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Inspiration from the desert

Work pressures at school can be intense, especially during the final Upper Sixth year, when everything hangs upon achieving the very best possible grades. What could be better then, as A levels are looming, than a chance to escape? On their return from a week in Jordan during the February half term, students from Godolphin & Latymer School describe how their desert adventure has actually helped them to prepare for their exams:

“I’m inspired, less stressed and feeling generally delightful and refreshed.”

 “I really valued having a proper break because it has been such a difficult and tiring year. This trip allowed me thinking space, but above all I feel nourished and ready to tackle future hurdles. I didn’t find it distracting from school at all, I can only see a positive side to having a break from not only school, but London and all the worries connected to it.”

“The trip could not have been at a better time in the school year, I think a week out gives a perfect break and sense of perspective.”

“The whole experience was truly incredible. For once I could take a step back from my hectic London schedule and truly appreciate things like human company and relaxation. I loved every moment and will treasure these memories forever.”

“This trip made me feel content again. I cannot fully express how helpful and inspiring it has been for me. The experience has been invaluable …  definitely one of the best trips I have ever been on and the most spiritually fulfilling. Thank you so much!”

The broader educational benefit of such an experience is perhaps best summed up by teacher Susi Sutherland, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, who also accompanied the trip:

“The experience was so valuable to the students, who showed a resilience and capability that was only possible outside school. They learned much from the leader and in-country guide and pushed their own personal boundaries, trying things that they thought they would never do – long treks through the desert, life without mobile phones, camel riding! They particularly found the silence and dispersal time valuable and embraced this time of solitude. At this busy time of year, pre-exams, it was fantastic that they had the opportunity to stop and be themselves, in a wondrous environment that they clearly felt secure in.”

 

18.03.2014

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“The whole trip was AMAZING – thank you so much.”

Francis Burkitt, St Catherine tailor made, August 2017

“We got more out of our little adventure than we had ever hoped for, thanks to a country of huge diversity and historical interest and to a very special guide.”

Cunningham family, Jordan tailor made, April 2017

“So many thoughts about our wonderful trip to St Catherine; the fantastic warmth of welcome from the Egyptians, Fathers Justin and Nilus, and the unique history which we felt privileged to be given access to. In my book, how could one not enjoy and be inspired!”

Julia Palmer, St Catherine Retreat, February 2017

“Huge thanks to all at Wind, Sand & Stars for an amazing trip. John’s passion for Ethiopia fires his erudition and he gave us more insights into the country, past and present, than we could ever have gained from local guides.”

Christine Dunmow, Exploring Ethiopia’s Orthodox History with John Binns 2016

“I am hugely impressed with Wind Sand & Stars’ organisation and their relationship with the Bedouin family who looked after us. These local contacts made the experience especially rich.”

Richard Ames-Lewis, Adventure into Silence, October 2014

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