Chloe’s joy at sam­pling Le­sotho life

Girl­guide re­flects on trip

Stirling Observer - - UPDATE - Chris Marzella

A Gargunnock Girl­guide has re­turned home after a 16-day vol­un­teer­ing trip in Africa.

Chloe Bruce (18) trav­elled to Le­sotho, south­ern Africa, this sum­mer to take part in an once-in-a-life­time ad­ven­ture.

Chloe — a first year stu­dent at Stir­ling Uni­ver­sity where she’s study­ing Pri­mary teach­ing — was one of nine Girl­guid­ing Scot­land mem­bers from across the coun­try who took part in the trip.

The group, aged 14 to 19, worked along­side mem­bers of the Le­sotho Girl Guides As­so­ci­a­tion on train­ing and ac­tiv­i­ties for guides and their lead­ers — in­clud­ing ses­sions on pos­i­tive body im­age laid on for a camp of 150 girls.

As well as vol­un­teer­ing, the group ex­plored Le­sotho’s moun­tain­ous sur­round­ings and spent time pony trekking in the High­lands, camp­ing along­side Le­sotho Girl Guides and en­joy­ing ad­ven­tur­ous ac­tiv­i­ties such as archery and ca­noe­ing.

The group even had the hon­our of meet­ing Queen Mase­n­ate Mo­hato Seeiso of Le­sotho and speak­ing to her about their ex­pe­ri­ences in guid­ing.

To pre­pare for her trip Chloe, who is a Young Leader with the 1st Gargunnock Guides, car­ried out a num­ber of fundrais­ers in­clud­ing cre­at­ing a ‘Lochs of Scot­land’ quiz with help from her grand­mother and sell­ing en­tries around Gargunnock.

She also learnt key phrases in Se­sotho, the na­tional lan­guage of Le­sotho, and hand-sewed flower broaches to give as a gift to the Le­sotho Girl Guides she would be stay­ing with and vol­un­teer­ing along­side.

Chloe said: “Trav­el­ling to Le­sotho was a truly un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence. It took 27 hours of travel to reach our des­ti­na­tion but from the mo­ment we stepped off the plane we were made to feel so wel­come. I re­ally en­joyed get­ting to know Girl Guides from Le­sotho and vol­un­teer­ing along­side them.

“Even though we are from such dif­fer­ent places and cul­tures we found we had so much in com­mon and we made such strong friend­ships through­out the trip. It was es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing to de­liver the ed­u­ca­tion ses­sions and com­pare how our dif­fer­ent cul­tures view is­sues around body im­age.

“It showed us all that there is no one idea of what is beau­ti­ful and en­cour­aged us to be con­fi­dent in who we are.

“Go­ing on this ad­ven­ture has given me the con­fi­dence to push my­self be­yond my com­fort zone and try new things.

“I know now that I can go some­where to­tally new and make friend­ships and mem­o­ries that will last a life­time.”

Ad­ven­ture Chloe and some of the young­sters she met on her trip

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