I Woke up at 5, packed the bare necessities and took off to St Alban’s to begin my epic Journey.
I had mixed feelings. Feelings such as happiness mingled with sadness and on top of that I felt excited and exhilarated to begin.
After receiving our food and checking that we’re not overweight with our backpacks we headed for the bell. I came to be a little overweight but managed it by offloading some of my extra snacks. I knew somewhere along the line that I was going to regret doing that. Mr. Hamilton and the deputy headboy gave us their speeches and then we headed off into the wilderness. It was only when we were out of the school gate that the group realized that we needed a map. That was the moment I thought this was going to be a long and interesting journey.
The whole of day 1 was a hike just to get out of the city and I must say I think the group did pretty well for the first day. I already felt that we worked well as a group together to get through the’ spruit’. The stronger guys helped the guys that had a hard time.
We managed to get to our first campsite at five. I set up my tent and then it was time for supper. My cooking group decided that we’re going to have pasta, braai relish and peas for supper. In army style they would say, “that was some pretty nice grub” and it was excellent. I think making it by ourselves added to the flavour and of course that we were just very very hungry.
Looking back at my first day of journey I had fun but I’ve also realized that I’m starting to miss my family. One of the hardest things for most of my fellow men and I, was saying goodbye to our families for three weeks. Looking at the brighter side I am already thinking more independently and will strive to see my group as my family for the next three weeks.
Our first debrief under the starts is something that I’ll always remember of journey and tomorrow is day 2- our first cycling day. Alex and I got elected for group leaders and received a map of four pages long. My first real challenge begins tomorrow!!
My favourite moment on journey was on day 21 – the day we climbed “THE MOUNTAIN”. The night before we had planned to get up at 3 o’clock but as it turned out we only left at 4 o’clock – a whole hour late.
I couldn’t believe how thick the mist was as we were walking. I could only see a meter in front of me. My shoes were already soaked when we reached the foot of the mountain. The biggest problem for us was that we couldn’t see the top of the mountain. Everything was covered in mist. We climbed a while and then we found a jeep track that was also on the map and followed it.
We finally got to a clearing and started to climb the mountain again, this time seeing where we were going. My legs were burning and it sometimes felt as if I was going to fall over and tumble down. Luckily it didn’t happen to anyone. I finally got to the top, muscles on the verge of cramping, but I felt that I accomplished something. I proved to myself that anything can be done with the right attitude and the willingness to get it done. The view from up there was magnificent. I’ve also learnt that your eyes can deceive you, in this case, how far it is from the top of the mountain.
Now the journey is finished and I’m back to normal life, I feel that I’m closer to my friends. I’ve seen how they really are now as they have shown their true colours. The Journey has also helped a lot of us realize what is really important in our lives. Family, friends, my bed, my toilet and proper food every day, is what I truly cherish and appreciate now.
The Journey has given me more patience in doing things and from here on I see life in a different way. I feel calmer, more collective and in more in control of my life. My parents have also acknowledged this. I feel empowered moving into the future. I know I will be able to cope with what life hands me.
Journey was intended to teach us lessons in life and it has done just that!