What Our Challengers Say

This is my favourite photo because it captures a typical day in the busy city of Hanoi with scooters driving around this lady with her daily shopping and shows the traditional Vietnamese hat which reminds me of the countryside. It also has the ability to transport you to the moment. This photo was shortlisted and won the 2014 World Challenge Photo Competition which I am very proud of.
 
I came on World Challenge because I felt like I needed to step out of my comfort zone and explore my limitations. It was also the first time I had travelled overseas which was a big step to take without my parents. My biggest surprise was the heat. It was a heat I couldn’t actually understand and sometimes I just had to stop and take a few deep breaths.
 
The best part of the trip for me was the hike, most of all because we got to see the countryside and meet all the different people making a living off their farms along the way. During this phase I learnt a lot about Vietnamese culture and how important it is to work as a team and what my strengths and weaknesses were.
 
I learnt a number of new things about myself and friendships etc. while on expedition. The biggest thing for me was that you cannot hold a grudge against someone you are living with for 16 days. As a group we all decided to let each other know if someone was overstepping a boundary or getting on someone’s nerves and then we would talk it out and move on, this helped us to grow closer as a team.
 
Rachael, Challenger, Vietnam, Rustenburg High School for Girls
We experienced many adventures whilst enduring extreme humid temperatures and vast cultural differences on our World Challenge expedition to Borneo in April 2014.
 
During the project phase, we learnt new skills – digging 23 holes, mixing cement, planting metal poles and erecting a wire fence. This was for a local village school, helping to make it a safer place as the surrounding farmers were encroaching on the playground. We also had the opportunity to play with the school children and on the last day we hosted a sports day on the beach for them, while having a lot of fun ourselves.
 
The trek up Mt Kinabalu (4095m) was long and excruciatingly difficult, but in the end, completely self-fulfilling and worth the pain. We hiked to the summit and back over two days and arrived back at the Kota Kinabalu National Park headquarters with wobbly legs and awe at what one can achieve if you put your mind to it.
 
We also enjoyed crazy adventures like river rafting down the Kiulu river, zip-lining over the river and into the jungle, snorkelling at a beautiful island off Kota Kinabalu; and no trip to Borneo would be complete without a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.
 
By the end of the excursion, we had all formed a special bond – we had seen each other at our best and at our worst and were still friends, but more importantly, we challenged ourselves as never before. It was an experience that shaped us and that we will never forget.
 
Brittany, Challenger, Borneo, Marist Brothers Linmeyer Marian College
I decided to take part in the world Challenge expedition to Vietnam because I wanted to experience a different part of the world without the assistance of my parents. I also wanted to become more responsible, making vital decisions for myself and to create more bonds with different girls in my grade.
 
I cannot decide what the best part of the trip was for me because I had so many great experiences, although just sitting around together as a team at night was wonderful because we made many memories and bonds with one another. Another unforgettable part had to be our day long boat ride in Ha Long Bay (I chose this picture because it symbolises our team's unity during our wonderful stay there). It was by far the most beautiful sight I have ever seen and I was taken aback by the breathtaking scenery.
 
I was quite surprised by the positivity and generosity of the Vietnamese locals, because many of them were poor I thought that they would be cold and bitter due to their circumstances, yet for them it did not matter how much they had, they would try and help with what they could. When we were in Mai Chau for our project phase, the lady for whom we were building the toilet block helped out wherever she could even though she had spent the entire day working in the rice paddies.
 
For me the toughest parts of the trip were getting along with everyone on a regular basis and the hiking phase.I learnt how to exercise my patience and how to listen to everyone's point of view. I also learnt a lot about Vietnamese culture and cuisine.
 
I'd highly recommend going on a World Challenge expedition. It teaches you so many different skills that are life-changing and you create special bonds with different people along the way.
 
Caitlin, Challenger, Vietnam, Rustenburg High School for Girls