On Friday us, the facilitators, and all DRET students hiked up the volcano. We left RVA quite early in the morning with a lot of water on us. Before starting to climb up Selly suggested gathering all together in the circle. I really liked that ritual because it lifted our spirits up. Also, since nowadays our pace of life is very fast we barely have time to stop, look, listen to others and especially consider other people’s needs.
In DRET group was one overweight girl. Even though Ashika was very determined to go up, just looking how hard she was making her first steps made us question if she can reach the peak. And you know that, she managed! In the beginning Selly suggested to let Ashika go in front that she can set the pace.
Seemed like people respected Sellies suggestion but it was impossible to keep that super slow speed up all the time. In order to entertain other students Selly started singing. However, this plan did not work out. So Vanessa and Jorge decided to walk with Ashika on her pace. It was so nice of them! I can just imagine how tiring it was physically as well as emotionally. They told that Ashika called her father and proudly said that she hiked up the volcano. Meanwhile Selly, Elin, Ammon, me and half of the students went down to crater. Going down with a rope was very exciting. I was not worried about myself, because I feel confident when it comes to climbing. But I was always looking around how the students were doing. Some of them were quite scared which is good at some point because when they mind their steps more.
However, the biggest challenge was yet to come. Selly mentioned that even though people often hike up the volcano, they rarely go around the dome. So, of course, we decided to accept the challenge. Have to admit it was very risky and dangerous: we were balancing on shaky, slippery rocks, crossing swamps and spiky plants were cutting up our legs. We were even hesitating if we should turn back, but eventually all in one voice decided to go until the end. Everything was going well until I heart English teacher calling my name… She sounded scared and it made me worry that happened. So without minding my steps I ran straight forward and I saw a huge wound on Grace’s leg. Yeah, it looked pretty bad… Grace got into panic. The teacher and I were scared as well.
However we did not to show it and try calming the girl down. After this experience I can say that I feel the pain of those people who are taking responsibilities of others on their shoulders (especially teachers). However, the biggest reward you get after taking such responsibility is respect from pupils. After this hike I felt that I became one of them, not just a white girl who was there to make sure that they are doing morning cleaning or dishwashing. Thus, once again, the best way to reach the desired result is by your own example not words.