At the beginning of May, Elder class pupils (age 14-16) went on a school visit to southern Spain, to work for 2 weeks on an Olive farm. This is their account of the experience, taken from a variety of perspectives.
“12 unsuspecting teenagers and two middle aged women were thrown into an uncharted and inhospitable wasteland of Southern Spain with only their wits and the clothes on their backs. Listen to their epic story of survival, their struggle against incredible odds, just to make it back alive………..Ok, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic (well most of the time at least), but a lot of us didn’t think we’d make it back alive (but that was mainly due to lack of wifi), and compared to three weeks holidays, a two week agricultural trip in Spain was like being trapped on a desert island.
This was two weeks of pruning, walking, working, cooking, more walking and occasionally swimming. Honestly, it was the hardest we’ve ever had to work, especially at school. There’s so much that needs to be said about this trip, we’d better get started”.
“Turning up at School for the mini-bus journey, we were completely oblivious of what was to come. Saying TTFN to the parents, we hopped on board and began the drive to the ‘Premier’ Inn. Missing the turning for the car park, we finally arrived at the Premier Inn and hit the hay, ready for the 3am start. (Not that everyone got to sleep).
Waking up and going down to the lobby to be greeted by a parade of catatonic faces, we gathered our luggage, and made our way to the airport. At Stansted we ran into many hiccups, some being the number of bags we were allowed on the flight, loosing boarding passes and getting stopped at security. Finally boarding the plane, we entered the metaphorical can of beans and began the sticky flight to Malaga.”
“The desolation of Spain – Tales of a Steiner Student
Hello, My name is Nikolaos. However my friends, family and peers often refer to me as Niko, Nick and Nico. Right now I am fourteen years old, fifteen in less than one month and the youngest of the class. Often people try to push me around for being younger until I remind them I’m six foot and 11.5 stone. I have to fight for my place and respect, which Is hard to earn (mostly). I tend get along better slightly with older people. I enjoy an adventurous lifestyle, I’ll try anything once (as long as it isn’t taboo) and love to discover things for myself. Where most people crave the comfort of their beds I just live in the moment, I am where I am and I’ll be there for another eleven days, so why start crying when I can enjoy the experience. I could easily live a life travelling. That probably comes from my background where I have never lived in a house for more than two years, been at the same school for more than three and have lived in Canada and Australia for most of my life.
An expected journey
The morning of Sunday 27th of April we woke from our sleep, prepared our luggage and headed to school. After gathering at our school, we boarded a mini bus where we started the long trip to Stansted. Upon arrival we were greeted by the premier inn. We were exhausted. The next day we headed to the airport where we scrambled onto the aeroplane. I got patted down and Mortimer got stopped at customs. As we boarded the plane we all realised that we had actually made it. But this was only the beginning of the journey. As we exited the plane, our pale, English skin was greeted by a warm breeze. We had not realised it was only the early morning and that this was the coolest part of the day. We caught a bus and travelled to the small town of Ardales. We were met by Martin, the owner of the land we would camp on and a teacher of a main lesson block that we did on engines. He took our luggage. Unfortunately we had to walk. When we arrived at the camp site we got our bags and set up our tents. This is where the journey ends and the adventure begins.
“It was around five o’ clock on a Sunday afternoon when I turned up outside the Norwich Steiner School without my pocket handkerchief. Most of my fellow travelers had already arrived and had assembled in the school’s car park. Being asked whether I had remembered my passport did nothing for my nerves, but I duly produced said document and was welcomed into the Company. Once everyone had turned up, we were herded into position for the first of many group photographs. Then we said our goodbyes and packed ourselves and our luggage into the minibus.
And for those who need the detail … Lens 5:
“We met at the school with our bags packed. After our suitcases were weighed, we packed them into the minibus and drove off. It was very cramped inside and there wasn’t space to move. Before we got to the Premier Inn at Stansted, we got caught in a traffic jam. We missed the turn off for the hotel, but eventually we got there. Mr. Nowell took the minibus back to Norwich and we were left at the Premier Inn. There was confusion about two and three person rooms, but it was sorted out in the end. While we were in the hotel, an old woman told Leon and Ella off for being too loud and for banging doors, Barnaby tried to wake up Mortimer because he wanted to talk to him, Connor, George and Jamie told ghost stories and Ella and Jess watched Wall-E.
Sandie rang us at 3.00am in the morning and told us to get ready. We caught the bus to get to Stansted. At the airport we checked the luggage in. We found out that we were only able to take one bag each and we therefore had to pay more for the luggage. Mortimer kept all of his liquids in his hand luggage. When we went through security, he was caught and had to throw them all away. We nearly missed getting on the plane because we were quite late. We flew with Easy Jet. The taking off was a lot of fun. We were able to get some food on the flight.
We landed in Malaga. We caught a bus through the town. It was really cramped with all the luggage. We got to another bus stop and caught the bus to Ardales, which is quite a small village in between loads of mountains. In Ardales we waited for Martin. Some of us got an ice cream. Martin and Diana arrived. Diana took our luggage back to the house in her Land Rover and Martin walked us to the campsite.
We walked through the town and down the hill next to the river. We crossed the river and picked oranges in his orange grove. We climbed up a hill and arrived at the place we were going to stay for two weeks. We got our tents up and settled in. We went for a swim in the river, hung around, ate dinner and went to sleep.”