Growing up, I have always loved playing outdoors, learning and trying new things. I guess I would say I am an adventurous person.
When my mom worked at Gold Reef City, she would take my family to the theme park. The roller coasters were so fast and thrilling giving me this sense of an adrenaline rush. That was not the case for other people who also were at the theme park as they were terrified and cried for their lives. I never understood why they were so scared of such exciting, short rides like the Tower of Terror, Anaconda and more.
In 2018, I moved to a boarding school in my province, Gauteng. I was still keen about adventure and having fun as a young person. I learned how to swim, had music and dance lessons. In February of that year, my grade went on an adventure camp to the alluring province of Mpumalanga. We had an amazing tour of the Kruger National Park and saw wild animals.
The next day we went to an elephant sanctuary, touched the elephants and they kissed us. We then went to Induna Adventures where we had different kinds of adventures and team building games. We were then divided into two groups where one group had to zip-line and the other group went river rafting. One group zip-lined and went river rafting and vice versa. I started with the zip-line. I was excited for both activities of zip lining and river rafting but some people were crying while I was so exhilarated. I went on the 450-metre long zip-line while screaming of joy and excitement. The people who went river rafting came back crying, injured and traumatised as they had not done this type of adventure (like me) before. My roommate was the most traumatised after her river rafting experience. She even saw a hippopotamus and a crocodile in the river. Those who went river rafting said the water was too harsh and complained that the lifeguards were not helping them out, so our teachers decided that my group that had to do river rafting would have to opt for something safer.
Those who had come back from river rafting were sent to zip-line. As we could not river raft anymore, we were sent to paintballing and archery instead. It was quite atrocious to me that the other group took away the only adventurous opportunity of river rafting from me because of their lame complaints. I felt for them but failed to understand why they were complaining instead of enjoying the fun adventure. Nevertheless, I went to do paintballing and archery but my heart was still on river rafting. After the Mpumalanga camp, we came back to Gauteng.
Fast forward to this year, I was elected residence representative for my boarding residence and attended a leadership camp in Parys in January 2020. The camp was mainly about learning how to be a good leader, understanding the code of conduct and what our responsibilities were as leaders.
What is a camp without some adventure? We were split into groups at camp, and we competed in water games and team-building games. What excited me was when we were told we were going to river raft. We first had a short trial round of river rafting (which did not go so well) and ate lunch. While we were eating, it started to rain and I thought, once again, I wouldn’t be able to river raft but we were told it was safe. We put on our life jackets and headed to the river. That was where the trouble started as my partner, Yusrah and I could not control our boat and crashed into trees. Lifeguards came to help us. On the river, I got so terrified after seeing a hippo and just wanted to go to my mom who was kilometres away.
Yusrah and I went into the river first but came out last. This river rafting experience taught me not to judge people until I fully understood and experienced whatever they also experienced. Even though river rafting looked all fun and games, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am grateful that I came out alive and surely taught myself that people will always have different experiences in life. I would also like to send my deepest condolences to all families that have lost loved ones due to adventures on the river.
Tell us: Do you agree with the writer, to never judge until you have experienced things from a different perspective?