On 13th September 2014 a group of 13 students and two teachers embarked on a World Challenge expedition to Thailand. World Challenge is an organisation where young people achieve personal and team goals to develop valuable skills for later life, such as teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and communication. World Challenge teaches life skills and helps people expand their minds outside of the classroom.
The World Challenge program is made up of four stages: Acclimatization, Trekking, Project and Rest, Relaxation. The acclimatization stage involved us getting used to the Thailand culture. The first couple of days in Thailand were just us getting used to the area where we would be spending the next two weeks. The first day we arrived was a shock. The amazement on our faces when we saw a family of four packed onto a motorbike in peak hour morning traffic was incredible.
We completed our trekking phase in the Khao Yai National Park, located in the northern region of Thailand. We hiked all around the park viewing amazing waterfalls. The group was lucky enough to have the opportunity to swim in one of the waterfalls, making the treacherous trek filled with tears and leeches absolutely worth it. For our project phase we were working on a farm in a village in top north of Thailand, creating a multi-purpose shelter for the workers. For two days we worked in the hot Thailand sun trying to figure out how the Thai workers did this covered head to toe in clothes.
Our last day in Fang we were able to play with the village children, we had the chance to try and teach them English, sing songs with them and play games. We bought toys for them to play with; the joy they had when we brought out all of the toys was heartwarming. We had our rest and relaxation in Chiang Mai and Bangkok. White Water Rafting was one of the experiences on the trip that was very challenging and exciting. In the end though it was so much fun and everyone enjoyed it, especially seeing Ms Ryder fall out in the first two minutes of paddling.
The trip was planned 18 months before we departed and there was a lot of anticipation in the making. After hours of sausage sizzles and planning fundraisers it took a great deal of effort actually getting this trip up and running.
The support from the teachers, Mr Van Der Westhuizen and Ms Ryder was impeccable and they always had patience for our group of procrastinating teenagers. World Challenge was indeed a challenge, filled with many ups and downs. We can now understand that we do in fact live in a lucky country and that having running water and flushing toilets are things we take for granted. The trip to Thailand has opened our eyes; World Challenge expedition 2014 to Thailand was an incredibly valuable trip.
Pictured: Ms Ryder, Tom Mutimer 9J; Kasey Mockett, 9C; Kyle Chapman 9C; Bailey Kilpatrick 10A; Andrew Houston 11A; Monique Shaw 11H; Thomas Lawler 9E; Tyler Mockett 11H; Shaira Bardien 11D; Billy Nuebel 9C; Nick Nuebel 9K; Mr Van Der Westhuizen; Shaun Ellis 10E; Ashlee Crisp 9E