The Ardèche region in the south of France was the perfect place for 41 of our students to experience the great outdoors during the summer holidays. Students from years 7 to 12 enjoyed numerous outdoor activities including a two-day canoeing trip down 30km of the River Ardèche, as it carves its way through breath-taking gorges. The students also had a go at caving, climbing and abseiling, kayaking, a high ropes course, target sports and initiative exercises.
Fifteen-year-old student Emily enjoyed every moment of the trip: “I had a fantastic time. We kayaked down the river for two days and then slept under the stars. On the second day, we jumped off a five-metre rock into the river – it was so exciting and such an adrenaline rush. There wasn’t a moment when we didn’t have fun,” she said.
Meanwhile, 16 of our intrepid students from years 12 and 13 ventured to Uganda for 16 days in the summer; a trip that undoubtedly broadened their horizons and gave them experiences they will never forget. The most rewarding part of the trip was the five days spent at the Kalububbu Primary School in the town of Masaka, a project the students had previously raised funds for. They worked hard to finish the classroom building project by concreting floors, plastering and painting walls, as well as teaching maths and English. For all the students, it proved to be a real highlight of the trip.
Their travels took them across the equator 14 times, and there were plenty of opportunities to see a variety of wildlife in their natural environment: elephants, hippos, giraffes, crocodiles, warthogs, chimpanzees, buffalo and hyena were all spotted while on safari at the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo.
The students also visited the scenic Lake Bunyonyi, where they took a boat trip to many of the lake’s 29 islands including a Pygmy colony where some of the poorest people in Uganda live. For 17-year-old Emily, the experience was unforgettable: “They invited us to look around where they lived and their school, and put on a dance where a couple of us, including me, joined in. Talking to some of the children made me want to go back again,” said Emily. “This trip taught me a lot, and opened my eyes to other countries’ situations and poverty, which makes me want to go back again to help more children in schools. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone.”