22 of our sixth form pupils experienced a summer they will never forget when they flew to Namibia to spend the whole of July exploring the country and working to help a school in the tiny village of Dordabis.
After arriving in the country’s capital, Windhoek, pupils split into teams and set off on their journeys, accompanied by school staff and expedition leaders.
Team one’s route took them through the Fish River canyon. At about 100 miles long and, in places, over 500 metres deep, the trek took five days, with pupils having to carry their own food and resources while avoiding the wild horses, baboons and scorpions they encountered in the baking sunlight.
The team then travelled back north towards Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan in the Namib desert, surrounded by some of the highest red sand dunes in the world, before meeting the second group in the coastal city of Swakopmund.
The highlight of the expedition for many was the week spent in a pre-primary school in Dordabis, where our pupils embarked on a maintenance project and played with the children from the local townships, aged five and six years old.
During their week at the school, our pupils constructed a lintel around the base of the school fence to stop animals from getting into the playground and painted cartoon characters on the outside of the buildings for the children to enjoy.
Trekking in the Naukluft mountains, abseiling and encountering even more types of wildlife in Etosha National Park were other activities enjoyed during the month, which can be rounded off by U3 pupil Kate Mitchell:
A highlight of the trip for many was the thoroughly enjoyable time we had painting and teaching some English at the school in Dordabis, and getting to know the wonderful kids. At the end, we reluctantly said goodbye to the children, and the owners of the wonderful farm we were staying on.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say the trip was an incredible experience that I will never forget.