My day started in a very common way, I woke up and attended my online lectures as usually. Nothing very different or special about it and as the day went on, I was thinking about how my routine in Delft had become so monotonous and tedious both because of the new restrictions and because of the online lectures. It was at this moment when someone talked in the groupchat of Slopend about an activity proposed by the Bushcraft committee. At first, I thought: “I really don’t know a lot of people, I don’t know what this activity is about, will I like it?” but then I remembered how much fun I always have when joining any Slopend activity and all my doubts just disappeared. I joined the separate groupchat created for the activity and asked if I could still join the group and as always, the organizers of the activity welcomed me with open arms.
The activity started at the front of X, from where we cycled to places I’ve never been in my life. That is something that I really like about Slopend, every time I join them, there is something new that I learn or that I see. It was only 8pm but as usually here in the Netherlands, it looked like it was almost midnight. The paths we cycled along were dark and full of mist, it was like cycling into a horror movie but thanks to the head lamps and torches of everyone, we managed to arrive to the second starting point without any problems.
At that point, they gave us some envelops with different shapes drawn on them. Each envelop contained a part of a map and instructions or a rout that we had to follow to arrive to the next point. In order to open the next envelop, we had to answer a specific question about nature and if the answer was correct, they told us what the next envelop was so that we could continue with our journey. I really enjoyed the whole rout we followed as I got to see many different places and sites I would never go on my own usually. We crossed fields with greenhouses, went pass a lake and even crossed several highways and train rails. We were a group of five so there was always someone to talk to and I had the chance to get to know some amazing people. It was also very interesting to try to find the answers to the different questions as most of us were not sure about the correct answer, but we always tried to give a reasoning behind it. The answers surprised us and made us learn different cool facts about nature. I can now distinguish in between a male and a female deer footprint that I would find in mud!
Once we finished the cycling route (which was longer than expected as we got lost at a certain point) we arrived at the starting point where the committee was waiting for us with some popcorn to regain our energy. We learned how to identify the correct materials for making a bow and arrows. We even learned how to identify the best material for making rope. Never in my life I thought that making rope could be so complex and difficult. Now I know why it was so expensive in the old times! The committee was very patient with me in particular as I had never done anything like that and it took me some time to know and learn the technique but in the end I managed to make my own rope which I now keep as a treasure.
One of the things I most liked about this day is that despite not knowing any Dutch as I am from Spain, all the members of Slopend joining the activity always talked to me in English and even made the effort to speak English in between them so that even if I was not part of the conversation, I was able to understand what they were talking about. I am very thankful to them for letting me join this kind of activity so different from what I am used to do and also to make me feel as part of the group despite not knowing any Dutch.
I would recommend anyone to not be afraid to join any of the activities proposed by Slopend as fun is guaranteed and you will get to know some amazing people that will help you learn very cool different things!