This summer four members of Kent Weald took part in Region Expeditions to Cambodia, Ecuador and Malawi. Region expeditions are for participants aged 14 – 17 years old; last 2 – 3 weeks during the summer holidays and involve a service project, a culture experience and an opportunity to meet with local Girl Guides and Scouts. We’ve caught up with Anna, Louisa, Lulu and Marion to hear about their international adventures ………
Anna (Ecuador participant)
“Recently I have been on an international trip to Ecuador where 15 other girls and I have completed service projects in communities across the country. Whilst we were there we carried out two main projects.
The first in a town called Tena where we stayed just outside of town in a homestay located in the Amazon Rainforest. The project was to renovate the local school. We cleaned up and painted the toilets, dining room and kitchen and provided supplies for the school such as kitchen utensils and food.
The second project we were involved in was in a town called Ibarra where we cleaned out gutters, painted and gardened in a home for young adults with learning disabilities. In addition to these projects we also spent some time at a pre-school where we played with the kids and cleaned up inside the school. On the trip we also visited other places such as Baños, Otavalo and Quito.
Whilst we were in the country we also got to go sightseeing and did many interesting and exciting things such as hiking and biking over volcanoes, white water rafting, waterfall climbing and swimming in hot springs and lagoons. When we were in the rainforest we were privileged to learn about aspects of the Ecuadorian culture and fascinating details about the plants around the homestay. Also, before we left we met up with a group of Ecuadorian scouts who showed us some of the traditional games they played.”
To read more about Anna’s expedition to Ecuador, view the team blog here – https://ecuador2018laser.blogspot.com
Marion (Malawi Leader)
“A great time was had by everyone. We all enjoyed the fantastic Malawi experience. Going into schools in the mornings and then taking part in the various projects in the afternoons, gave us so many insights to the needs of the people of Malawi. Being part of this expedition gave all of us the opportunity to help make a difference.”
Lulu (Malawi participant)
“There is no doubt in my mind, that volunteering overseas was going to offer me a unique opportunity to travel to a country I might not necessarily have visited with my own family and get to know the heart of the people there.
The most rewarding part of this experience for me, was the daily interaction I had with the children in school from reading books with them to playing games and singing songs. Nothing makes me smile more, than the memories I have of seeing the sheer excitement on the children’s faces, as we arrived each day by bus and left…they literally came chasing after us with the biggest smiles that erupted into roars of laughter. One of the most humbling moments for me was lunch time, when I came to understand that the meals we were serving, were in a lot of cases the only meal of the day for a lot for those children and seconds were taken home to feed someone at home.
The life lesson I take from this trip is the true value of friendship and human kindness, as a group made up of four amazing leaders and thirteen guides like myself, we bonded because of our shared experiences. What’s most important to realise is the people we share our lives with, not what we have in material terms. I would thoroughly recommend a step into the unknown, as you grow in all sorts of ways you cannot imagine now.”
To read more about Marion and Lulu’s experiences in Malawi, view the team blog here –https://lasermalawi2018.wordpress.com
Louisa (Cambodia participant)
“This summer I spent three weeks in the Kingdom of Cambodia with 14 other girls and 4 leaders. It really was a life changing trip. I was able to experience the culture by visiting many different NGO organisations; I especially enjoyed the traditional dance classes! We were also able to be true tourists by visiting the beautiful Angkor Wat temples at sunrise up in Seim Reap. But most of all I enjoyed being able to help the small community and school that we visited for 10 days. The other girls and I were able to broaden the students’ English language skills as well as build their confidence in the classroom. Not only did we manage to teach them English we left the school having built a concrete path to their toilets and having completely renovated two of their classrooms. Overall my trip was amazing, and I would definitely recommend going for the selection day of an international guiding trip whether you are a guide or a leader because it is truly rewarding.”
To read more about Louisa’s adventures in Cambodia, view the team blog here – https://ggcambodia.blogspot.com/
If you are inspired after reading these and would like to apply to be part of a 2020 Region expedition leadership team or know Guides and Rangers who would be interested in being participants, please look out for details on Facebook, Weekly News and Raspberry Ripple in the New Year.