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World Challenge update!

Hello everyone back at home, we are now on day 10 of our expedition in Ethiopia and have just arrived in Addis Ababa. 

When we first arrived in Addis all those days ago the first thing on the agenda was sleep but after that we had many tasks to complete before we left for Dodola. The most important task was food and we quite hilariously carried over 100kg of food down the main streets of Addis from the small supermarket up the road. In Addis we decided to visit the National Museum of Ethiopia where we got the chance to see the famous ‘Lucy’, who is regarded as the earliest discovery of human life on Earth.

We awoke early on 7th July to begin our 5 hour bus journey to Dodola where we statyed in a quaint motel before beginning our trek up the Bale Foothills. The first day of the trek involved us riding horses for 18km and it was safe to say some of them really had an attitude! Miss Nicholson and Josh spent a lot of time trying to make their horses walk and subsequently spent the majority of the day at the back of the group. We all had a brilliant day, however, there were a lot of sore bums and backs by the end of the day! The remainder of the trek was completed on foot and over the following three days we walked 21km. Despite the promise of flat sections of the trek we were pleasantly surprised by many areas of height gain. 

Our campsites each night had their own individual character and we were lucky enough to enjoy the beauty of the stars at night due to being so high in the mountains. Each night we had different groups cooking and a variety of dinners that predominantly were made up of pasta, noodles or rice. The rotas of jobs are still working effectively and the group have all appreciated the food being made over campfire. After dinner we have filled the evenings with card games and laughter as the group, along with teachers, have had very competitivice games of sevens and ‘poohead’. However, it has not all been fun and games as we have still had to carry on planning for future phases o the trip and the most pressing being the project work that we begin on 16th July. 

Before the hard work begins though we have had two days of rest and relaxation which have allowed our bodies to rest after the tiring trek. We were lucky enough to stay in the Langano Hotel in the Rift Valley where we were given individual beach huts that looked over Lake Langano. We had the opportunity to swim in the lake, which was cold at times, but enjoyed by all . Whilst not relaxing by the lake we orghanised bench ball tournaments in the courts behind the huts – some victories are yet to be settled. In addition, we visited a National Park in which we had the opportunity to see gazelles, warthogs and ostriches as well as some native birds. The food here was impressive and we have never been stuck for choice.

After our internal flight to Gonder tomorrow we will be immersed in a primary school of 729 children, for whom we have planned educational games and activities for. Everyone is looking forward to spending time with the children and are all prepared for the challenge ahead.

Charlotte W and Elizabeth (on behalf of entire team)