Lots of Walking
Day 9: 31 July
Today was the last full day of activities, and I had one thing left on my bucket list- going to the sustainability treehouse. This particular place has been featured in many photos and descriptions of the site, so my friends and I decided it was a must do before we left.
We stopped off at both of the trading posts on the way up, to see if there was anything good left and if they had any deals. Unfortunately, they had all sold out of the purple WOSM (World Organisation Scouting Movement) hoodie that I had my eye on, but I suppose I can order one online at some point.
At the treehouse, we were astounded but it’s beauty- it’s even better than it looks in pictures, all wood and metal surrounded by trees. We learnt about sustainability, and how we can be more sustainable in our own lives. All in all, it was a very fun, insightful and worthwhile experience.
We then made the long trek back to camp so that I could get changed into my uniform for the ambassadors closing reception. Toby and I left camp early so that we could go to the Australian contingent headquarters and cool down after the long and sweaty walk. While we were walking, I got a message on my phone saying that I was chosen to do a speech at the reception! Believe me, I was honoured, but before that came the absolute terror. Instead of thinking about it, I decided to make it up as I went along.
At the reception, they gave us food and lemonade, which was awesome because there were real vegetables! Personally, I enjoyed the raw broccoli the most.
Before I knew it, the speeches were up and Leona from Malaysia began with a funny, heartfelt and perfectly presented reflection on her experiences. I was next. Right now, I cannot remember what I said, but it was nowhere near as good as Leona’s or either of the boys who followed me. Next time, I think I’m actually going to prepare something!
The four of us who spoke were presented with special scarves, and then all of the ambassadors were awarded with our special ‘Global Ambassador’ scarves. I’m shocked that this incredible experience is now over, and I am honestly in denial. The reception ended and we said some goodbyes, and I headed back to camp for dinner.
After dinner, all of the Australian patrol leaders had a meeting back up at contingent headquarters. I’m an assistant patrol leader, so I figured that I would just have an early night. Unfortunately, my patrol leader, who sprained her ankle a couple of days ago, was in a lot of pain and decided that it would be too unnecessarily painful to walk all the way up to contingent. I was sent on her behalf, which meant that I would be going up there for the third time that day.
The trek was long, but we were rewarded with fresh fruit and soft drinks at the meeting, so I conclude that it was definitely worth it.
As the meeting finished, it began to rain, so I waited for it to be over with a couple of my friends. After a while, we received a lightening warning, and a notification that the bridge to A and B camp was closed. Lucky that I’m in D!
The storm only lasted for a couple of hours, but it felt like forever. I called my dad in the middle of it, and spoke to him for the first time since he dropped me off at Cairns airport an eternity ago. Talking to him made me realise that the Jamboree was actually ending, and I would have to say goodbye to my newfound friends. The idea of this was honestly really upsetting, so on our way back to camp I checked myself into one of the listening ear facilities that were open 24/7 onsite. It was really nice to actually have someone listen to me and validate me, so I’m really grateful that those places were so readily available onsite.
When I finally made it back to my tent, prepared to collapse into the realm of sleep, I was met with a shock. My roommate, Seren, was not in her tent. This was worrying because it was after curfew and there was nowhere she could really be except the toilet, but the stuff on her bed meant that she actually hadn’t been there at all. I spoke to my troop leader, who was equally concerned, and as she prepared to search, we heard a strange groaning noise.
Upon closer investigation, we discovered that the grunting was actually the words “I’m here” and was coming from under the bed. As we realised this, the shadows beneath Seren’s bed began to move and she appeared, somehow, from a space that looked like it could fit a small child at most. Apparently she’d crawled under there to grab something and had been too tired to climb up again. This was, without a doubt, the funniest thing that had happened to me all day. Thanks, Seren. I’ll miss you.
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