On Friday the 3rd of July 18 Students packed into cars, the sight of Du Noon in our rearview mirror we made our way to the Haweques mountains. A weekend to remember. One student shared how they had never even been further than Canal Walk. The trip there was filled with squeals of excitement from the back seat. Ostriches, unfamiliar crops, vineyards, everything seemed excitement. The fact that “enter at own risk” sign was posted at the entrance to the campsite was another source of great excitement, a feeling that seemed to be maintained throughout the two days.

The theme was inspire and we packed the time full of fun activities geared to teach students to use their senses to find inspiration through their environments. We had workshops around the themes STOP and listen, STOP and see and STOP and feel.

In our normal context it is easy to constantly overstimulate yourself so even the simple act of sitting alone in silence whilst taking in the beauty was impactful. The student learnt songs, made films and learnt to appreciate textures all while realizing how beautiful life could be if they just stopped to notice.

Our hope was to inspire these group of students. Every student I found was unique in what they had to offer, some incredibly creative, some entertainers, some thoughtful and kind, all held an incredible potential within them to impact our world. One young man even had brought his math book and proudly showed me the great marks he achieved (a huge accomplishment for a student at our high school). He shared how his dream was to become a doctor. I could encouraging him to cling to that dream, stay focused and avoid the destructive distractions that life in “ekasi” presents. I realized even just one of these conversations would make it all worth it. But there were many more amongst the leaders and between the students and everyone left changed by the experience.