Upper School Choice - chess

Return To Namibia For Year 11

22nd September 22

As a school we have a long relationship with the charity EHRA in Namibia and groups of students have been visiting to volunteer in local schools and to experience the amazing landscape of this beautiful country for many years. After the pandemic stopped trips for the last two years, it was fantastic to be able to return and we asked some of the students to report back on the experience in words and pictures!

Tilly (Y12) explained the experience:

Tilly at the campsite

“My time spent in Namibia was one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of my life. The culture, people and landscape were so different to anything I had experienced before, and when I saw it, I never wanted to leave.

We spent the first week working in a school, redecorating the boy’s dorms where they live all term. It was hard work, and tiring, but completely worth it when we got to see the smiles on their faces. As much as I liked doing the physical work, it was nothing compared to the time we got to spend with the kids. They were all so loving and kind and showed us games that they play and songs that they sing. One of my favourite moments at the school was when the boys took me to their playground to show me all their gymnastic skills – which were very impressive! When we had to leave the school it was sad because even in a short time, we had built such a strong relationship with the children and it was very hard to say goodbye.

As much as I loved the first week, the second was when I finally got to see Namibia. Trekking through the glowing desert and walking on the sandy paths for hours on end is something I’ll never forget. The views we got of the sun from over the hills was magical. I got to experience something truly amazing, seeing elephants in the wild. Their massive ears and elegant trunks makes these creatures a joy to watch. In total we managed to see 21 of the 22 elephants – even the baby Fieri and the matriarch Matilda!

A standout memory for me was the last trek where we were all alone – no teachers or guides! We had to navigate our way through the desert completely by ourselves, which is not an easy thing to do as the map just said things like ‘red tree’. Everything was going amazingly, we made it to lunch very quickly and efficiently. However, after lunch things started to go wrong. We were lost. In the middle of the desert, distraught under a tree, when suddenly a man and his donkeys appeared from around the corner and showed us the way to go! The atmosphere when we got to camp was remarkable, everyone was so happy and relieved we’d made it!

Lynn and Rob were great fun to travel and camp under the stars with, keeping us going on the trek with their songs and silly games. But never share a sandboard with Lynn, she’s a terrible driver and we crashed and were finding sand everywhere for days…

Overall my experience is Namibia was hard and exhausting but magical and something I will remember for the rest of my life.”

Many of the students on the trip had just completed Photography GCSEs and were going on to A levels. The took their cameras and recorded the experience with their expert eyes. Here are the photo galleries of three of our talented students.

Fenn’s photos – click on the gallery to view all the photos

Oona’s photos – click on the gallery to view all the photos

Iola’s photos – click on the gallery to view all the photos

Where Next?