to divide between 14 grown men doesn’t sound like much. We all had one mission, and that mission was to complete a 50km cycle. Counting down the distance, we reached the 25km mark which was halfway. At this stage it was now a mental game. All the boys were suffering and trying to save all their energy. We stropped for lunch at halfway and ate as fast as we could to utilize all the time to catch a few ZZZ’s. The second half of the cycle was intense. The pace of the cycle had drastically slowed down and all the men were put back into their places and became little boys again. Thinking of home and mommy’s warm hugs, the lads managed to get through the 50km cycle. While doing so they managed to see some rhinos on the way back to the campsite. Others didn’t get to see the rhinos because they had been scared away by the noise of the first group! (Not mentioning any names, Cameron)
The lads did very well pushing themselves to their limits. The feeling of self-achievement was ringing through everyone’s ears. This was a major trip for boys and they did very well. Even though they all looked like walking zombies afterwards, they proved themselves men.
Friday started early as per normal, however our spirits were lifted when PT was cancelled and we sat down for a debrief with Mr. M.
First stop in Bulawayo was Pick n Pay, and at $12 for a packet of sweets, most of us practically ran of back to the bus. Shouts of joy were heard from miles at the mention of Chicken Inn for lunch, yet most of the lads were full, as we had gone all out on $1 for a loaf of bread.
The bus arrived at the train museum, with no sign of the vehicle Mr. M was driving. Finally after 15 minutes of sitting we spotted Mr. M walking down the road with a foul look on his face. He had had a puncture and had just walked 5km looking for a better jack. Bulawayo’s train museum was stacked with incredible trains of all shapes and sizes, all hidden under a thin tin roof. So amazing to see the actual train that was used to bring Cecil john Rhodes from Cape Town to Bulawayo.
Up next was the Natural History Museum with a huge amount of incredible displays and learnings. We saw everything from huge life sized elephant mounts, to tiny bugs pinned and displayed, to the history of Ndebele and the Shona. It was an incredible experience and the boys were talking about it all day. Arriving back home, we managed to enjoy the last few bits of our Friday. Pretty great what the world can offer us.
Saturday came and we had a hectic PT session. We had to push tractor tyres down to the vlei and then use them for all kinds of painful exercises. However the ending is always the worst, taking them back was difficult. Besides that we had a standard weekend. Sunday is the best. Chilling and chatting, the way we like it. Let’s hope that this coming week won’t be as tough.