by Sajjan Bhave
On the first day I woke up and I was very excited to go to Shivapuri. I did my morning routine fast and then I went down and ate breakfast fast so I could go to Shivapuri. Then I went to school.
At school, we waited in the main area until the bus came to pick us up.
We then got in the bus and I started on my friend’s Rubik’s cube. I finished one face of the Rubik’s cube and then everybody was so excited and surprised that I finished one face. After that, we played “I Spy”. I didn’t want to participate much, but I got lots of the answers right. After that, we stopped in Budhanilkantha for snack. Then we did the following activities in this order: Sign Spotting (restaurant signs, Gods, computer signs, jewelry signs), Traffic Survey (we counted how many vehicles there were like car, truck, van, motorcycle, bicycle, tuk-tuk and others ; motorcycles won by far!), Shop Survey (there was mostly grocery shops or clothing shops and there were only two chemists in the whole Budhanilkantha!). My favorite was Sign Spotting because you needed your eyes a lot and the Traffic Survey because it has lots of action. After that, we had lunch.
Then we walked from Budhanilkantha to Shivapuri. We always had to be in a single file because it was a road and that’s what lots of people had trouble with. When we reached Shivapuri Heights Cottage we got in our rooms and we started unpacking. Mr. Swift said that whichever room was the most tidy after unpacking would get a treat! There would be one girl room and one boy room that would get the treat. Luckily, our room got the treat! Then we got into two groups. One group did sketching of the valley first.
The other group did tree planting first. I was in the first group. And then after 40 minutes on our activities, we swapped and got the same amount of time on the other activity. My favorite was tree planting because in the future, we could come back and see our tree.
After these activities, we ate dinner at the cottage. The food was yummy, especially the dessert! After that, we watched a Tin Tin movie. It was called, Tin Tin in America. We noticed that we had more time so we watched Tin Tin and the Cigars of the Pharaoh. Everyone liked the second movie because one character had got a poisoned dart inside him so he acted very funny! After that, we got ready for bed and went to bed. This was our first night of sleeping without our parents.
On Day 2, I woke up fast! I had to stay in bed until 6am because I didn’t know I had accidentally woke up at 5:30am! When it was 6am, Mr. Swift came into our rooms and told us that we have 30 minutes until breakfast. We got ready but we were a bit late for breakfast. The girls cottage was a bit further to the breakfast area than ours so we got there first. The girls came after a very long time and then we started having breakfast together. We started with hot chocolate and then I ate plain cornflakes and toast with honey.
After breakfast, we made sandwiches for ourselves and walked to a Tibetan Temple. A monk showed us around the temple. The temple had 3 huge Gods. The one in the middle was Buddha – on Buddha’s lap was a special scarf with all of the important Tibetan symbols. The scarf was called a Katha. The Katha was very important to the Tibetans too. The God on one side was Norbu – Norbu is very important to the Tibetans and Bhutanese people. And I forgot the name of the one on the other side. There were 751 little God idols on the left side of the temple. Approximately 584 Gods were Buddhist and the rest were Tara. In front of them were lots of symbols that were useful to the Tibetans. Then we ate lunch on the grass. My sandwich had cheese and tomatoes. We had Oreos, bananas, oranges and chocolates too. After everybody had finished, we had 2 minutes of silence to respect the monks. Then we walked back to the Cottage.
In the Cottage, we had a little bit of quiet time where we had to do something like yoga, coloring, or a word search. Then we walked to a Hare Krishna Temple. First, we learned about the religion. Second, we did some dancing. Then we walked downstairs and the temple guide told us some stories. One of the stories went like this: Once upon a time, there was a saint praying in the forest and a little rat came up to him, “lots of cats are chasing me, can you turn me into a cat, please?” So the saint turned him into a cat! Then the same cat came back and said, “lots of dogs are chasing me, can you please turn me into a dog?” So the saint turned him into a dog! Then the same dog came back and said, “lots of tigers are chasing me, can you please turn me into a tiger?” So the saint turned him into a tiger. One day the same tiger was looking for food. He found the same saint and tried to eat him! But right before the tiger’s jaws touched the Saint, the Saint turned him back to a rat! The moral – be grateful.
Then we walked backed to the cottage. When we got back, we went to a briquette factory. A briquette is made out of little strips of paper, water and saw dust. It is something that you can use instead of firewood. We made our own briquettes. I put mine in the fire so I did not get to bring it home.
Then we ate dinner. We had pasta and beans and salad. Everyone at our table took seconds! Then we had a campfire! The campfire was ready after dinner. Some people put their briquettes in like me. And then while the fire was blazing, we watched Tin Tin and the Ottokar Sceptre. Everybody thought that was the best movie. We each had one marshmallow in the middle of the movie. Then we settled down to our second night without our parents.
On Day 3, I woke up and we had to pack. We got one hour to pack so we had to wake up at 6am. We all got ready and were late for breakfast again! We ate together and then we took our bags down to be brought to the bus. Then we split up into four groups and each group took turns doing a treasure hunt while the others had time to finish their Shivapuri Activity Sheets (word searches, Tin Tin coloring, Tibetan coloring). My favorite part of the whole trip was the treasure hunt!
We were the last group to start the treasure hunt. There were 13 clues and the last one lead you to the treasure. Then we found one group that was on the same clue as us – Clue #3. We worked together until we found it. The clues had words on them and it showed you which clue it was. There were no pictures. Then we all were stuck on Clue #6 together. Clue #7 was so hard! We knew where it was, but it was so hard to get out. It was under the dog’s collar! Finally, we got it, read it and moved on to Clue #8. We kept going until we found the treasure. The treasure was chocolate! After we ate the treasure, we ate lunch at the cottage then walked to the Hare Krishna Temple to get picked up by the bus. We started playing “I Spy”. Then we played a character game. Then we reached The British School. We had to wait until everyone’s bags got down from the top of the bus and then we found our parents. I never missed home on my trip, but I was so glad to be back!