Annual field trip called “Expedice přes bar(iéry)” (Expedition over barriers) organized for people with disabilities was held in May 2022 thanks to our brilliant, energetic teachers and students from the Department of Adapted Physical Activities. This year, one of our students of the master’s degree programme Physical Activity and Active Living, Augustine Kyere, joined the expedition to find out how enjoyable and enriching such an experience can be. Read on if you want to know what it was like for a Ghanaian student to spend a week in Slovakia and how he approached the challenges that occurred.
How did the organization of the expedition go? Did you have a chance to contribute even though you don’t speak Czech or Slovak?
Yes, I really had the chance to contribute a lot at the group level in discussions of what food to bring and how to cook it, accommodation or making sure everybody had the basic equipment for the expedition. In these discussions language barrier did not affect our communication.
The organization was excellent. Every bit of information as to what to do or when and how we move, was shared without a delay.
Was there any special equipment you had to buy/borrow before the expedition?
Yes, I bought a sleeping mat; borrowed a back pack and a sleeping bag.
Could you briefly describe the programme of the expedition?
The expedition was a seven-day recreational and leisure programme (from 14th to 21st May) in Slovakia. The expedition group went with disabled people: the visually impaired, the deaf, people with cerebral palsy and mentally retarded people, with the aim to connect with nature, to create joy, and give emotional relief to everyone, especially the members with disabilities.
In all the activities no one was left out. Everybody, including our dear disabled guys, who were given an overwhelming assistance, could fully participate and enjoy boating, cycling, walking in the mountains and playful activities.
Were there any things you tried for the first time in your life?
Of course, yes. My first time of boating. I usually don’t like activities in water because in my country a lot of people drown so my mother never allowed me to play in water. Initially, I didn’t want to take part in the canoeing but I was motivated by the kind of enthusiasm each member of the expedition group had. In the end, I really enjoyed boating.
How did you feel during the expedition and what was the biggest challenge for you?
I felt secured with the group and extremely happy. However, the biggest challenge for me was canoeing and sleeping in a tent, but I was able to overcome my fear.
What did you learn from this experience?
From this expedition, I have learnt that team work, proper and precise instructions, and caring for others will bring a complete success with joy in everything.
What is/are your favourite moment/s from the trip?
My favourite moments during the expedition are:
- When I realized I have not been discriminated in any way as far as the various activities were concerned.
- Again, when we started canoeing, after moving on the water for about one hour, I realized I had been able to paddle and move the canoe on the water smoothly and my heart was flooded with joy.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I am delighted to have taken part in this expedition 2022 with the kind of love and attention each member showed to me. Everybody is amazing.