We left our respective branches, Umlazi and Chesterville in one bus with the Umlazi Ikamvanites being picked up first followed by the Chesterville Ikamvanites. The journey began with a couple of tutors and some staff in the bus with the learners. The bus ride was a rather comfortable one and it was not too long. We reached our destination within the hour, the venue was a beautiful, rustic resort in the outskirts of Cato Ridge. There were huts and cabins and long yards of hills and valleys. The scenery was beautiful and it was waiting for us to explore.
The actual camp started off with us being allocated to our rooms and cabins, then we went and met up in the hall space where we were addressed and told the resort rules. We also mapped out our own expectations of the camp. Lunch was served soon after!
We took a long walk just outside the resort. We were walking through bushes, crossing rivers and climbing very high hills and going down the valleys. There was a lot to see, from sugar cane plantations to farms to swamps and just the beautiful view. We took a couple of breaks because the walk was very long and challenging. When we came back our feet were burning but some of us were used to it, and some couldn’t make it walking straight they were carried up, we walked hand in hand helping to pull those who couldn’t climb up. It was a mind blowing experience and at times I thought to myself that it was never about the journey but it was about experiencing the hardness that people in the rural areas feel when they have to travel long distances to get water, the difficulties that they have to endure to achieve what they want and the joy and sense of achievement they get once they have prospered in their quest.
Feedback on the long walk from Ikamvanites
“it was long and it tore my shoes plus it rained on the way back. And what I learned from the walk that it not about where you going but it about do you have the will to do so, and it was also about team work never to leave your team member behind.”
“it was fine going there, but in the middle of the walk the situation changed because I got tired along the way .I learned that if you are a person you should never give up on something.”
“the walk was good. Had I known how long and challenging the walk would be, I would have paced myself better and not finished my water before I got to the halfway point. There were a lot of life lessons to learnt too”
# Nelisa… (Chesterville)
Later in the evening it was crunch time. We got to see what we were actually at the camp for. Tutoring began even though learners were complaining about how tired they were. We were not here to play, there was a time for everything and this was time for tutoring. We took out our Grade 11 work and we caught up on what would help us do better for grade 12. The session was very effective. By 9:30pm we had gone through so much and had to call it a day. We went back to our allocated rooms by 10:00pm and it was lights-out at 10:30pm.
Feedback about the tutoring
“In my view, the tutoring was okay because it is teaching us to sharpen our strategies of how to combat problems.”
“To me tutoring lessons are helping me because there were subjects that gave me problems not that I couldn’t handle them, it’s just that I had minor problems that’s all.”