After a dramatic start to Journey 2014, with the news that there had been heavy rain in the area of the Nadousberg, despite having to tow and push buses out of the mud, having to offload all the bikes short of Petrusdal with the bike trailer slipping and sliding, all the groups managed to get to their starting point on time. The first few days were characterised by extremely cold weather, including snow and sleet, twisted ankles and the first taste of the challenges to be faced along the way.
Once the groups were in their stride they made short work of most of the hiking, cycling, canoeing and running. Typically the Journey presents each person with their own unique challenge. For some, the physical aspect is very daunting, for others the prospect of spending so much time in other people’s company is a new experience, dealing with the fear of snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies can be terrifying, hiking in the rain and mud can test one’s patience to the extreme, whilst for some Solo and spending time with oneself was testing. All in all, the Journey would have had some on all those that did it. Some of this may only become evident much later and may just have subtly changed the way we think or do things.
Journey 2014 was a very positive experience. The Group Leaders were glowing in their reports of the spirit and vibe that prevailed in their groups. They expressed admiration for the courage and fortitude of most of those who endured pain and suffering. Very few boys and girls required medical attention that required them to leave their group. Those that did were desperate to get back as soon as possible.
The bond that develops within each group is remarkably strong. This is the result of spending so much time together, sharing similar experiences, telling stories around the fire, communal cook-ups and supporting and helping each other along the way. This was very evident in the outpouring of emotion as the groups arrived, gathered to say their last words and then made the mad dash into the sea at the mouth.
We need to thank all the Group Leaders for the extraordinary job that they did in looking after the every need of all their boys and girls, the bus drivers who were so reliable, punctual and professional, the medical team that kept the groups going, the logistics team for all the background work in ensuring that everything worked so well, in particular Mr Eksteen who handled all the food needs, the farmers who so generously allow us to share their spaces, the staff who coordinated the Rest & Create, Solo and Community Engagement experiences, Mr Redfern and Mr Duda who handled the cycling aspect so competently, and finally, all those young men and women who made Journey 2014 such a success. May this just be the beginning of your lifelong journey. Dream big and pursue your dreams, live very day like it was your last.