Q1. What were your expectation and what were you discover on arriving?
I really went with no expectations, I purposely didn’t read the reports of people who had previously been so that I wouldn’t go with any pre-conceived ideas of what to expect. The only expectation that I had was that I would learn a lot in my time there.
Q2. Did the trip meet your expectations?
Completely! The people, the place, the culture, the work the school is doing, the staff, my fellow volunteers – they all made the trip a truly memorable experience. It’s made me re-evaluate what I am doing and where I am heading in life and look at things with a completely different perspective. We were welcomed into the school, an wider, community and I can’t even begin to explain how much I learnt in a few short days.
Q3. Was there enough interaction with the children and do you find it culturally interesting?
I really enjoyed spending time in the classrooms with the children, they taught me a lot about Tiwi culture and if you engage with them, they will fully engage with you and tell you as many stories as you can listen to! I would love to have been able to spend more time with them, perhaps in the garden or similar, I am aware that it depends on time of year and what they are doing at the time. The whole trip was very culturally interesting from inside the school to trips outside of the school.
Q4. Accommodation and transfers?
The accommodation was so comfortable and welcoming! I had no idea what to expect but it was far better than I would’ve thought it would be! Comfortable, clean and air conditioned! The hospitality area is great and perfectly set up for visitors. The short flight over from Darwin was also wonderful and not as frightening as I had anticipated!!
Q5. Wilderness and nature experience? What was the highlight?
I can’t pick between the fishing trip to Goose Creek, where we all managed to catch fish (my first ever catch!), saw crocs and buffalo and took in the majestic scenery; or the first night on the beach with a beautiful fire and exploring the beach on the gators, chatting with some of the boys who were fishing and seeing the beauty of the Tiwis.
Q6. What did you think of the garden build to date?
The garden is a wonderful part of the school. Brilliantly maintained and thought out. We even got to taste some of the fruit – probably the best pineapple I have ever tasted!! It provides a great place for the children to learn and gain real and valuable life experiences. The effort put it to get it where it is today is clearly visible.
Q7. Would you recommend the trip to others?
100% I would go time and time again if I could!