Written on: 27/04/2011
I would have to say much more out of my expedition with Gapforce than I originally expected despite it only being 6 weeks long. I was very aware that there were people who had a lot less than I did (materially speaking) in the world but you never appreciate it until you live in the same conditions and live right next door to it. That being said the local people aren't completely impoverished. They have all that natural beauty surrounding them every day and place value on things that aren't material. I suppose it is all very relative, but I certainly feel much more grateful for what my Western lifestyle enables me to do now than before I went away. In addition to that I found out about all these different species of animals that I'd never seen or heard of before. It wasn't even that difficult to pick up on after a few lessons in fish identification. There were other things I learned too that are more applicable now I'm back like being able to cook for myself with actual vegetables, which I could never do before.
And there are all the wonderful people I lived with too. When you are in
that kind of situation people really pull together and make an effort
otherwise everything falls apart. I came away with so many friends it was
unbelievable. We've even planned a reunion. Greenforce expeditions very
much cater to the needs of everyone no matter what age they are and,
despite the majority of volunteers and staff being relatively young (in
the 17 to 25 age group) this didn't stop anyone older from coming and
joining in to the full. All you need is a nearly unlimited supply of energy. And when you eat porridge for breakfast every day for 6 weeks that energy becomes readily available whether you're seventeen or seventy.