Going on this trip, most of us were highly confident in our ability to finish the trip in a breeze. We had packed lightly, expecting not to get wet or dirty as no bodies of water were mentioned in the itinerary, but even the first activity had proved us wrong.
Some of us, including me, admittedly, did not see the need to splurge on trekking shoes and had done the trekking with running shoes. I regretted it instantly. The trek was slippery as it had rained the previous night and we slipped multiple times, but constantly had a friend to catch us nearby.
By the time we were halfway through the trek and settled down for lunch, we were starving and exhausted. We had carried our necessary supplies and equipment throughout the journey and were divided into groups, each group cooked a different meal. Due to hunger, any food we ate was heavenly. After we had stuffed ourselves and cleared the area, we walked back to the campsite.
After reaching the campsite safely with no injuries, we scurried to set up our tents as the sky looked like it was about to pour. Then, we had some time to clean ourselves up followed by some hilarious ice-breaking games.
As the night fell, it was raining dragons and monkeys. Nevertheless, the itinerary did not change, we were split into groups of four and told to hand over our flashlights. The facilitators informed us that we were going to go into the forest without any adult guidance. We had to find our way through by searching for the checkpoints marked by a light. We were all petrified as we had heard blood-curdling stories about ghosts and Jinns that came out at night to play.
At the start of the night walk, each group was given a lighted candle as our sole light source. Less than a minute into the walk, my group’s candle kissed the ground surrounding us with darkness. It is in these types of situations when you are in fear and have only the bare minimum that we learn to rely on friends, and find the one with the best qualities such as blessed eyesight to lead the way. Furthermore, with little to no light to guide our way we really turned to Allah (S.W.T) for help in guiding our path.
Even with all the fear and drama, we managed to find our way out of the woods to sleep through the rain and Fraser’s cold temperatures. Due to the rainy walk, we woke up to a freezing morning in our wet jackets. In the light of the day, we learnt what to have in our first aid kits and how to properly utilize them. In addition to that, we learnt how to tie a myriad of different types of knots. After a short photography session, we quickly dispersed.
The most important lesson we learnt on this adventure was that if you look closely and pay attention to your surroundings, there is always something new you can discover – we even saw a family of wild boars. But, it did not mean that running away is the only way out. We took the road slowly, embraced your surroundings, be our own Dora the Explorer, just like in life.
Thanks to the night walk, it brought us closer to each other and strengthened our bonds of friendship. If anything else, it really proved to our overconfident little selves who is the boss – the nature is the boss.
By Arianna Azril, 9 Wisdom