This year we, the Lincoln School 10th graders, went to The Last Resort for our Explore Nepal trip. The main focus of this trip was service learning and team building. We had very high expectations as everyone who had been there would exclaim that this trip was "amazing!" or "the best time of their lives!" And, we have to say that the trip certainly did reach our expectations if not even bettered them. Unlike most team building trips, this trip was grueling, arduous and unnerving and yet it was one of the most fun we have had in years. As soon as we reached there, The Last Resort tested our team working abilities bringing forth questions like "What makes a good team?" or "How can we build trust?"
We were pushed beyond our comfort zones throughout the week and we were dared with challenging activities. As hard as the challenges were, they constantly reminded us of the essentials of teamwork : trust, responsibility, motivation and cooperation.
"They demonstrated effective teamwork and individual courage; they listened carefully, spoke well and acted responsibly; they maintained good humour at all times and were invariably polite and appreciative of the Last Resort guides."- Ms Comesotti
The first day consisted of relatively amenable activities however it was on the morning of the second day that we were told we would be abseiling, in other words, bobbing off a 40 feet bridge with only a rope and a harness. We also slid down several waterfalls the size of buildings while canyoning and walked on flimsy ropes high in the air which were tied to extremely tall trees swaying and shaking as we took each step forward.
"The activities were very scary. I could not believe I actually completed them all!" - Rahab
After the end of each day we would feel accomplished after smashing each challenge and breaking each record. With a smile on our faces, engaging in erratic conversations, we would replenish ourselves with large buffet meals that would await us in shiny copper plates. After that, we would take a warm shower, relax in the sauna and sing songs in the campfire.
"The food and the campfire were my best part! It has been a week since explore nepal and I still long for those huge breakfasts and those varieties of colorful foods and drinks." - Swopnil
This year, the tenth grade Explore Nepal had a service learning component as well. We worked with Shree Prarthamik Bidhyalaya School, an elementary school about a half an hour hike from the resort. The service learning involved sharing something that we know and learning something from the school. We did some activities with the students there and both school students had a great time.
"We were able to see how a traditional Nepali school looks like and we learned a lot about their culture."- Norchen
Now, the 10th grade class are thinking of strengthening relationships with this school and planning further programs that are sustainable and helpful to the school. This program will be a service for the school and for its people and at the same time will help us learn.
The 10th Grade Explore Nepal was genuinely a great time of our lives and it will last as a memory which we will remember for a long time. Some people might say that the tenth grade Explore Nepal is "leisure holiday" or "fancy vacation" but it is really not. Every minute, it was made sure that we spent our time wisely doing something beneficial, learning something new. Every day we would feel as we have reached a social milestone or overcome a fear after being pushed a huge distance away from our comfort zone for constant and elongated periods of time. During this time, we did make a couple ridiculous songs and countless inside jokes however, most importantly, we engaged in deeper relationships with the place, the culture, the people and and even our own friends and teachers. We were able to see a new side of everyone and we have returned with a brand new perspective of looking at things, memories that we will never forget, and pride in our numerous accomplishments.
"It was the best experience I've had, I would do it again in a heartbeat" - Shreetika
"They were hardworking, patient, accommodating, and good to one another; they challenged themselves and they learned a lot." - Ms Comesotti