Axel Bisi's Outdoor Ed Tramp
Wednesday 8 o’clock, the Outdoor Ed L3 class is all looking forward to going tramping. We came with our big backpack, fully packed with warm clothes and camping gear. Now the sun shines but we all know it is suppose to rain today and the next 2 days. We then drove to Arthurs Pass.
It was the 22nd of February, anniversary day of the earthquake that hit the region one year ago. Before leaving the vans we did a minute of silence in memory of the people who suffered in that event.
A few hours later we found ourselves walking in the rain, wishing we were at home. Because of the weather and fatigue we stopped earlier to set the camp. Everything was wet, and the night was an experience. The next day we didn’t continue on the track but did a bit of orienteering in the forest. The weather was much better. Back at the camp we were all happy to see our clothes dry. The mood became happier in the evening, enjoying the camp bonfire and talking.
Thursday was the last day. To go back to the vans, the class was divided into two groups; one following the track, one going along the river. I was in the second group and can say the day was rather “extreme”. We reached the parking in the afternoon 2 hours late, half wet, exhausted but happy to be alive and join the others.
That was the first tramp for Outdoor Ed. It wasn’t perfect, but I still had a really good time.
Agathe Bejerano-Calderon's Farewell Speech
Two years ago, I made the decision to leave everything I had ever known behind. I left my family, my friends, my dog, my bed… Well, my world. Everything that was attached to my French life had to fit in my suitcase or stay home. I started packing the day before I had to leave and I spent the day in my room, busy, the music at the maximum intensity. It was weird trying to get ready for a new life, trying to “get ready” when I had absolutely no idea how it was going to be like!
D-day came fast. I was suddenly sitting in my parents’ car, heading to the airport. Straight away, I was very excited. Maybe it is hard to believe but I didn’t shed a tear when I said goodbye, I couldn’t wait to know more, to be here already.
Who knew then that this trip was on the verge of changing me so much? I am the same person, Agathe, 17 years old… But I am different. I am French now, or at least I feel Frencher! I had never seen myself as a French person before. I am also stronger, I can feel it. Having to live away from my parents, having to handle tough situations by myself wasn’t easy. I am proud to say that I found a way to get through life joyfully and with determination though. I accepted the challenge and it made me a better person. I hope the peace and determination I have found being in New Zealand will never leave me.
Everyone I have met this year has been participating to the change that happened in me. Some people say change is bad, I think it is essential. Change makes you grow. It challenges you. And I know now how challenging life can be.
Through this year, I have been facing a lot. Sometimes it feels like it was like living ten years in one. Some situations made me feel overwhelmed and I had only little time to breathe. But after everything, I am glad I crossed the planet and landed here, in New Zealand. I got to meet amazing people, I got to learn from life, I got to learn how to handle myself and most important, I got to prove to myself that I could do this.
I am not going to lie, it has been hard but I have no regrets and it has been a magical experience. Having the chance to know more about the world, to know more about another culture, to know more about the others and to know more about myself is wonderful. I feel lucky to have parents that believed in me enough let me go. I feel very lucky to have met all of you.
The only bad thing about my year has been not being able to share with you what you shared with me. My only regret has been that I am not able to drag you in my world like you dragged me into yours. So let me give you an advice dear friends, if you can let go of your bubble, even not for long, if you feel like you have the strength to leave for a while, please do travel. It definitely makes you see the world differently and it makes you feel complete as a person, it makes you realize that you, and only you, can know yourself the best.
That is my word to you, thank you, for everything.