After a really long trip flying over this planet and a stunning bus ride from el Calafate, we finally got here. El Chalten, home sweet home for the next 3 months.
Actually, most of us had already met on the way, due to similar flight and bus connections in Buenos Aires or El Calafate. But I’m happy to say we were all impatient to be reunited and to meet the other 11 humans who would be our “Outdoor Family” for the duration of the whole program.
I can already say that one of the biggest challenges we will probably face these next 3 months is going to be living, eating, sleeping and spending most of our time together. This is why the first days are always the most important to get to know each other and start building some trust and team spirit between us all. That’s where Logan, our Pure Exploration facilitator and instructor, has been playing a huge role.
The first morning, Logan took the whole group on our first breathtaking hike, providing icebreakers and bonding time on top of the mountain. Although we can see the National Park peaks from town, once up there I was speechless. I think this is when I realized where I was really going to spend my next weeks and how lucky I am to be here… I have never had such a beautiful classroom view…
Once back in town, we spent the next few days mainly focusing on making ourselves at home in the hostel, the city and with each other. All the team building games Logan has given us have really helped in building the group’s communication and coordination. But more importantly, I think the opportunities he has given us to start reflecting on ourselves has been good bonding time for us because we all have a story to tell and if we want to spend 3 amazing months without fighting, we need to be true to the others AND to ourselves.
In my last blog post, a few days before leaving, I was sharing how excited and scared I was. How do I feel now than I have spent a few days with my new family? Good. Positive. Excited. We still all need to find some adjustments and personal habits in the group but our new home is just breathtaking and everyone’s background is so different that this is making our team really interesting. It’s amazing to see how we can already try to cheer up, support, help and teach each other and how this little group of people who were strangers 5 days ago is slowly becoming a little group of… friends!
We will definitely have to peel more layers off to find out who we really are, who we really want to be and where we really want to go after this program but these first few days have already been a good opportunity to start sharing pieces of ourselves.
I couldn’t be more grateful for being here.