Monday, 30 May 2011

Operation Hungry Hippo!

And there was me thinking that the Row Zambezi madness would not start until we left for Zambia at the end of July.  How wrong I was!
Operation Hungry Hippo was to be a team building, survival training weekend, and it certainly turned out to be just that.  Despite the fact that we were in the most beautiful part of West Sussex, there was no time for relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
The day started with a 'small' run to the camp area, followed obviously by a few exercises and stretches, before setting up camp and being shown the 'facilities' (and very plush they were too!!).
Things we may find useful when out in Zambia included the importance of team work, how to build a good camp, fire-lighting and general first aid.  I certainly learnt a few new things, for instance, how easy it is to start a fire with a Pringle!  Or a mobile phone!
On top of that there was the more physical stuff, like running up and down hills carrying heavy logs, wading across a river to fetch the previously mentioned log (now I know how a dog feels!), and obviously lots of press-ups for any reason that our PT guy could think of.
The bit I was not so keen on was how to skin and joint a rabbit - the main reason I turned vegetarian was when my father fed me a rabbit I had previously cuddled each day (not realising the concept of a small holding being that you eat everything you produce!).  I watched with interest whilst everybody else got very hands-on.  I did manage to add a little finesse to the day by finding fresh water mint for a nice cup of mint tea after our meal!
It was interesting to see what they cooked for us (disappointing too that they didn't make us do it, as I was dying to get cooking over an open fire).  I am hoping to be a little more adventurous once out in Zambia - we have a long, hard trip ahead of us, and I think moral will need to be kept high with as much good food as we can muster.

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