A group of 40 Year 11 students from The British School of Kuwait (BSK) and their teachers set out on a challenging hike in Wafrah designed to test the wide range of skills they have so far learned as part of their Duke of Edinburgh International Silver Award. Their mission was to complete a 38 kilometre hike in extremely testing conditions, carrying all of their equipment themselves. The warm conditions added to the difficulty with students needing to be very careful to avoid the dangers of sun stroke and dehydration.
After a good night’s sleep the students were up bright and early on Friday morning to face the challenges of day 1. Hiking across soft sand with very few landmarks the students were sorely tested, with some beginning to realise what they had let themselves in for! However all groups coped admirably with the conditions, maintaining a strong sense of team spirit and working hard to navigate in these difficult conditions. On several occasions students stepped in to carry the belongings of a friend who was feeling the pace, demonstrating the sense of unity which is crucial to complete the International Award.
After a shady stop for some lunch the groups carried on to their final destination, using the landmarks around the Wafrah farms to navigate from check point to check point until all 6 groups made it safely to camp. They then had to pitch their tents and cook their evening meal with only a few interested camels for company. With the day’s exertions finally catching up on everybody nothing but the wind could be heard by 22.00.
It was a weary set of students who were greeted by an 06.00 wake up call. However they were ready for the day’s challenges and by 07.30 most were on the road towards their final destination. Day 2 was a very difficult day for navigation with lots of checkpoints that were quite awkward to find. Although most groups got lost at some point or another they coped with this admirably, working together to find their way again. All 40 students finished well within the allocated time, despite the testing conditions. The students had a great feeling of satisfaction having completed this desert practice and are very much looking forward to the challenges of their February expedition to Cyprus.