On the last weekend in November, shiny, wide smiles declared a life changing experience for 26 young winners who were on a sponsored weekend away from home.
Every year the Children's Eco Training (CET), based in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve (KNPR), rewards learners for the year's work. This time, with support from sponsor MyGr8, it was decided to explore the capital of Mpumalanga and it's scenic escarpment. For many it would be the first time they leave home or venture outside the borders of the Greater Hoedspruit area.
Easing into the experience, they left from the KPNR head quarters early on Saturday for a guided tour of the Bourke's Luck potholes on the Panorama route. This set the tone for the day as they continued their journey towards Nelspruit. The closer they got, the more excited and when the two MyGr8 vehicles entered Mpumalanga's foremost concrete jungle, not even the city traffic noise could overpower the racket inside the bus.
"I will always remember their pure enjoyment when we set them loose on Nelspruit's Riverside Mall, where we had lunch at the Spur and a movie afterwards. Off course we also had to test drive games at the emporium," says Elmarie van Heerden of CET.
The day ended on another high with a prize-giving ceremony and braai at the Sabaan Holiday Resort in the misty mountains near Hazyview where they stayed overnight. "On Sunday, it took some effort to drag them from the swimming pool when it was time to leave," says Elmarie. "We took the scenic Panorama route home and finished off a great adventure with pizza."
May you have a blessed and peaceful Christmas and an exciting year ahead. "But it was their gleeful squeals and beaming smiles as they dipped their hands in mulch that was soon to become paper, that underlined their happiness."