Having never been involved with anything DBYN I was excited to see what the week had in store for us all, as well as being a little scared at the prospect of dying via abseiling! However on the first night in Malta at our own bar (Cisk (beer) = €1 way hey) all nerves were completely put at ease by our Maltese hosts and replaced with just excitement and a readiness for the week ahead.
Day 1 set the tone for the week, early morning starts and jam packed days! The task of the day was clear – let’s see how wet we can get the participants, and the outcome – wet, very wet, from either having giant water balloons fall on our heads, sliding across a plastic sheet covered in washing up liquid and water or people just pouring water over us. The afternoon took us to the first of many beaches we would visit throughout the week. Here in our teams we had to build a raft that would carry one or two group members. I am proud to say that my team were the first to finish and test our raft long before the other teams had finished building. However once everyone had finished and all teams went out to sea to begin what I thought would be a race all the rafts fell apart or were sabotaged and so everyone ended up bringing bits and pieces back to shore. We then spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and relaxing before a game of werewolf before we headed back to Savio Collge.
We visited the capital city Valetta, working in different groups to track down various locations using nothing but a map, a photograph and the friendly locals. It was a fantastic way to get to see all areas of the city and the highlight of the day I learnt a new song from my Spanish team mates (the chicken leg, the chicken leg…). In the afternoon it was time to cook different dishes from each country. I helped to make German potato salad which was really just gherkin flavoured mash potato with boiled eggs on top, whilst the people in the UK group got to make rice crispy cakes (gutted). The dishes were made to be a part of the intercultural evening which saw each country present different foods and drinks from their country. It was a fantastic night, even if the Slovakian schnapps burnt so bad!
The activity that I think was the pinnacle of the week was the trip to Gozo (Malta’s sister island). After a 25 minute ferry ride we arrived on Gozo to be greeted by 8 jeeps ready to take us around the island for the day. It was a competition and each group had to complete different tasks at each location. We all met for lunch at a traditional Gozitan restaurant having platters of different cheeses, olives and sun dried tomatoes. At the end of the day we drove to the top of a hill, some of the jeeps really struggled up the steep roads with a couple needing an extra push from the participants. At the top however there was another restaurant which had set up two massive tables outside for us to all eat our pizza of choice. Driving back down the hill our day was was topped off by a perfect sunset.
The week was full of team games whether on a beach and in the sea or on site playing rounders or British bulldog. One game involved us looking for ‘animals’ in the local forest, as we competed in groups yet again, we were spurred on by a special treat for the winning team. However I was on the losing team and what the host team did not tell us was that the special treat would be the winning team splattering plates of cream in our faces, not fun!
It was a fantastic week that was topped off by a talent show which saw all of the participants show off some of their talents like, juggling, creating music, drama and even some contemporary dance from the Maltese.
I had an amazing time and will treasure all the memories. Thank you to DBYN for giving me the opportunity to meet some amazing people and gain further insight into what Salesians are doing around Europe!