A common response around here when a student asks, “what are we eating?” or
“where are we going?” or “how long will we be gone?” is : “Do you really need to know?”
Of course the answer is always, “no”. You don’t need to know.
We get lots of entertainment out of watching the students guess what we will be doing next as they assess the amount of food being packed, or note that the packing list only says two pair of underwear (which of course has no bearing on how many days we’ll be gone, but they like to think it does).
On this particular evening they knew something was up, but assumed the worst. What they didn’t know was we were going to float down the river in silence enjoying the magical glow worms along the canyon walls (they really aren’t ugly worms, but look more like stars in the trees).
We laughed so hard, froze, teased each other about the eels (which really are in the river), and enjoyed the absolute beauty a million tiny glow worms emit hidden in the walls of the New Zealand bush.
One of our final activities together was a triathlon.
Three lengths of the lake (not sure how many meters).
26k bike ride down HoraHora Rd.
9k run back to the lodge.
We finished feeling pretty pumped about the challenge and are thinking of participating in a real one come summer. We asked Sam if she wanted to train with us and her response was, “That was the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Take it she’s not interested.
After a day of hiking the students were invited to the director’s house for Tea (dinner). Two meals were prepared, each student picked from a hat to determine what meal they were to enjoy. One group had an impressive spread of more than enough food: steak, salad, bread, cheesecake, pop, etc. The other ate rice with their hands around a single bowl on the ground.
That night the rice group (our group) after cleaning up after the steak group, slept under the main bridge outside of Cambridge on cardboard boxes while the other group went home to sleep in their beds.
We had many discussions about this event. Interestingly enough it was those who were given much that struggled the most with the “unfairness” of it all. Nothing like a little activity to remind us all that most of the world does not share in the abundance and excess we do.