During the Easter break, Grade 9's from both the UWCSEA Dover and East campus came together for an experience to perform an extraordinary feat trekking 90 kilometres in a week, going up to 4237m.
When we reached Kathmandu, we were welcomed with open arms and traditional scarves. The astonishing thing was, the Nepali people may not be the richest people in the world, but they were happy. We then went to Umbrella Foundation, and met these children who might have lost everything in life, but they were not afraid to pursue their dreams. We interacted with them, and learnt their stories. One of them even said she wanted to empower and help kids like her when she grew up. We learned from them to appreciate what we have.
Next day we started trekking. The weather was not on our side, as it immediately started hailing. Trekking in the Gokyo Valley for 10 days tested our patience in various degrees, because just when you feel you are almost at the peak of the mountain, you find out that in fact there are miles to go. It taught us how life is, you feel that you have reached your goal but all you need to do is keep on trying. What especially struck us that while we were complaining about how hard it was, these Nepali porters carrying luggage twice their weight kept on going on. It inspired us to push ourselves harder.
So what made the Everest trip so special?
From learning to appreciate what we have to never give up even if the top of the mountain seems so far away, the best was the relationships we built. All of us pushed each other to go on, when we felt desolate. This is an example of compassion that each UWC student should have. We did have our rewarding moments like our snow fight on the peak of Tengboche and the night there under the stars surrounded by snow covered mountains. The breathtaking panorama of nature still feels like a dream that we were physically present there. Today, we can say that we made it, with each others help and that is something we will never forget.