Journal Extracts from Kenya
Every day of their stay in Kenya, Concord’s students wrote of their personal feelings and experiences in a journal. At the end of the venture, students also gave a reflective summary of their feelings about the trip.
A number of short extracts from the journal have been shared below:
Charlene: ‘It really hit me how much a priceless treasure affordable healthcare is. I was supposed to be helping the community in Kenya, but I guess it’s really true that serving others serves us too. Albert Schweitzer once said, “The only really happy people are those who have learnt how to serve.” I can only describe my experience in Kenya as a joy. The more I travel and the longer I get to stay in cultures not my own, the more I am reminded of our shared humanity, humour and tenderness as people. The children’s energy and enthusiasm feel particularly universal, with the atmosphere at the local schools sounding like that of a school anywhere else – full of laughter, little feet pattering in the hallways, and the sounds of children questioning, learning and growing.’
Aiko: ‘Making friends with the street kids was a life changing experience. I am known to be more reserved and not very outgoing. I don’t really fancy speaking to people I do not know very well. So when I first met the street kids I was really hesitant. I didn’t know how to start a conversation. A different culture, different language; this was extremely daunting, challenging and totally out of my comfort zone. However, picking up the courage really led to friendships that I will have for a lifetime. Over the week, they slowly opened up and I got to know them better. It is really disheartening witnessing what young kids go through, but Moving Mountains are really helping to change many lives.’
Charmaine: ‘The kids at the Rescue Centre made me realise that I have so much to be thankful for and I am really humbled by how they find joy in the simplest things in life.’
Ethan: ‘I have learnt to be appreciative of what I have. Most of these kids have very little and yet live their lives to the fullest, while I have been expecting things to just come my way. I find that no words can describe ‘appreciative’.’
‘Teaching these kids made me feel like I was flying.’
‘Step away from Tech: sometimes it’s just better to see things with your eyes than through a tiny phone.’
Arman: ‘This trip has taught me that there is more to life than money, where you live, what you wear, how many likes or followers you have on social media. I didn’t log in to my social media for the whole trip and I felt more alive and happy and had a great time.’
To read more about the Kenya trip and view the photo gallery, click here.
Half Term in Germany and Belgium
From the 27th October to 1st November 2018, a group of 24 students from both the Lower and Upper School, accompanied by Mrs Archer, Ms Salimi and Mr Wilson, went on a trip to the Rhine Valley in Germany, as well as Ypres and Bruges, in Belgium.
During our first 4 days in Germany, we visited some of Germany’s historical sites that were rich in culture, such as the Cochem Castle and Marksburg Castle, followed by an enchanting cruise down the River Rhine and the River Mosel. The beautiful scenes enthralled us with picturesque and captivating landscapes. We also had a wine tasting experience in a vineyard (well, grape juice for the younger students), a cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument, and a tour of the Cologne Chocolate Museum.
On Day 5, we left to visit Bruges, Belgium – a mecca for chocolate lovers. Students had plenty of free time to explore Bruges city, and indulge in appetising, local food. At night, we attended the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. As this was drawing close to the 100th Remembrance Day, we appreciated the opportunity to witness such a special occasion, honouring those who sacrificed their lives for their beloved country. Our last stop before heading back to school was a visit to some of the World War 1 battlefield sites. This was a very eye-opening experience and we were immersed and captivated by a number of stories behind those brave soldiers.
All in all, it certainly was an amazing, insightful and unforgettable trip. Not only did we make lots of new friends, we also had the opportunity to engage with the fellow people there and to explore these two beautiful countries.
Laura – 6.1