This is exactly how I wrote the email to the family on March 6, 2008; added pics on later
i am finally finally back from class trips and ista and i am free of my friends for the next two days so i’m gonna start writing the emails…i’m sorry i couldn’t send an email before about what we did during ista but i came back on monday and then starting from tuesday morning i’ve had to make up tests and homework and all and then i’ve had to unpack and repack and all and then i left on saturday morning and now i’m finally back from everything and life will slowly get back to normal (except for the fact we have a choir workshop at the end of this month so we’re going to have heavy practices…but that’s during school hours and it’s taking place in dhaka so i won’t be so busy) but anyways i will be able to write more regular emails!!
ok so i will start with ISTA!
ista stands for international school theater association and we went to the british school in new delhi for it. we left on 21st morning (baba dropped me off at school) with the saisa girls’ basketball and boys’ soccer teams (high school) to delhi…so we had a sorta aisd party on the plane! when we got to delhi, we took a school bus to the british school and then got picked up by our host families there. i was hosted by a girl called olivia (she’s in seventh grade too…year eight) and my roomies from dhaka were alexandra, tabassum, and elizabeth (they’re all eighth graders but i know them really well from afterschool activities and just hanging out with them at school from before). their house was really really nice…it was on the ground floor of the papua new guinea embassy and they had the basement and the first floor and us 4 had two rooms to ourselves and the ground floor had a really nice tv room and they had like all the movies that we could want! so when olivia came back from school that day we all went to sorojonis and shopped! i used almost all my money shopping that day (i had enough left over for the random snacks whenever). afterwards we came back and started watching a random scary movie and it was really really scary so we all slept in one bed (4 of us in one double bed when we were supposed to sleep in two different rooms)
the next day was the first actual day of ista. in the morning we met outside on their yard where we got our name tags and bags with our schedules and names of participants, and stuff we could fill out about our ista experience and all. there were also dancers in the middle of the field, and then they dragged some of us there to dance with them and in the end everyone went and danced (pictures will be shown…someday: facebook ppl u will see them on facebook…other ppl, i will show them to u). after that we all met in the auditorium where there was an introductory thing…these cute little kids danced to one of the songs from taare zameen par and then there was a welcoming ceremony for the teachers. afterwards we played do u know the muffin man and other team building activities and then broke up into our ensemble groups (which were planned from before) and amazingly!!!! there was TARA IN MY GROUP…she used to be one of my BESTEST FRIENDS BACK IN THIRD GRADE!! we used to hang out all the time (wifa i’m sure u remember her) but she’s moved to bombay and so we had such a great time discussing everything that’s been happening in our lives and out in new york and all….it was amazing fun! and we had lunch in lhori park that day and two hours we spent using inspiration from the park because our ensemble group’s skit was to be on the river so we were listening to the water and how it sounded and the animals in the park and all. since our theme was roots and wings (the whole theme) so after that we all left the park and then went back to the school. there we presented our plays..the ones that we had prepared with our schools, before going to delhi. after that we went to the international fair and it was free for us and we got 150 rupees that we could use, without paying for it. after that we went home and finished the movie we were watching the night before. this time we slept in our separate rooms, because we weren’t scared because we knew the happy ending now!
the next day we did workshops, where we learnt about different parts of theater. my two workshops that i did were actor – reactor, and devising. we were put into workshops depending on what our interests were because we had to write down workshops we would like to be in and workshops that we would not want to be in. after that we had lunch and were back with our ensemble groups to start…devising our performance. after wards we show a rajasthani puppet show, and then we had a dinner and a dance. the dinner was buffet style, very good, all indian, and then we went into the auditorium again for the dance…it was really good because their floor is flat, so we danced there and the stage had the dj and all set up and since it’s the audi, it’s already got all the lights and sound systems set up, so i thought that was really really smart of them. afterwards we went back home.
on the 24th, the last day of ista, we had another full group session, and then we went back to ensemble groups and got our whole play practiced and all, and then had a tech rehearsal after lunch since the program we were doing at the school included all the participants, but each group did like one scene of the play that we performed. after that we had to say bye to all our friends that we made, because two schools left immediately after the performance. and then at 7 we went back home and then my host and host buddies were watching movies when amitava kaku picked me up. and then i got back at 10 and we did a last minute pack and then like chatted a little before going to bed, because we had to wake up at 6 the next day.
the travel day was a little hectic. we got to the school while it was still dark, boarded the bus and then got to the airport. but the bus dropped us off at the international terminal, if i hadn’t been there no one would have noticed that we were meant to go to the domestic terminal instead. well anyways we got there and checked in and all and our flight to kolkata was ok. in kolkata, after we landed and i called dida/dadu, i found ms slawson looking around the boards for dhaka and i said…u do know that we have to go to a different terminal right? and then she’s like really?!! but because of me we got to the other terminal and then once again were met by the saisa ppl and this time it was more exciting because we had just come back from the trip and all. one of the people stayed in sunil shetty’s house!! because his daughter goes to ASB (tara’s school..and also the school which hosted girls’ basketball this time) and his daughter came during the soccer season and stayed in one of my best friend’s place, but i don’t really know her 😦 which is sorta a big miss. but anyways at least we go to dhaka! and i had saved the day!! (basically)
when i got to dhaka, i found that my feet were black and the skin was falling off and 4 nails were broken, so an hour after i got home, i went for a pedicure, and during the time, i was also doing my homework, and the rest of the week was like that too i was doing homework or studying for tests or packing or shopping for packing the whole time…
now the class trips:
early in the morning, once again (the same flight that took me to delhi last time), we had to go to school, we all went in christina’s car (she’s the girl who lives on the fourth floor of our building) so it was 6 of us in the car. and then we went to the airport, where we had to check in, and then wait for the plane. we had sweets from the premium sweets counter in the departure area. on the plane we had a lot of fun just chilling, taking tons and tons of pictures and being excited about what was coming up next. after we landed in delhi, we were picked up by snow leopard representatives. us 45 people (40 kids and 5 adults) got into two busses to go to a restaurant, while another bus with all our big bags/suitcases started driving towards our camp in rishikesh. after eating at the restaurant, we went on the bus again to go the train station. the train ride was 5 hours long, and we spent the time eating, sleeping and singing random songs, and it was cool because the train had plugs and all, so we recharged our ipods and all while listening to it. our train was a few minutes delayed, but it was ok and we had to take a one hour bus ride to our camp from haridwar. we go there at like 9 or 10 and then ate and went into our tents (camp panther).
the next morning we ate breakfast and learnt all the guidelines and everything we had to know to go rafting. then we packed our handbags and got ready to go with our swimsuits, shorts, non-cotton, fast dryable shirts. and took a bus to the place where we would start rafting. we put on our life-vests and helmets and went into different rafts. we went through rapids…which are really really really fun!! u just keep jumping on the water and all, and then we stopped at this cliff hanging place, where, it was optional, but i did everything, so i jumped off that 30 meter cliff (apparently) , and it was sooo much fun!! i had done a 5 meter one this summer but that was different because it was without life vest and all…we went back to the camp before lunch and then dried off, showered, had lunch and then got ready again for getting into two groups, and it was a rotational, doing rock climbing and a hike around a nearby village. afterwards we just came back and had dinner. but first we talked about how the camp provides for the electricity and how it keeps clean and how environmentally friendly the whole thing is. and after dinner we sat around a bonfire (camp panther).
the next morning, we got ready again for rafting, but this time, we had to pack fully in the morning so that our bags could be moved again to another camp of theirs (this is a new one that our school had never been too..it was just finished building last year) and in the meantime we’d be rafting and going for a hike after visiting an ashram, around a shoppish area in between the laxman and ram jhula in rishikesh. i did sooo much shopping and i did soo well in bargaining. i noticed that they were charging a lot because we were a big group and all. so i said to leena (my friend who looks soo much like me that even mum couldn’t tell us apart today, she saw leena from far away, while i was at the bathroom and thought that she was me) lets ditch them and we went around buying stuff and saying we were indian! we ate lunch and hung out in their beach camp that day, and it was fun because we played beach football and volleyball and in the sand. we had dinner around the bonfire and had the daily after dinner discussion (dadd) there too (camp himalayan bear stream).
day four we woke up, ate breakfast, and then went towards camp tusker, cuz that would be our base for the day. our group went to the game park and the other group went straight to tusker to get ready to bike around the area for about an hour and a half. we saw a few animals because it was an odd time of the day. and then we came to tusker and ate lunch with the other group, and they left for the safari, while our group hung back and played games (mostly football and cricket..i played football and then some ppl were practicing cycling: the ones that couldn’t cycle too well) and then we went cycling!! (i’m proud of my skills!) afterwards (after tea – hot chocolate…REALLY REALLY YUMMY) we went back to the camp and had some time to ourselves and then we had dinner with the whole group….
the next day was our last day at rishikesh…and we spent the time at a school right next door to our camp, with a service learning activity. and somehow or other someone said i could speak or understand hindi so they made me go up front….and i was actually very good..i mean i don’t get the ees and the aas but still i managed and i was understandable. so once again i’m proud of myself!! after that we hung out by the stream and skipped rocks, ate lunch and then took the bus to haridwar (i slept on the bus… for some time) and then we took the 5 hour train to delhi and then another bus to our hotel…and since us girls got to stay at an apartment hotel type building, we partied almost all night (until about 2…and we had got there at about 11) while the guys had normal hotel rooms.
today morning we woke up at 6:30 thinking it was 7:30 (we wanted to take showers so we freaked out cuz our wake up call was supposed to be at 7:30 so we thought we missed it and all) but then we figured out that it was too early. so i became macho man and stuffed my suitcase even more than it already was. and then we went to eat breakfast downstairs, and then took the bus to the airport, and then did duty free shopping there, had a big subway sandwich (i have gone on jet airways 4 times in the past 2 weeks and i know that the food isn’t GREAT and subway sandwiches are really good and filling so i just had a big one to be safe)…and i noticed that i did all my shopping in 20 dollars!! so i am really really proud bceause i bought everything on sale in duty free – 10 milky way bars and then one can of choclate flavored nuts for 10 dollars and then the other 10 dollars i spent in the bargain place… so that shows i have good bargaining skills and my parents have taught me well with the sale thingie :D so yea our flight was a little delayed so i came back home at like 5:30 and then i started writing this email at 6…and now it’s 8…and i wrote it with little breaks!! HEHE I’M AN X-MAN! lol
love u all!!
proma (i think that was everything: hopefully i didn’t miss anything)