EXCURSION FEATUREBy Nicholas Ekata:

Well I can’t claim I wasn’t aware since it was all explained by my biology teacher about a month before; however I can say I did not prepare for this. We’re halfway up and my legs are starting to feel like a bowl of overcooked noodles, I’m starting to think this excursion is more punishment than it is a project.

Wait, before you hurt yourself trying to figure out what exactly I’m going on about let me put you up to speed. We have this project to do on our selected ecosystem in The Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, Pretoria. The thought of not having to be at school for a whole day was exciting. I’m not excited  anymore; in fact the thought of sitting in class would be luxurious. Anyways there’s no sense of complaining now since we’re almost at the top of this endless mountain.

When we finally reached the top that’s when I realized climbing the mountain was a small price to pay for the mesmerizing view we got. Regardless of the amazing view and fresh air there was work to be done. Now, the beginning of the project. We had our eyes peeled to the ground as we were searching for the perfect space with all the needed aspect so we could mark it off with our metal rods and chevron tape. We were only allowed to mark off 5×10 metres.

After about 30 minutes of searching, our biology teacher came to warn us we had until 12 noon to finish our project then we were to meet at the bottom of the mountain. After passing various sites we finally settled on one. This one was a thicket biome (A large bushy area with thick plants) . So we placed our metal rods and chevron tape around it. After taking multiple pictures, with several being of Oluhle, my spoilt, pompous yet lovely group mate, we sat down and I asked, “so what do we have to do?” I was replied, “I thought you knew.” That’s when I flashed back on the moment in class when I joked about how I’d be the only one doing the work. I regret ever making that joke. Few minutes later we got to work and gave input on the questions asked by the work sheet. 11:15 and we were making our way back down the mountain I stopped to take one last gaze at the beautiful horizon I was blessed to experience, continued walking down the mountain letting gravity move my legs at the pace it felt. Constant ranting was going around all about different stories. Some realistic and others forged with each step.

Moments later, I found myself at the foot of the mountain. I guess eavesdropping is a way to kill time. Sweat keeps dropping from my forehead as from others’ as well; it must be at least 34°C with not a single cloud to hide the maniacal smirk of the ever glowing sun.

Finally, we got to the base of where we stood before we started the project. It was fascinating to see all the different groups of people in one place each part of a circle that was closed off to anyone outside their group of friends. Luckily, I get along with every group, fitting in with the atmosphere like a special breed of chameleon. We rested for about 30 mins eating the food we brought and the snacks given to us by our instructors.

Words were shared, conversations were exchanged and it was finally time to go home. We were driven home by the school’s mini buses (quantum) two groups at a time. After about 30 mins I was back at school and started planning my way home. I have to walk because someone (not mentioning names) didn’t have interest in picking me up.

I reached home exhausted and was greeted with a question from my father:“How was the excursion?” Before I replied, he followed up with a teeth grinding instruction:“You are going to write a story for me about the excursion.” He didn’t ask whether I was tired or even hungry? … Well, you just read the story.

Conclusion: It was an extremely tiring but exciting day.

PHOTO GALLERY

Marking off our space with chevron tapespace

 

Excursion sightsEXCURSION SIGHTS

 

Moving on and resting tired feetON THE MOVE

Views from the topVIEWS

 

NICHOLAS EKATA

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