Blog written by Kate Wootton of Napier, New Zealand:
About a year and a half ago I was procrastinating studying and reading National Geographic when I stumbled upon an article about a programme that seemed far too good to be true! It was called the PANGAEA Young Explorers Program — and I wanted to be a part of it!
I never thought I’d have a chance, but this was NOT an opportunity I was going to pass up! Finally, on my last opportunity to apply (the 12th of 12 Expeditions between 2008-2012), the dates worked out for me to apply to the Africa Expedition in July of 2012 and I was able to go for it. I put a video together and sent it off hoping for the best. A few weeks after it left my hands I finally heard back from Mike Horn's team and I had been successful– shortlisted to the 16 candidates for Africa!!! I’m sure everyone else who received the same letter can appreciate my excitement!
There’s been plenty of work to fit in and around an already jam-packed schedule of camp preparations, but it’s all been so interesting — I can't complain! Although I have found that doing research for this has been far more exciting than studying which probably isn’t the best thing. I’m so excited to get to Switzerland for selection camp and see what we’re doing and what I’m capable of, although I also have to confess that I’m a little nervous too!
This selection camp falls at the end of an era for me, and I hope, will mark the beginning of a new one. I have been on exchange in Canada for the year, but the semester has just ended, and as I write this I am sitting in my empty room surrounded by boxes prepared to leave. It’s been heart-breaking saying goodbye to the life I have set up here, so I’m glad to have the selection camp to look forward to and new friends to make from all over the world. Skyping with Nora and Trevor — two of my project mates — has made me even more excited to get to camp and meet everyone! Well now my bags are packed and I’m just about ready for departure. I’m sending this early as I leave tomorrow for a short bike trip and when I return I’ll be heading off to the airport and jetting my way across the world to meet 15 other inspired and passionate people! I can’t wait to meet you all in Château-d'Oex and begin our 10 days of adventure together. I wish you all a safe journey!