An expedition with friends and encountered a difficult problem – an Open Speech
Write a story based on the following scenario: You went on an expedition with your friends and encountered a difficult problem at its last stage
Joseph was my best friend. He was the only son of Adam Tan, a well-known former athlete and a member of the first Malaysia team to reach the South Pole in an expedition. Hence, many expected and assumed Joseph to be as sporting as his father. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Since he was young, he has been a weakling. He suffered from asthma and preferred to stay indoors. He preferred to read books and was nicknamed “Professor” unkindly in class. He did not seem to mind these remarks until one day. That particular day marked the first death anniversary of his father who died tragically in an expedition in the Mautu wilderness in Africa. He had been gored by a wild bull on the last mile of his expedition.
So on this anniversary of his father’s death, he was stung by the jibes of Bala and Azhar, his classmates. They had called him `weakling’, remarking that he was a disgrace to his father. He lost his cool and fought with the bullies. Of course, he lost. From that day onwards, Joseph devoted himself to building up his body. He exercised religiously and turned his attention and efforts enthusiastically to sports. No one, he vowed, would bully or compare him unfavorably to his father.
Joseph joined the scout’s troop in my school and became its leader. We were all agog with excitement when we learned that the school had planned an expedition in Kalimantan, Indonesia. It was also meant to be in memory of Joseph’s father, who was its former adviser.
The expedition really tested the mettle and skills of my fellow scouts and me. Though we had the help of our two teacher advisers, we were determined to succeed in the expedition which was to cross a mountain, river, and forest. The last stage was the forest and we were within sight of our target. We had only four more kilometers to cover before we would emerge from the forest and successfully complete our expedition in the required time. If we succeeded, we would be the first school team to have done that in record time.
However, on December 27th, Joseph experienced a recurrence of his asthma. We noticed at first that he was faltering behind us. When we asked him whether he had any problem, he gave us the thumbs-up sign. Just before the last kilometer, his team-mate, Shafiq, noticed his labored breathing. His face was pale and Shafiq signaled us to stop walking. We gathered around Joseph anxiously and forced him to stop and rest. Then we noticed his trembling hands. This was serious trouble indeed. When we asked him about his medication, Joseph said that he had lost his pills somewhere during the expedition. Behind us was 20 kilometers of wilderness which we had covered. We had left our teachers two kilometers behind us as it was agreed that we would attempt the last stage ourselves. We could not go back; it was a matter of pride. Furthermore, it was too difficult. Ahead, lay civilization in the form of the nearest village. We had to cover the last stage ourselves
While we were deliberating on our best course of action, Joseph had all the while, been pleading with us to carry on. “Help me finish the expedition for the sake of my father. This expedition is in memory of him and he did not complete the final stage of his last expedition” was in essence what he was blurting out faintly.
Joseph was therefore carried piggyback by four of us alternating in turns, on this last lap. How we made it and burst through the jungle into the clearing we did not know. It seemed an eternity but according to our teachers who timed us, we had taken half an hour.
Half an hour! We went through hell at that time. Enduring pesky mosquitoes and squelchy mud were only minor difficulties. Carrying Joseph was a very heavy load but we did not mind the physical part of the burden. What worried us was not finishing the expedition in record time but that Joseph would die before he received medical help.
We struggled. By Herculean strength of spirit and body, we labored the last meters. We reached the village, but the welcome team did not get to complete their cheery support. They cut short their cheering when they saw us carrying Joseph. He was later rushed by helicopter to the capital, Kota Kinabalu, after receiving medical aid. We later learned to our relief that he was hospitalized but had not got out of the critical stage.
Five days later, Joseph came home from Sabah. The school gave him a hero’s welcome. After all, he had tried and completed the last stage of the expedition in his own way. He had not disgraced his father. After this, Joseph returned to the pursuit of his first love – his books.
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