News from the Journey remains very positive with groups really starting to gel and work efficiently as they meet the challenges that are thrown at them every day. After the extreme cold and then heat of a couple of days ago, the weather has settled down and it has been very kind, although cold at night.
Group 2 are the first group to reach the Solo site this morning where they will be issued with a bivvie and food that does not require cooking. They hand in their tents and cookers and are placed in small camping areas out of sight and speaking distance from each other. They are provided with a solo journal that contains interesting information, some sudoku, motivational material and they are asked to write a letter to their parents and to their respective Heads (these are collected and distributed shortly after the Solo days are complete.) After spending around 20 hours on their own, the group is brought in, they have a quick breakfast, followed by a Eucharist service run by our two chaplains. They then hike on to their next camp. This process is repeated over the next four days as all the groups come in and go through the Solo experience.
Group 4 have started their cycling leg and had a tough day crossing over the Swaershoek Pass south of Cradock yesterday. By the time they reached camp last night their spirits were up after a long day and they headed off this morning for another challenging day in the mountains.
Group 1 had a very good day canoeing on the river yesterday and are busy with their Community Service at Vukusebenza Street Shelter and JA Nca Nca Primary School today. All the groups that have worked at these efficiently-run facilities have made a significant impact with their efforts.
Group 3 had a good run leg out to Blomfontein yesterday after a very productive Community Outreach day and were gathered round a pool at the upmarket Blomfontein wedding venue when I dropped off food for their next few days. They are hiking to Mount Marlow Dam today where they will have a lovely setting for a campsite and a dam to swim in.
The College Headmaster, Alan Thompson, had joined the Journey from Day 3 and has certainly earned his stripes after climbing over the Nardousberg with Group 4, cycling in extremely hot and windy conditions with Group 1, canoeing with Group 5 and running with Group 3. We look forward to having the DSG Head and Deputy, Shelley Frayne and David Wright, visiting all the groups on Sunday.
Group 5 are on day 2 of a three-day hike before having their Solo day and will camp at Oudekraal tonight. They have all recovered well after their experience in the snow and are enjoying ideal weather for hiking.
Tomorrow the weather is due to get cold and wet which will present a different set of challenges to those groups that are hiking and in Solo. Despite this, I have no doubt that all the girls and boys will prevail and hope that the farmers get some welcome relief in these drought-stricken areas.
It is hard to believe that we are approaching the half-mark on Journey already. Time flies when you are having fun!
Till next time.