Sunday, 18 February 2018

From Penkridge, UK to Hands at Work, South Africa

Millie and Georgia from Wolgarston High School in Penkridge write to tell us ot their journey from Stafforshire to Hands at Work in Africa

All set to go!
After a slow moving morning, with an atmosphere varying from excitement to nervousness, we set off, convincing ourselves that we were prepared for the exhausting journey ahead of us. Once we reached Oxford services, to stock up on snacks, we were in much higher spirits (although already in desperate need of a nap or two). After our dinner and comfort break, we were back on the road, next stop Heathrow!

As soon as we had got through baggage and security, we had a loooooooooong wait, which luckily passed a lot quicker than expected due to the many shopping and food outlets there were around the airport. Libby and Georgia found themselves a new friend, Lightning McQueen the remote control car to play with, much to the shop assistant’s amusement. Meanwhile, Amelia and Millie seemed to have set up a pamper business, with hair plaiting and back massages going on. 

Finally, our gate was opened and we piled onto the plane gratefully. Once boarded, we took advantage of the onboard entertainment, and got relaxed for the 11 hour flight we had to face. Almost immediately, Millie was fast asleep and pretty much out of it for a majority of the flight, while some of the unlucky ones remained awake for the whole duration of the overnight flight. We were very appreciative of our complimentary blankets, as the flight was very chilly. We were given drinks and later a hot meal, which was pretty tasty considering it was aeroplane food. 

All aboard the mini bus

After a good (or not so good) nights sleep, we were served with a rather interesting cooked breakfast. While some gobbled it down gratefully, others left it untouched. Soon, the flight was almost over and we were looking forward to stretching our legs and setting foot on new and interesting ground. Finally we were off the plane and were hesitantly allowed through customs, however our thorough preparation for this prospective problem hurried up the process. We collected our luggage, struggling to locate our suitcases in a sea of practically identical bags. 

A photo at Alzu Service Station
(spot any wildlife in the background?)

Following our exit from the airport, we boarded a mini bus and set off for a days long journey to our accommodation. Midway through, we stopped off at Alzu for lunch, taking our time to appreciate the wild animals around and soak up the almost unbearable sunlight. While the adults seemed up to a meal, the students opted for something less substantial; an ice cream and some sweets to be precise (whilst also happily devouring any of the leftover chips). 

Pizza for the whole team at Hands at Work in Africa
After another hour or so, we arrived at the Hands at Work base, welcomed with a tour of the grounds and some friendly advice (we now know to keep the doors closed, unless we’re up for a party with the frogs in our bedroom). Soon, we had unpacked a little bit and were ready to explore the area, looking out for any snakes or lizards in the grass. By now, we had all pounced upon the WiFi code, excitedly messaging our family about our safe arrival at our accommodation. Following a further explore, we sat down to a delicious meal of pizza, salad and garlic bread, by this time we were all ready to have a relaxing end to the day and have our daily debrief.  

(Written by Millie & Georgia)