Survival Skill Workshop

In my opinion, one of the best things about Reunion is how close we are to nature here. I wanted to learn more about living in nature, and stumbled upon something they called a “Survival Skills Workshop.” It was a weekend of living in nature with practically nothing—a knife, some military rations, a sleeping bag, and that’s it. We met Olivier, the ex military man who taught the workshop, at Langevin, and from there we marched up and up into the forest, near a river.

The first thing we had to do was prepare wood for a fire, so five of us started chopping dry wood with our knives, and the other five went to go find bamboo which we cut up and used for drinking cups and plates. I didn’t know that every segment of bamboo had a divider inside, so once cut, the segments make perfect cups that you can even heat over the fire! It was great for some coffee in the morning 😉

After the wood and bamboo were cut, we cleared all the rocks out of a flat area, and spread leaves over it. That was were we slept, in our emergency blankets and sleeping bags to keep us warm.

Next we learned how to hunt zandettes—the big fat worms that live in wood. We had ten mintues to find a zandette, bring it to Olivier, and eat it in front of him—raw!!! I couldn’t believe it. But I will always try anything at least once…so I started frantically cutting up wood in search of my zandette. Unfortunately, I found the biggest zandette possible and everyone “ewwwed” when I brought it to Olivier. He let me at least rip off the head first. It was slimy and disgusting and I will never eat zandette again!!

But the zandette wasn’t the worst part!! Next, they brought out the mysterious moving bag we carried up. I figured it was a chicken…but then Olivier pulled the cutest little rabbit out of the bag!! I am a vegetarian, but I thought I was prepared to really participate in the workshop and maybe watch how a chicken is killed. As soon as I saw the rabbit, I started to cry—I couldn’t imagine killing it. They all got this crazy idea that they would make one of the girls kill the rabbit! There were only three of us and all three of us were crying by now. Actually, no one wanted to kill the rabbit, and some of the men were vegetarians too. They took the rabbit to the back, and when it started to squeal, we all walked sadly to the river together so we didn’t have to hear the sounds.

So the vegetarians ate some grilled zandettes, grilled chouchou we found near the river, and some military rations! We were happy with that.


to stumble upon – trouver par hasard
knife – couteau
sleeping bag – sac de couchage
workshop – atelier
marched up – défiler

to spread – étaler
worm – un ver
ewww – beurk
brought out – sortir
figured – calculer

cutest – le plus mignon
squeal – cri perçant

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Normal Version

Slow Version