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.