• December_2017_c

Praise for World Challenge students

We are delighted and proud to have received the letter below from Lee Pritchard, who escorted The Malling School's first ever World Challenge expedition to Morocco.

Dear Sir

I had the pleasure of being the expedition leader for the small group from The Malling School that recently undertook an expedition to Andalucía and Morocco. I felt that I should take the time to contact you regarding both the students and staff that took part.

I have been lucky to lead expeditions for many groups over the years for a range of providers and I can honestly say that the trip I have just completed with your school is the most enjoyable to date.

The small group of students were supportive of each other, faced every challenge that they were presented with, dealt superbly with the differing culture they experienced in Morocco during the holy month of Ramadan, and maintained their sense of humour throughout. They were a credit to you and the school.

The two accompanying teachers, Charlotte Baker and Sally Thompson, were fantastic and an absolute pleasure to travel with. They were faced with challenges of their own, travelling in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, looking after a sick student and adapting to the demands of travelling and staying in a developing country like Morocco, all of which they faced professionally and where appropriate with a sense of humour.  The relationship between them and the students was a joy to observe, the students obviously thought the world of them. 

The team trekked in the Sierra Nevada mountains of southern Spain, with height gains of over 1000m each day on three consecutive days, reaching the summit of Mulhacen at 3479m, the highest peak in Spain. The route involved steep ascents, at times crossing snow patches, whilst carrying their belongings on their back.

When Chloe was taken ill in Granada I was deeply impressed by the way in which Charlie and Sally helped me to deal with the situation whilst continuing to support the other students. The expedition leader can very often find themselves dealing with incidents such as this on their own, but not in this case, they were superb.

Once in Morocco, the students and staff adapted very quickly to the demands of living in a rural Moroccan community during Ramadan, the 2am drumming is something I am sure they will not miss. The project involved levelling and concreting a substantial section of path in the village to enable the elderly residents to get around more easily. All of the team worked incredibly hard in the high temperatures, breaking rocks, moving materials and mixing and laying concrete. They mixed well with the local residents and spent time in family homes. 

Following the project, the team moved to Chefchaouen where they honed their negotiating skills, haggling over the prices of gifts and meals.

I would not normally contact the Head Teacher following a trip but felt in this instance that I should.  I hope Charlie and Sally return to you after the summer break fully rested and I am sure they will have many tales to tell regarding their adventures overseas.

Kind regards

Lee Pritchard