Saturday, 25 May 2013

Camp: Day 1

This is where the horror begins.

Well, not really. The horror really began when I signed up for this stupid thing, followed by a long holiday at the beach, arriving back home the day before camp and frantically shopping for absolutely everything on the three page long list I had been given, including an "urbanomically correct" purple backpack (which I could barely hold up when it was empty, despite the fact it was the lightest in the shop) and enough food to last me for five months, instead of the five days I was actually going for.

But, after plenty of tears, a lost (then found, thankfully) headlamp, and several re-packings of my bag where I sacrificed clothes for, yes, more food, the big day finally arrived.

I awoke at precisely four a.m. on the dot, to be at school at five. Yes. Five. A.M. I managed to hold back tears when saying goodbye to my toilet, shower, and father, but the sight of the bus which could possibly be carrying to me to my doom was a fear that I would not wish on my worst enemy. What should I have done? Left. Right there and then. What did I actually do? Well, I got on that bus. I didn't really have a choice.

So the bus left, and we filled the air with the aimless chatter of fifteen terrified girls embarking on "a great adventure". When we finally arrived at a dirt road and said goodbye to our bus, the only sign of civilisation other than a bakkie, and hello to our camp instructors, the people to whom our parents had handed us over, expecting them to guard us with their lives (hahaha - after that I wouldn't trust those people with my [insert very un-ladylike word here]). A short hike of about five hundred metres led us all, panting and gasping for breath, to a river - and we weren't even carrying our backpacks yet.

For the next five hours we paddled down "mild" rapids on what seemed to be a boogie board with an inflatable rim, like a mini life boat. During this time, we only made it five kilometres. Five kilometres in five hours. On a moving river (*clap clap* and you thought that was hard). After being stuck on literally EVERY FREAKING ROCK IN THAT ENTIRE RIVER I made it to the campsite, which, to our amazement, joy and excitement, had dormitories and toilets and showers. I promise you, I have never felt such relief in my entire life. We had the rest of the afternoon to sort out our backpacks, cook our dinner, shower, and gossip.

After only a small incident with a "SPIDER!!!! OMG GETITOUTGETITOUTGETITOUT EEEEEEEEWWWWWW!!!!" which was actually a large grasshopper (*facepalm*), we finally managed to fall asleep, not dreading the next few days as much any more, and filled with hope and dreams of toilets and running water.

Oh, to have been so blissfully ignorant and naive.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Camp: An Introduction

Camp. The word itself is enough to send shivers down my spine and make me run to the bathroom to tell my shower and toilet how much I love and appreciate them… shortly followed by curling into a ball in my bed and chanting magic incantations to try calm me down and ward off all the horrible memories of sleeping outside with bugs crawling over my face, and especially the dreaded “Doug the spade.”

But no amount of chanting or crying or screaming could have prepared me for the horror that was last week.

I, Amy Leigh Bouwer, the person who would literally rather stay in bed with a book for years on end than walk outside, went on a camp. Don’t even laugh. I mean, really, we’re talking about the girl who will not go into her bathroom for weeks on end if there happens to be a rain spider on the OUTSIDE of the window. I know. I still can’t quite believe it myself. But I did it. And I’m alive (surprisingly enough.)

But I’m not talking about those mandatory school camps that my school sends us on once a year to teach us “team-building” (i.e. arguing over how to do things that you will NEVER EVER need in real life) and “an appreciation for nature” (i.e. sleeping in a dormitory with cockroaches and mice and who-knows-what-else, then hiking for like an hour). No no, dear, inexperienced children. I am talking about full-on, hiking through the middle of nowhere with all your belongings in a backpack, then sleeping in a tent for four nights. And by hiking I mean walking over an average of about four mountains a day. And by backpack I mean something that holds your clothes, food, cooking equipment, toiletries, sleeping bag, shelter (tent) – basically everything you need to survive – and weighs an average of about 20 kg. And by the middle of nowhere, I mean YOU LITERALLY COULD NOT SEE ANOTHER PERSON/HOUSE/TELEPHONE WIRE/CELLPHONE/TV/BED/SHOWER/TOILET FOR THE WHOLE TIME. Fun.

So basically for the next couple of days / weeks / years (however long it takes me to type out all of my experiences) I will be retelling the horror story that was my camping trip in the most accurate and possibly entertaining way I can manage without forcing myself to relive it all over again. Really. It was that bad.

Monday, 6 May 2013

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin - Review

Date Finished: 13 April 2013

Series: A Song of Ice and Fire, #1

Rating: 5*

Amazing. It was amazing. Amazing storyline, amazingly written, amazing characters… There are no words to describe fully how I feel about this book.

All it took was one page, and I was stuck inside the story. I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I loved how complex the storyline was, and how all of the different characters and their stories slowly started to come together throughout the book. The detail and care taken to write this series must have been phenomenal.

I feel as though I know each an every character personally. It’s not often that I put a book down and remember each and every one of the characters’ names, and then almost everything about them. They were so realistic, even though it’s set in a completely fictional world. And I loved how each character had their flaws; it’s so annoying when the ‘hero’ is perfect. And every character had its own importance in the novel. There was no one specific main character, and no specific hero. But there were villains. And those villains did their jobs reeeeaaaallly well…

I thought I would struggle throughout the book, because it’s huge. It’s like what, 800 or so pages? But wow. Before I knew it, it was over, and I’m still recovering from reading it. I have to read the next one and I have to read it soon.

"When you play a game of thrones, you either win or you die."