In December, 18 students from St Andrew’s Cathedral School across Years 8 – 11 and three teachers went on a two week hike through the Annapurna region of Nepal. The group followed the Annapurna Circuit, with views of the Annapurna Range, which is in some places was 8000m high.
In total, they covered about 80km of track over steep terrain – one day was 25,000 steps made up exclusively of up and down stairs. Along the way, the travelling party became an amazingly tight-knit, open-minded, caring and supportive group.
The trip had two major components with the first being the challenge and character-building exercise of the trek. Each day involved up to eight hours of hiking in some challenging conditions. Students needed to navigate altitude and camp out in sub-zero night temperatures in a test of mental and physical endurance.
The second component was their time in the village of Lespar where they assisted making improvements to the local school by cleaning and painting. They also spent time with local children. St Andrew’s Cathedral School students had previously raised money for the work and it was the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the schools.
Fern Still (2024 Year 12) said the most challenging part of the trip was being so far away from home with new food, a new language and a new culture.
“However, I think this just added to the experience because we got to explore a new culture and immerse ourselves in Nepalese society,” she said.
Zoe Charles (2024 Year 11) said she felt as if the trip opened her eyes to the differences in the world.
“This trip has also given me opportunities to embrace community service on a different level,” she said.