Executive Principal's Blog, Mr James Sloman

Abundance of Opportunities - 14 July 2016

The abundance of opportunities at the Moreton Bay Colleges provides our children with numerous opportunities for learning. Our children’s moral, personal and spiritual growth is just as important as their academic goals. This is encapsulated within our values as a school embedded within the Uniting Church tradition.

These values relate to Engagement, CharacterCare and Teamwork, and form the basis of all that we do. A recent example was our study tour to Tanzania where 16 students from MBBC journeyed to immerse themselves in Africa. While for many of them the experience was life changing we can all learn a little something from their trip.

Upon their return I wrote to each of the students. The following is an adaptation from that correspondence.

Africa is such a varied and vibrant continent and Tanzania represents all of this colour and effervescence more than most. It remains an incredibly peaceful and safe place for people like us to travel to. What was transparently obvious was the poverty with which most Africans live. As we drove past the many Masai villages in the rural areas, the begging on the sides of the road, the humbleness of the homes in the Masai village of La Timo, made of sticks, mud and cow dung, we were all struck by the fact that the typical African has next to nothing of material worth. Yet they live with incredible humility and dignity. The many Tanzanians we met possessed a sense of humour, a sense of fun and a great passion for the wildlife and the African wilderness. I was personally touched by the gratitude and humbleness of the people I met.

Many Tanzanians were just as interested in us as we were in them and their lives. I recall one Tanzanian in particular who said “you westerners have everything! Yet you always want more!” Now that is thought provoking!

Climbing Mt Meru and dealing with high altitude while doing something that was quite demanding physically was an opportunity for us to discover just how resilient we are and what we can really do when we push ourselves. The service component provided an opportunity to contribute to something significant. Seeing how much people in poor countries value education as an opportunity or pathway for prosperity is an inspiration for all of us.

The opportunity to see the Serengeti, which is one of the wonderful natural wildlife wonders of the world, made us all realise how important the environment is for us as humans. Like our Great Barrier Reef, we have a responsibility to preserve these areas into the future.

The learning for us is that we can achieve so much when we persevere. Life is so much more rewarding when lived with gratitude and there is so much joy and wonder around if we only look. 

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