On the weekend of the 30/31st August I travelled to Wellington along with around 30 other recent returnees to attend the AFS Returnee Camp. The group of us had all met the year before at our pre-departure camp and were super excited to see each other again so that we could share the experiences that we’d had the past year.
Going to the camp I’d expected that we would be talking about our exchanges, sharing stories and learning about which things we could have done differently during the year but the camp turned out very differently. The first day we did talk about our exchanges and share stories as we had all expected but the following days were very focused on our futures. In our free time and in the evenings we shared stories and learnt new things about other cultures and countries most of us could only dream of visiting, however the organised activities were focused around university, career, voluntary and leadership options that we were all now going to be faced with. I thought this was extremely useful because after returning home from a year away I think many of us had changed the ideas that we had for our futures and needed some guidance.
During our last evening in Wellington we had a bonfire complete with marshmallows and smores. For me this was one of the highlights because we had time to spend together as a group who although in reality didn’t spend the year together as such, shared many experiences and learnt similar lessons alongside each other.