Bury Grammar School students go on an adventure in the Borneo jungle

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A team of students from Bury Grammar School embarked on a 30-day adventure, traversing the awe-inspiring jungle landscape of Borneo in Asia.

Nine passionate students from the school took part in a five-day trek through the jungle, developing sustainable gardens, observing deforestation, spotting wildlife and climbing.

The exhibit, led by Vice-Principal Devin Cassidy, aimed to encourage students to appreciate the non-materialistic aspects of life and to increase their understanding of other cultures.

Mr Cassidy said: “The experience has been superb but what matters are the students who have waited three years, interrupted by Covid, and their development.

“We hope to have broadened their horizons, encouraged them to appreciate the non-materialistic aspects of life a little more, and instilled in them a desire to understand people from different cultures without judgment.

“The goal was also to develop an appreciation for teamwork, tolerance towards others and to make them active in conserving the precious world we inhabit.”

The group’s itinerary included a five-day jungle trek, sleeping in hammocks, building bridges, visiting Bako National Park, an overnight jungle trek, and climbing Mount Kinabalu, the highest Borneo mountain.

Students encountered wildlife of all kinds, from leeches, scorpions and deadly pit vipers to orangutans, flying lemurs, eagles, crocodiles and bearded pigs.

As part of this incredible journey, the students participated in a project in the jungle to create a sustainable garden.

They also organized beach sports activities for local children and flew in a twin-prop plane into the jungle to observe the extent of deforestation.

The trip was meant to open the students’ eyes and emphasize the importance of having stories to tell rather than ‘things’ to show.

Mr Cassidy added: “I hope they appreciate that adventures are the best way to learn and that having stories to tell, not things to show, will make them more fulfilled in life.

“I want them to have been inspired to travel through the inspiring characters we’ve met, such as Sampson, our amazing local jungle guide, and Howard, an expat who’s created an amazing jungle camp.

“I also hope the team will travel in the future and be able to do so safely on a tight budget, allowing them to see a lot more of the authentic country they are traveling through.”

Mr Cassidy also praised the students, adding that they had been a “superb” company to travel with and had navigated the ups and downs of international travel “exceptionally well”.

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