This service-focused expedition provided a different experience to that of previous years, encouraging our students to engage in projects that have a life-changing impact on the lives of people within local communities. Year 9 left behind their home comforts in Ho Chi Minh City (comfy beds, air-conditioning and wifi, to name a few!) and stayed in camps near the community in which they worked, allowing them to get to know more about life within these villages. Staying in longhouses, using the ‘6 bowl’ hygiene system, and being woken at 5am by the chickens were all new experiences!
The students embraced camp life with enthusiasm and their work in the villages has helped to make a positive impact on the inhabitants of both Bongkud and Tinangol.
Year 9 students Tracy Le and Ngoc Duc Huynh provide a first-hand account of their experience in Borneo:
"Wow, what a week…
Not only have we gained important life skills from our 5 days in Borneo, but we have also learned valuable skills from our activities that will stick with us for a long time. From digging the foundations and painting the Youth Centre, to plastering walls, cementing floors and building new fences and gates; this week was jam-packed for us. We cherish these rewarding and worth-while activities as well as understand how significant a difference we were able to make to support the local community that we were staying in. We also had the chance to meet and socialise with children and adults from the local community, through football, language and some singing and dancing.
On behalf of the Year 9 students, we would like to say a massive thank you to all the Camps International staff, Mr Whiteley for organising the inaugural Year 9 Borneo Expedition, and to the other teachers for leading and supporting each group along the way. We will never forget this once in a lifetime experience.
Even though this expedition has flown by faster than we ever thought, all of its memories and lessons will remain deep in our hearts forever."