A Fun Day Out: Picnic at the Royal Botanic Gardens
It was a perfect weather for everyone to go out and do something. The Survivor School had already made plans for a picnic during the school holidays for our survivors to reconnect again. Ever since COVID-19, government’s strict restrictions of avoiding public places and social gatherings had limited our interactions. So we hosted a weekly virtual coffee chat on Zoom. So it had been a long time since our survivors had not seen each other in person. Therefore a picnic was a great plan to go out and have a fun afternoon.
Flyers about the picnic were sent to every survivor. But it is never a pressure for everyone to attend. Because our trauma informed processes ensure that our survivors to have the freedom to make a choice for themselves. A meeting place was decided for those who had confirmed to come to the picnic. As, the clock started ticking 12 pm slowly the survivors started to gather around our meeting place. When everyone arrived, our exciting day out started.
The survivors along with the volunteers were supposed to meet The Charity Manager, Eleni at the Ferry Wharf. While we waited, I (Brinda Moktan, student intern at TFH) decided to do a warm-up exercise. This exercise involved us greeting each other in our respective language and provide a small introduction. I thought it would be a great exercise to create and ice breaker especially for new survivors within the group. So, this was a great exercise to introduce each other and build new connections. While doing the exercise I could observe that there was curiosity among some to know each other and how welcoming everyone was of each other.
When the Charity Manager arrived, we all headed towards the Royal Botanic Gardens while passing through the famous Opera House.
Everyone was so excited to see the Opera House and started taking pictures.
When we reached the garden, we picked a spot near a shed and started placing mats for us all to rest. While we settled in, we started placing the food, well it was a picnic after all. Everyone was helpful while placing the food. Once everything was ready, we all sat down around the mat and enjoyed the food with the beautiful view that was in front of us.
Everyone chatted while eating, talking about what was happening in one another’s lives and relaxing at the same time enjoying their time while outdoors. Then our Charity Manager updated everyone about the workshops that we had planned for the next week. And she also chatted about the classes for the next term, while asking them what they would be interested to learn.
Good food, good place, good people, and something that should not be missed: good music.
One of our survivors played beautiful music from her country which everyone enjoyed and performed some couple moves to the music. While eating we were trying to name the food items in one’s respective language and having good laughs about it. I could see how everyone was interacting with each other and enjoying our little picnic outdoors.
Through out the picnic there were lots of selfies and pictures clicking and everyone was having fun.
It could be seen in their faces how this picnic had brought a smile on their face and how relaxed and calm the outing had made everyone.
On our way back we encountered an old man with a bird who offered for us to take a picture with the bird. Some of our survivors were very excited to take a picture with the bird while some were a bit sceptical. But it was a wonderful experience for us all as we could see the interaction had brought laughter to each one present.
When asked about how they felt about the picnic everyone responded with having a great time and a fun day enjoying the picnic.
Written by: Brinda Mocktan (social worker at TFH)
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