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.
This year we embarked on the very traditional Thaba ‘Nchu hike on Saturday 16 January 2016. The early start (5:30) was worth it, as the cooler temperature made our trip up and down the mountain much faster.
The girls, as always, had great spirit, it was evident with pet “carrot fish”, fancy dress, and sing songs all the way up and all the way down the mountain. The six Blue Sky busses took us there and back with many staff members together with husbands and Fiancé, and even staff children accompanying us. Mr. van Rensburg’s base-camp set-up provided the necessary first aid for some, and a welcome ice-cold icey (or two) for everyone.
On top of the mountain, some of the pet (carrots) were set free to live their lives in fresh mountain air, the picnic eats provided momentum for more singing and fun with friends on a great clear day in perfect summer weather. (The girls did ask why they did not encounter any wildlife, however with the amount of noise we made, some snakes and rodents might be hiding for the next two weeks!)
A thank you to all staff members and Eunice ladies for all the cooperation and school spirit, it was a great morning and a lot of fun!
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