DP1s Conquer Mt. Kasigau: A Student Perspective | Aga Khan Academies

DP1s Conquer Mt. Kasigau: A Student Perspective

05 September 2016

DP1s summit Mt. Kasigau DP1s summit Mt. KasigauAt 8 a.m. on 26 August 2016, we left the school campus for the DP1 retreat. Due to heavy traffic, the bus ride from school to Taita-Taveta County was a long one, but we enjoyed it alot! We sang, ate, danced and laughed during our bus ride. Upon arrival at the campsite, we had lunch and left for a school which was a 15-minute walk away from the campsite. At the school, we had bonding activities. These activities included dancing, and singing as a whole year group. After the singing and dancing, we split into our mentor groups and had one big relay race. All the mentor groups lined up according to their heights from the tallest to the shortest person. The team members held hands and had to pass an egg from one end of the line to the other. The person at the end of the line who received the egg had to run to where the guides were and tie a bandana around their head while holding the egg, and then run back to their mentor group to pass the egg on to the next person in the line. Unfortunately, my mentor group lost this race, but it was quite fun. Next, each of the mentor groups was given an environment-related topic to be researched on by interviewing locals in the area. Once we completed our research, we headed back to the campsite. Since it was almost dinner time, we were assigned tents, freshened up, and ate. After dinner, we sat around the camp-fire and each group presented their findings.

Students rest at the peak after their tough climb The students rest after a tough climb to the peakOn the second day of our trip, we had morning exercise at 5:30 a.m. where we ran around our campsite in order to prepare for our climb up the mountain. We left the campsite at 8 a.m. after having breakfast. Again, we split into our mentor groups to climb the mountain. When climbing up the mountain, each of the students in my mentor group helped one another. This was our strength. We were able to reach the top as a group. Nevertheless, when descending, we all scattered as we left the peak at different times. Since the mountain was quite steep around the peak, we had to slide on our way down. The group I was with was the second last group on the mountain, thus we didn’t have a guide with us. Not having a guide allowed us to use our skills on the mountain. In view of the fact that we did not know which way would lead us to the base of the mountain, we had to guess the path taken by the previous group. We did this by looking for footprints, and shouting ‘Marco green’ and waiting for the reply, ‘Polo’ from the group ahead of us. Shouting did not work as the previous group was far from us, but looking for footprints surely did.  We reached the base at 6:00 p.m. and got lost when looking for the road from the base to the campsite. We spent 30 minutes figuring out the right way. Finally, one of the locals escorted us to the campsite. After the long and tiring climb, we ate our dinner, sat around the campfire as some groups sang and danced, and then we went to sleep.

The last day of our trip was quite exciting. On this day, we abseiled. There were three different points with different heights to abseil from. We had the liberty to choose the point we wanted to abseil from. Since I love taking risks, I decided to abseil from the highest point. I was quite impatient and excited to abseil. At last, it was my turn. At first I was very happy to do this, but as I started walking, I panicked. This was because I looked down and saw the height at which I was abseiling. I was very scared. As I walked, I started fearing that I would fall off the cliff and let go of the rope. Fortunately, nothing of that sort happened. I successfully abseiled from the highest point, and was quite proud of myself. Later, we walked back to the campsite, ate lunch, and left for school.  Looking back at this trip, I realize that this was one of the most memorable trips I have ever had!

By Laeeqa Manji (DP1)