FIVE Morpeth teenagers will be immersing themselves in a very different culture when they head overseas for an exciting expedition.
The quintet are going to the Natal province of South Africa and will spend time with the children of a mountain village through making and carrying out lesson plans to teach some English and introducing them to new games.
The King Edward VI School students – Lisa Hunter (Year 10), Ellie McGrady (Year 11), Megan Milbourne (Year 12), Alex Sikkink and Rebecca Reed (Year 13) – will also be attempting to climb some of the mountains in the area and learn about the culture that was founded in Zulu tribes in education centres.
They are members of the Morpeth Air Cadet Squadron and they decided to go on the trip with other youngsters in the North East after it was described to the squadron by Will Close-Ash, who is involved with the Tynemouth Squadron.
His company, Mountain Energy, specialises in UK and overseas expeditions and it has a link in South Africa with Entabeni Communications, an environmental education and youth tourism organisation.
Rebecca said: “We will be living with host families and this will give us a real taste of what life is like in the country.
“At the rural school, as well as teaching the children some English, we will be helping to renovate classrooms and we will be bringing along some useful equipment for them.”
Alex added: “These children won’t have had the same opportunities as us, so it’s good that we will be doing whatever we can to help their education in the time we are at the school.
“We’re also looking forward to climbing mountains, exploring caves and visiting historical battle sites.”
The group are doing part-time jobs and fund-raising activities to help pay for the trip. The activities include bag packs, selling cakes and lemonade and a meal at Marabini’s.
Ellie said: “We’re looking forward to working with the children, experiencing a different culture and finding out more about the history of South Africa.”
Megan added: “As well as the work at the school and exploring, we get a couple of days to ourselves and hopefully we will get to see some of the exotic animals and visit the beautiful beaches.”