Running

Recently I’ve started running again after I twisted my ankle several weeks back. This was my first run back. I didn’t want to overdo it as my ankle was still a bit sensitive so I just went on a short jog. I ran nearly 4km through the Rajagiriya/Nawala area of Colombo. Despite this I’m surprised that I managed to hit an average speed per km as high as I did considering I struggled to walk down the stairs in the previous week.  I don’t know if I was too early into the recovery process to begin running again but things felt fine afterwards.

1. Identify your own strengths and develop areas for personal growth.

I identified my strengths by pacing myself during the run. There were points in which I was able to move faster and other points in which I tried to conserve my energy.

4. Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences.

Pushing on through the run during the midday heat was difficult but I stayed focused on my goal.

Stats from my run. Source – Strava

Me on my run

Trip to the Pelawatte Scrap Dealer

Last week in our Eco-Schools group we collected and organized rubbish from the school bins and transported them to a scrap dealer to sell. I was really surprised at how much rubbish there truly was. So many unopened letters and pamphlets.. Many of the promotional items from embassies and universities were coated in plastic and we were unable to recycle them. There was so much rubbish that we had to transport it to the scrap dealer in a car.

 

 Sorting the rubbish

Separating the cardboard

 

5. Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.

We engaged with the work as a group with a common goal.

6. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.

Through Eco-schools we  aim to reduce waste around our school

 

 

Improving at Pottery

Over the past few months I have been attending pottery classes every Saturday. In my most recent class I began working on some new creations and also got to take home some pieces that I finished previously but had only just gotten fired and glazed. Overall, it has been really motivating to see myself improve at a skill and see my results get more consistent. There is an obvious difference in the quality between the pieces I first made on the wheel versus my most recent.

4. Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

1. Identify your own strengths and develop areas for personal growth

Eco Schools Service – Street Cleanup

On the 3rd of march our eco-schools group took the initiative to pick up rubbish at the outside area of the schools. We started by putting on bright yellow vests and making our way down to the front side area of the school from the back exit then we moved our way up. We originally started with just 3 bags but we had to get more from the school as there was so much rubbish. It was really shocking to me how much rubbish there was around us especially considering that usually its just something we walk past. The majority of what we found was plastic throwaways but there was a surprising amount of glass. Overall we collected 6 full sorted bags of rubbish.

 

LO5-Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively.

LO6-Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance.

The Group (Photo Courtesy Ms. Melinda)

Day 3 WWW: Highlands Trip

Day 3 started with a hot shower (finally) at the hotel. Today we were going to conquer the longest hike of our trip. We were journeying through Horton Plains today. The hike up was tough and it was about 4 hours of hiking to get there but the view was worth it. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my lunch back at the hotel and had to share food with some of the others. The trip back was far less gruelling as we had already made a path through the bushes on the way over there.

 

The view from the top (Photo Courtesy Mr. Ravi)

 

Us at the top of World’s End. (photo courtesy Mr. Ravi)

 

Us on the way back down (Photo Courtesy Mr. Ravi)

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was dark outside. Everyone was complaining about how tired they were. We all ate dinner together and then went back to our rooms for an early night.

 

Learning Objective – #3 Demonstrate how to Initiate and Plan a CAS Experience

In order to make as much headway through the hike and reach World’s end, we had to plan out and move on a schedule.

 

 

Day 2 WWW: Highlands Trip

Day 2 began with me waking up at 5:30 out of my own volition and taking a cold shower. I would have opted for hot water but that would turn out to be a luxury on this trip. We ate breakfast, and packed our bags into the back of the vans that drove us up here. We drove an hour further up into the mountain range on tiny roads with steep drops when we arrived at a dead end with a path next to it. From here we started on my favorite hike of the trip. We traversed upwards into the mountains on a path accompanied by the non-native evergreen trees and the crisp moist air until we arrived at a stream attached to a waterfall. The other members of the group chose to swim but after my first run in with cold water on the trip I chose to hold back. Coming from Colombo, It was surprisingly cold up there. As we moved back we chucked pinecones  down the hills as laughter moved throughout our line.

Beginning our hike to Bambarakanda Falls on Day 2 of Week Without Walls (photo courtesy Mr. Ravi)

 

Bambarakanda Falls (photo courtesy Mr. Ravi)

 

Our Journey to Bambarakanda Falls

 

We got back in the vans and drove to our new accommodation where we would be staying for the next two nights. We dropped our bags off and had another traditional Sri Lankan meal. From there we got back in the vans and drove up to the tea plantations where we would begin a walk to visit Lipton’s Seat. The view from Liptons Seat was spectacular and probably my favorite on the trip. We ate samosas and roti at the top as monkeys jumped around in front of us as an attempt to barter for any leftovers. We got back to the hotel and separated into our rooms. I was finally able to take a hot shower and the day was capped off with dinner and a game of pool.

Learning objective – #5 Demonstrate the Skills and Recognize the Benefits of Working Collaboratively

Our group had to navigate across the uneven hills by calling out directions.

Day 1 WWW: Highlands Trip

Our trip began with an early rise and us all meeting up at the school and us being grouped up by our grades and huddled into a set of three vans. We drove for what felt like days and stopped midway for a snack break. Our break from the road was shortlived as we soon got back into the busses and headed further through the greenery. Finally, after nearly 6 hours of driving, we had arrived and we were greeted by a spread of traditional Sri Lankan food for lunch.

 

After we all had our stomachs filled with good food we made our way along our first hike to camp. The hike was the most treacherous of the trip with it involving us crossing muddy rivers and manuevering across wet rocks and through the mud. Screams echoed along the single file line we moved as whenever someone had fallen or someone had seen a new bug. We only traveled around 3 or 4 kilometers over the course of 4 hours because the terrain was so intense. After a long day of sitting on the bus, we arrived at our camp and split into groups to share tents with.

*No Photos from first day hike*

 

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The view from our campsite (photo courtesy Lucca Brown)

 

Learning Objective – 4. Show Commitment To and Perserverence in CAS Experiences

Because this was the first hike of the trip and also the hardest it left me expecting future hikes to be harder. My main motivation for carrying on with the hike was that I wasn’t doing it on my own. The whole group was struggling through it. The banter along the way allowed me to come out of my shell more and also helped everyone deal with the difficult trek more effectively.

DP Orientation/Sciences Trip

Kithulgala Orientation

Our grade went on a three-day-long CAS/sciences trip to Kitulgala from the 24-26th of November.

Day 1

On the first day of the trip, we went white-water rafting and canyoning. It was my first time ever doing something like this and I was completely unprepared. I didn’t expect white water rafting to be as wet as it was and the shoes I picked also had no grip f

or the canyoning segment. The water was freezing, getting in felt like hopping in an ice bath, and the trek was long and grueling.  Despite this, I was surprised at how much fun it was. I’ve never been fond of heights, the fear of falling and getting hurt has always prevent

ed me from doing things and the segments that involved diving into water really challenged this. We capped the day off with a warm bowl of soup and conversation over the fireplace.

 

Day 2

On the second day of the trip we had work to do for our individual science class. The ESS group visited a nearby dam system and then later went on a hike to look at native wildlife with the rest of the group. Leeches were everywhere. Shreaks echoed throughout the forest.

 

 

 

Day 3

The day started with a quick swim in the freezing river water. After that, we capped the trip off with one final hike as an environmental sciences group. It was around a four hour long hike up one of the mountain trails to a waterfall/ancient temple.

 

 

 

Overall I’m glad I took part in this trip. It really showed me what some of my weaknesses were and forced me into putting myself out there and improving my skills. It was difficult at times but regardless, I perserveered and managed to survive…

 

Reflecting on the past.

 

In the past, I’ve had spouts of pursuing certain activities however most of them have only been for short periods and are things I haven’t kept consistent at regrettably.

Creativity – At my old school, I competed in a design competition. The competition involved me and a group of people having to design something that solves a problem for a company. Along with this, I started a credited HTML coding course around the middle of quarantine that I have yet to finish.

Activity – Along with the coding course, during quarantine I also started a workout program and started to run every second or so day. This was also a spout and it did not last long. Before the school reopened, a few of us got special permission to come into school. During this day I had a free block and we chose to spend it exercising in the school gym to then upload it onto the CAS portfolio.

Service – Admittedly I haven’t really participated in any service activities because of Covid-19 but this is an aspect I will work on.

In conclusion, what all of this has really taught me is that I need to do a better job at remaining consistent. In order for me not to get bored of activities I will add variation in between them in order to keep them interesting.

 

 

CAS Goals

Creativity – I am either planning on doing an after-school creative group activity (Joining the MUN group) or if the problem with quarantining persists and I and unable to do so, I would either like to complete a course on coding and get some level of qualification/reach consistency in it or I would like to pursue a photography project similar to that of my personal project. If I chose to code I would have to organize an expert that I could reach out to for help. Both of these scenarios would involve me having to reach a quota of hours spent working on the projects per week.

Activity – I will pursue an at-home calisthenic program. My progress will be documented and I plan on working out at least 3 times a week.

Service – I plan on joining the school’s Conserve The Paws group which is an animal rights activist group. Joining this group will involve me attending all of the meetings and supporting the group to the best of my ability.

 

 

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