MIXED CORE: THE QUEST BEGINS!
By Shackleton Tent : Ryan Kerr, Adam Pentz and Sam Bezuidenhout
We hit the ground running… literally. Fitness testing on the first morning was quite a wake up call.
All the people on Quest, including the facilitators have been a healthy blend of comrades and commanders. The tight schedule and early starts have been the most challenging for me .. particularly the 3am start and straight off hiking and camping. It was a really good way to bring us campers together and great teamwork was exhibited and lots of laughs were had. Lautaro, Ali, Lucas and I had to hike down a river bed carrying the live chickens which we had for dinner that night which was pretty hilarious. Building our own shelter was hard and having to sleep 3 people with only 2 sleeping bags made for an extremely uncomfy , cold, but cuddly night! All in all the team is very cohesive already and I have thoroughly enjoyed our first week of Quest and looking forward to what the future Quest weeks hold.
Quest,… the start of a journey that truly reveals the rewards the Questor seeks. Finally when all 15 of us met up in the main campus area there was a weird atmosphere. Greeting the strangers that you will be eating, sleeping, exercising, learning and working with for the next 5 months was strange and no-one really matched their profiles!
Our first day we were running back and forth from the tents , learning how to read the GPS and finding various locations throughout the Game Park. Then came the real challenge. We had to go camping in the bush for 4 days with limited provisions. We did everything from climbing outcrops of rock, having our tents ‘removed’ and building shelters. This led to a funny story..we were split up into groups of 3. Lucas, Holly and I sleeping under our shelter and at about 2am there was a loud crack, we braced ourselves for the impact, scurrying deeper into our sleeping bags…. the roof was gone, fortunately there was lots of laughter and chaos and little damage.
Finally we were back at Quest, tired, happy, quiet and intent on eating decently cooked food! Already we can see the start of a strong, bonded, group.
Day one.. we were woken up under the impression it was 6am. Imagine everyone’s faces when they discover it’s actually 3am! At the time not very amusing but looking back on it, it was kind of funny! My highlight has been the climbing the kopjies out in the bush and sitting around the campfire at night laughing and joking and having a ‘nice cup of tea’. The first night was pretty insightful and gave the group a good chance to bond.
The best team bonding exercise was the ‘shepherding’ .As sheep we were blindfolded and placed in random locations, and it actually got us thinking that we so often randomly go through life blindly following instructions and the only reason we do it is because we trust those who command and have gained our trust. This trust was stretched a little when my mate (shepherd) Ryan whistled me into a tree but after a few changes he got me safe again and into my ‘pen’.
Tops of hills… one of the most beautiful views across the African bush early morning and late evening, and the beauty of it will never cease to amaze me and take my breath away. Reward enough too in order to conquer my fear of heights!