I found out about the Silverlining Charity and the Namibia expedition through my Fiancee Hannah who is a member of the charity as she sustained an acquired brain injury shortly after birth. I joined the charity last summer.
My hopes for the mission were to help make the mission a success and encourage and help the group to improve their knowledge and skills as well as helping to bring people out of their shells as well as pushing them out of their comfort zones particularly Hannah as she wasn’t confident when it came to preparing and fitting the new windows. As well as helping other members of the group where I could. My fears for the expedition were that Hannah may have a seizure which I hadn’t witnessed before. My other fear was how my family would cope with not being able to contact me for two weeks as we were in the middle of the Namibian bush.
My hopes were achieved as we completed all projects set out by painting two murals,teaching eleven lessons,replacing twelve windows and providing resources to the school as well as helping to create a community vegetable garden. My fears were overcome as although Hannah had several seizures during the trip I was fortunate that the medic and another buddy helped during some of them. During the first seizure they where particularly helpful as whilst the medic looked after Hannah the other buddy could then explain the signs to look for and what to do when Hannah is having a seizure. My family did find it difficult not being able to speak to me but I was fortunate to be able to borrow a satellite phone on my mum’s birthday which surprised her and put their minds to rest.
My personal achievements of the trip were getting to learn archery from the bushman which I really enjoyed as this is something I have wanted to do for a while. Another one of my highlights was going hunting with the bushmen from the village we were helping they taught us how to track a variety of animals,pointed out a variety of track marks and informed us of how long it was since that animal was there,weather they had a baby with them as well as the time of day they were there which I found very informative as I love to learn and would recommend anyone doing it if they have the opportunity.
My most memorable moments from the trip are going on the safari to see all the wildlife Namibia has to offer. My favourite animal we got to see was the heard of elephants who were very close to our vehicle so it was great for pictures they had baby elephants with them who were very cute. As well as experiencing Africa for the first time which was incredible!!!!!!
The expedition was one of my most rewarding experiences so far. Seeing everyone’s transformations from before the trip to after it. The person for me who overcome the most barriers and came out of their shell was a male London Silverliner (ABI survivor) who was on his first expedition.