An early morning rise and a tough yoga session at the Falcon gym started our week. The air was filled with heavy breathing, grunting and ahh-ing from stretching our over-stiff muscles. We then packed our bags and set off to Lumane falls, 30 k’s south of Esigodini, Zimbabwe.
The bumpy, pot-holed drive was accompanied by many friendly waves from the side of the road and loud ventilated snores scattered around the bus. Our destination is a picturesque landscape tucked in a valley between two vegetated mountains. We spent the afternoon exploring this beautiful area, as well as swimming and jumping in the waterfall pools while watching the orange sun sink behind the horizon.
The sounds of birds in raucous conversation awoke us in the early hours of the morning to help us get ready for that mornings PT (Physical Training) session. Later, tired and sweaty, we ate breakfast, packed our tents up and headed off for an 8 k’ hike through the Matopos mountains towards the Mtshebezi Dam where we immediately dropped our weighty bags and leaped into the water.
Midday, we hiked up a Kopje (small mountain) and enjoyed the spectacular view that awaited us. On return, we heard unfamiliar sounds of gas pumps. Wild animals perhaps? Little did we know that that afternoon’s activity was paintball. We gathered in anticipation to receive our weapons & helmets.
Excitement rising, there was a certain camaraderie that permeated in the air as we organized ourselves into teams of 5 and began what we thought were ‘strategic team talks’, or STT for short. Adrenalin pumping, we entered the battlefield in which we attempted, in all efforts, to splatter our opponents with round balls of paint. Diving on the ground, masks fogging up and shouting code words to teammates added to the cacophony of the ‘sounds of battle’, which intern, contributed to make us the hardened veterans we feel like today.
Scrubbing the paint off our bruises in the lake after the intense game while swimming, splashing and wobaba’ing, (small skimming ball) in the warm waters reasserted a sense of ‘normality’ in our lives.
While resting around the campfire we were able to share stories and experiences while waiting to fill up our stomachs up with culinary delights cooked by ‘Chum’, our camp chef.
Our early wake up the next day did not result in deadly hill-sprints of the previous day. However, we trotted off to the dam wall and sprung ourselves off the wall into the water while taking mid-air Gopro videos/pictures which was a thrilling end to our trip. We packed up camp, boarded the overlander and set off back to Quest.
For the remaining days of the week we organized ourselves into groups to produce videos on the recent Quest activities with the help from our media instructor, Nigel Kuhn. Our venerable teacher assisted us in creating, editing and producing our videos as well as giving us tips and instructions on how to use our video editing programs. Soon after we finished our videos, we all gathered and watched our works of art, which, would soon be posted online to entertain our anxious parents at home.
Our moods enlightened after seeing evidence of the second intake’s baggage sprinkled around the base. We however didn’t see them until the weekend, when we celebrated getting together, with a warm afternoon around the Falcon pool laughing, tanning, swimming and sharing stories of their week before.