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The Azores

Surviving 24 hours alone

Hey everyone!

On the morning of the 9th we started packing our bags for the 24 hours alone.
The rules for the 24 hours were the following: everyone gets 20 by 20 meters somewhere in a forest without any electronics, you are not allowed to have contact with anyone except for the teachers who check up on you twice, and you have to make sure you have a place to sleep.
From School at Sea we got a thermos-can, a sail, and a rope. We had to bring warm clothing, a mat, sleeping bag, and I brought trash bags.
The 33 of us left the ship with our big bags and layers of clothing. I was really nervous; I had no idea how to make a tent or how I would keep everything dry. From the ship we went to a supermarket where we got 7.50 euros to buy food for the 24 hours. We were actually supposed to take a bus to the location and then walk a bit, but we kind of missed the bus and the next one only came a couple hours or so later. Plan b: walking to the location! Azores is basically made-up of volcanoes meaning we had to climb up hill. In the beginning it was quite okay, but at a certain point it got really steep. After three or four hours of walking we finally arrived at the nature park. Here we got a small explanation as to what was going to happen and then we went off and were assigned certain locations.
Els brought me to a piece of forest with a little stream. It was quite beautiful. I had a forest and a bit of grass and the stream. However, it got kind of steep so it was quite hard to find a flat bit. The flat bit I had found wasn’t very big, but big enough. Here I set up my tent. It actually went kind of well, but it was too bad I had made it so low. The tent was a triangular prism. I had used two branches to hold up the middle and strung a rope in between so that it would be higher. In the front of my tent I had hung a trash bag so that the wind wouldn’t come inside. I used branches to keep the tent attached to the floor. Then I went to eat my noodle soup. During this Els came and took the photo of my tent and gave me a writing assignment. I decided to get into my tent because it was getting dark. After doing some writing I went to sleep before it was dark and I got scared. However, when I got into the tent one of the branches broke. Luckily there was a tree behind so I strung the rope to a branch, which actually worked better.
The rest of the time flew by. I even went down to the stream to wash myself. I had breakfast and went to sleep a bit more when I thought it was about 1 or maybe 2 o’clock. Then Els came and told me time was over. I couldn’t believe it! 24 hours had never past so fast without me knowing.
Then Jeltje came and it was kind of weird to see her after being alone for 24 hours. Anyway, together we walked back to the rest of group. Everybody talked enthusiastically about their tent and what they did the 24 hours. After this we walked back to the ship together where the stores were waiting for us. Stores are basically when new food is brought on to the ship and we have to store them. So after 2 or 3 hours of walking back down, we did the stores; never a bit of rest on the ship. Then we had dinner and the kitchen needed to be cleaned because it hadn’t been done properly. Haike, Sietske, and I thus cleaned the whole kitchen and at around 11 we went to bed. Completely tired.

- Meilin

Posted by meimeilin 10:17 Archived in Portugal Tagged the azores

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