Once again, we were blessed with clear skies and moderate temperatures, perfect weather for an interpretative walk with the highly skilled Ubungani field officers. Delegates were treated to the wonders of the veld (the South African word for bush); where we learnt that you can never see nothing in nature. Ubungani’s officers were quick to point out the intricacies of a termite mound, the medicinal uses of various trees, explain the sound of a mysterious bird etc. All agreed that an appreciation for the smaller, often overlooked creatures were fostered, and although some were lucky enough to see blue wildebeest and giraffe, everybody thoroughly enjoyed this walk.

A short appreciation nature walk set the tone for the day, an openness to new experiences and senses honed in to take in every sound, smell and sight!

 

The morning was taken up by activities like the T-game, where controversial issues and other things close to the heart were discussed. It turned into a very deep experience for all, and we shared many thoughts and opinions. Once again we realized how thin the cultural layers actually are, for most agreed on moral and ethical issues, like animal rights, environmental concerns and social responsibility.

Lunch, prepared by Japan & New Zealand, was delicious, where after only a few delegates braved the icy reservoir water, with a lot of encouragement from their dry, warm friends on the sideline!

 

After some problem solving activities, where Edward de Bono‘s model was discussed, the implementation of all the newly acquired skills took place in the form of a stretcher race.  Stretchers were constructed with materials ranging from wood to wire to articles of clothing, and the race was nothing short of hilarious (and rather scary too!). During the Splash Saver Activity delegates were astonished to see just how much water we waste in everyday life, and we all made a renewed commitment to do our part in water conservation.

The evening was for many the highlight of the day, where everybody had to negotiate their way through various physical and mental obstacles under the once again, clear African sky.  

It was a very happy and cheerful group of delegates who came back to camp, singing songs and joking with one another. As one delegate remarked, “the ‘personal spaces’ are disappearing, where we were sitting far apart on the first day, we are already leaning on one another by the fire”. What a life-changing experience this truly is…