This was my forth expedition with the charity and one of the best as I had my partner Chris supporting me. It was great to get to go through an amazing experience together along with the rest of the team. My hopes for the mission were to complete all the projects set out for us and that as a group we all get on as well as respecting and supporting each other throughout the mission and that the community would embrace us.
I wouldn’t say I have any fears but my concerns were the likelihood that I would have an epileptic seizure as I have had them on the previous four trips and although I had every trust in Chris and the medic to manage it if I had a seizure if I had one. My concern was how Chris would deal with me having a fit as I hadn’t had one in front of him before.
My hopes were achieved as the projects that were set out for us were completed. The projects were replacing 11-12 windows which entailed us removing the broken existing windows taking old paint and putty off the existing window frames then re-puttying frames so we could put glass panes in then putty them to seal the windows at the village school. Project two was completing two murals on the school walls. The third project was creating a community garden in the village we completed all projects which everyone appreciated. We also each taught a lesson on various different subjects.
My fears were overcome despite having seven seizures two due to an infection and five due to overheating which Chris and the team dealt with well especially where Chris delt with the last two by himself very well and I was very proud of him as he stayed calm and reassured me the whole time which kept me calm.
My personal achievements of the trip were me and Chris working as a team to teach the class an enjoyable and interactive session which they all enjoyed especially making the paper aeroplanes it was great seeing the enjoyment on the children’s as they threw and chased the paper planes. Another achievement as crazy and unladylike as it sounds was going to the loo in the bush for the first time ever on any trip which is quite a challenge for me given its all about using the correct technique and co-ordinating body movements and the correct position as well as location. Another personal achievement for me was helping to take off putty and old paint from the window frames and re-putty ready for the glass to go in.
My most memorable moments of the trip were seeing the tribal dancing,seeing how they make their jewellery which was all very impressive and takes amazing learned skills passed down from mother to daughter as well as learning how they make their weapons/hunting tools. I also found the hunting trip to be very informative and enjoyable experience getting to learn about what tracks different animals make as well as roughly when they were there and if they had any babies with them. My two favourite moments were the safari trip where we saw a variety of animals up close but the elephants were definitely my favourite especially seeing the herd less than 50 metres from the vehicle we were in. My second favourite moment was visiting the animal sanctuary hearing their stories seeing all the animals that have been rescued and getting pictures of them all as well as being able to get close to some of them such as ducks,a rescued warthog called Ham and a family of mearcat’s cuddled up together in the sun which I will past a picture of. As well as seeing our Silverlining group overcoming their various challenges with the support of each other.
This years trip was incredible I’m so glad I went and the support from the team (Kaurimbi expeditions) out there was amazing especially the cook as the food was delicious and the medic as he was run off his feet by all of us I myself kept him very busy. The whole team worked really well together both the staff from Namibia and the Silverliner’s- as a whole. We both loved it and I would recommend this to everyone. We also hope to go on the 2020 mission if it’s to Namibia again.