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The Shift Week

By Marco Polo Tent – Nathan Lamusse, Michael Rautenbach and Joshua Gossayn

For this week the Quest Africa Men’s Core was split into three groups, each doing three different short courses. These consisted of a cooking course with Carmen Revitt who owns her own catering company in Bulawayo, mechanics with Mr. Lenton and a cycling trip to the Matopos region outside Bulawayo with Mr. Mpofu.

During the week the groups that were on the Matopos trip found it extremely challenging as it is a very hilly and sandy region and we travelled 80km in 2 days by bicycle. Besides the terrain that was up and down, we also had other highs and lows during the week! The highs were times such as seeing the cave paintings, historical sight-seeing and of course, re-grouping with the boys at the end of the week. Low moments were when almost two thirds of the Quest group including two of the staff fell sick to a very severe tummy bug that laid everyone low for a few days.

During the week the cooking course was quite intense, the boys had to learn new skills on a daily basis and on the same day apply them to the meal they would be cooking for the boys later that day. One skill that the boys would never forget is hygiene. When you start cooking for twenty people hygiene becomes difficult, but supremely important, to keep on top of. I think the boys have a new appreciation for Edward and Chum in the kitchen; at least they sort of got a week off.

The mechanical part of the week consisted, not only of Gary moaning about grease under his nails, but the stripping down of a gearbox, the engine and the ‘diff’ , how to carry out a thorough vehicle inspection and putting all this into practice with working on some of the Quest vehicles that needed attending to. Much time was also spent on workshop safety and the theory behind all the work we were doing.

Cycling in the Matopos

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