Waking up before the crack of dawn was quite an experience for us, but we knew that we would have quite a number of hours on the bus to catch up on sleep and reflect upon the week that now lay behind. Ezreena Yahya of Malaysia put into words what we were all feeling: “…this experience has been one of the best in my life… at the end of the day, all the gaols have been accomplished. I have made friends with nature, others and most importantly, myself.” Then there was Priscilla (Ka Wei) Ma from Hong Kong who added, “I had such a great time in experience different cultures in 1 week…I would never have such a fun and meaningful trip again.”

After packing the bus, we were ready to depart; leave behind us this beautiful place; but take with us the memories and life-changing experiences that have become part of us. Tshepo Mokoena from South Africa feels, as he leaves, “in complete harmony and at peace with nature. Its as if everything has been put in place.” What some others will take away will definitely be the night sky: “The stars were uncountable” – Ka Ka (Ka Yan) Ng of Hong Kong; “The number of stars we saw were better than in the planetarium – impossible in Korea.” – SungHo Song from South Korea.

If Melissa (Ka Yan) Chiu of Hong Kong represents the group, the delegates will return home to make a difference. She noted, “ I would feel very disappointed and upset that such a beautiful place disappeared… I will really try to spread the message to encourage others to do the same.”

Upon arrival at the Indaba Hotel in Johannesburg, preparations were set in motion for the Cultural event – an event organised as a final send-off for all the delegates from all around the world; where parents of South African delegates can come and share in the experience and where the media can get their conclusions for their stories for home broadcasts.

As usual, it was a spectacular event, with delegates showing off their rich traditions and customs, much to the delight of all the on-lookers. In the words of two delegates, the experience drew to an end:” The footprint of all living creatures marked a beautiful page on the page of my heart.” – Sharon ((Pohsuan) Chao of Taiwan and, “Cathay Wilderness Experience has allowed me to become a person who actually can appreciate nature and sincerely say that ‘I do’. It has enabled me to become truthful with myself.” – KaHyun Park from South Korea.

 
 

The only thing left now was the emotional, heart-breaking good-byes at the airport on Monday. A lot of time was spent enjoying the moments we had left with each other, but like everything, even good things must come to an end. Through many tears and hugs, promises were made of eternal friendships. The bonds made in the African bush and WITH the African bush cannot easily be broken. Cathay Pacific International Wilderness Experience, in association with Ubungani Wilderness Experience wish every one of is delegates prosperity, happiness and a life-long friendship with the environment!