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One of our fist challenges in the academy proved to be the toughest of the entire program and helped to quickly introduce our group to how Outward Bound likes to challenge their participants. The name of the activity was “Sierra Negra Expedition” and involved hiking up to one of the largest shield volcanos of the Galapagos Islands. We started our walk in Puerto Villamil and after 7 hours we had managed to arrive to our camp site. Unfortunately Diana, one kilometer before reaching our goal, had decided to give up. The whole group had noticed how in those last minutes her pace had decreased as she slowly stumbled up the path. She felt tired, she complained that her back hurt and that she had never walked so much before in her life. Bryan quickly helped out offering to carry her backpack while the rest of the group started reaching out trying to motivate her, telling her not to give up, that it was only one kilometer more and that she would feel so proud of being able to reach her objective. For the first time the group started to work as a team and realized that they had formed a family and that they wanted to complete the activity all together. After a couple of minutes Diana had decided not to keep walking and asked if she could be taken to our camp site in our security pickup truck. All the facilitators could see how the rest of group was concerned for Diana and how much they wanted to reach the summit as a whole.
Twenty minutes later our newly formed family arrived to our camp site. Diana was there waiting and as she congratulated everybody on their amazing feat, she quickly joined the family and celebrated with them their first big accomplishment.
Robert Balfour, Program Coordinator – Academy of Agents of Change