For the past 25 years, Eunice has been going up Thaba’Nchu mountain in a grouped-spirit-catching experience on the first Saturday of term one. School reopens on Wednesday and we start our walk on Saturday!
This event happens on the Kemp family’s farm. Bronwyn Kemp (an Old Girl) was still in primary school when the Kemp’s organized the first trip for Eunice. We used to take only grade 12s who wanted to go and we would have lectures on “grasveld” and birds of prey in the Free State. Later more and more learners applied and to streamline the opportunity, we now take Grade 8 and 12 learners on the hike. This outing serves as a welcome to High School for grade 8s, and a final opportunity for the Grade 12s. It is an excellent way for the girls to get to know one another.
In good spirits, and as equals, we walk up and down and we share a laugh and ‘icies’ with each other.
It takes about 2 and a half hours for the leisurely walk to reach the Thaba’Nchu plato – the highest point in the Free State. On top of the mountain it is snack break and photo session time. We sing a few songs, rest for about an hour and walk back down the mountain. The walk back to the busses takes about an hour, and we get back to school in Bloemfontein no later than 13:30.
Every year has its own feel and energy but the one constant is the great spirit created and fun the girls carry with them.
On Saturday 21 January 2017, the sun had barely risen when the grade 8’s and Matrics left Eunice to climb Thaba ‘Nchu Mountain. The long bus ride did nothing but build the anticipation, and in some cases fear, that the girls’ felt at the upcoming challenge.
Looking up at the peak of Thaba ‘Nchu Mountain, I think many girls imagined that they would need to be carried down on stretchers. But by eleven o’clock, all the girls had made it to the top for a breakfast picnic. After a long and taxing climb up, the girls practically ran back down the mountain. Each and every Eunice lady well and truly conquered the Thaba ‘Nchu Mountain with a sense of fun and camaraderie.
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