Author: Sayma Ahmed (Shanta)
There were many emotional and physical challenges which I took on during this trip. One significant one which amazed me was the one where I conquered my fears of kayaking, as we used heavy duty kayaks of metal and plastic, which was terrifying firstly since I heard we might fall into the water and as I wasn’t physically very fast. It was very fun as I felt like a child who was given chocolate! It challenged us mentally and physically, nonetheless, my friends and I conquered our fears of falling out of the kayak as we navigated our boats, figuring out where to go and how to keep our boats floating, we raced and played tag with each other as well. Recounting back to my workbook, I even wrote “…we could be very mindful and sporty.” I feel as if going on this trip has improved balance my life out more and taught me that alongside work, enjoyment is important, and another valuable lesson was that always working isn’t healthy, sometimes smiling and happiness is required as well. A few other activities which we got to do were rafting with bamboo boats, learning to plant corn and fishing. It was an amazing day full of adventures and happiness, an unforgettable journey.
During this trip, I learned about many important global issues which made me realise of the people and environments of the world in a more local way. The first issue we learnt about was around loss of biodiversity, and loss of habitat. Firstly, to familiarise with the topic, we were taken into a rainforest, where we did geographical surveys of a random sample of land by using quadrats, and took measurements such as, species count, canopy covers, and light intensity checks. Furthermore, we visited the palm oil plantation where we conducted the same surveys for comparing the data. Here we realised the difference of the soil, productivity of land, biodiversity of species and seedlings and saplings.
The second issue we realised, and found out about more, and got to impact was of the Rohingya crisis. We went to teach students of a Rohingya school, about geography, drama, maths, English and sports. I believe we helped the students make their day better whilst also enriching them of lessons.