“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
The trip for grade 7 to Uroli (Uttaranchal) had been in the making for some time. You could feel the excitement, more so a nervous energy amongst the students and the teachers as well, days before the trip started.
Lost boarding cards, forgotten baggage and jackets (all at the airport being promptly picked by teachers!) could not dampen the traveler spirit that had come to life in each one of us the day of the trip. The flight was on schedule and we were soon getting a bird’s eye view of mother earth from 30,000 feet above. Children, with all their innocence and inquisitiveness managed to strike a chord with the fellow passengers and the cabin crew in no time. It was delightful to overhear some of their conversations and I could not help but feel proud of our entire teaching staff and their guidance at Inventure Academy which was amply reflected in the way our kids handled themselves and behaved in a way that was expected of them.
The day spent at Delhi never ceases to bring a smile to my face even now. From Pizza Hut to the Qutub Complex to India Gate, every moment was full of energy, laughter, love and life. The fact that the kids were able to recollect so much from what they had learnt about the Qutub Complex from their course subjects mesmerized us teachers no end.
One of the key objectives of this trip was to build a culture of team spirit in the young minds. Even before we could board the Raniket Express for the next part of our journey, we could see traces of it emerging. Children were helping each other with their luggage at the platform and the train. The kids got a feel of what they had not seen from close quarters- a second class sleeper coach and they took the experience with a smile on their faces. The keenness with which they observed and discussed with/ about vendors, co-passengers etc. clearly showed how much they appreciated coming across this experience which earlier they were unexposed to.
The trip from Kadgodam to the mountains started immediately after we landed at the station. Jeeps are the only vehicles comfortable in this part of the world and the horses under their hoods came into life and within no time, we had entered the mountains. Every moment of the 4 hour journey was beautiful, every turn seemed more picturesque than the one gone by and every mountain looked more majestic than the one passed. A momentary break in the middle of the journey got extended to almost an hour as the students and the teachers could not get enough of the scenic Himalayas and the surroundings in to their cameras, hearts and minds.
The camping for the next few days was exhilarating. Every day and moment had been meticulously planned by Saurabh and team to ensure full utilization of the time available at hands and there were myriads of activities and team games which the kids got fully immersed into. The bonfires at night helped warm the kids’ hearts to classmates they weren’t open to earlier and a camaraderie unseen before could be felt and experienced. The INME team never felt like the thorough professionals that they were, but more so like friends and guides who were connected to each one of us throughout. The only time when the team and teachers had to really be tough on students was in pushing them to take showers!!!! At the end of the camping, as a token of our appreciation and love, we made a monetary contribution for the team which had worked so whole heartedly to make our experience so wonderful.
The mountains and train again held our breaths during the return trip to Delhi. The kids got a flavor of the Rajdhani Express on our journey from Delhi to Bangalore and it was nice to see them closely observing the plains, fields, rivers, villages and towns across the different states and cultures. It was a nice contrast to the mountains they had spent a few days at. The journey ended when we landed at Bangalore on Thursday morning.
For the students as teachers as well, this was more than a trip, it was an experience of a lifetime. This trip helped remove a few cobwebs of prejudices from the minds of young kids, exposed them to a culture, society and an India they were unfamiliar to, brought their self-dependence instincts to the fore and inculcated a feeling of trust amongst each other. However, all these pale in significance to the fact that this experience has helped them to emerge as better and more mature human beings who now are more well equipped to make a mark for themselves in life.
As Henry Miller has rightly said “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
Grade Teacher (7B)