Saturday, August 11, 2012

Evacuate the Hilltop....School excursion to Moonar


Our trip started with a 12 our train ride, which was pretty exciting. Anyone who knows me though, would know that I am able to sleep the entire time! There was about 200 kids overall on this trip from my school! We arrived at 2am in Cochen and then had a 6 hour drive to the hillstop station of moonar…to which the bus had blasting music and strobe lights the whole time!!!!  Our hotel was beautiful but we had little time to rest before we had to head out for our mountain trek!
            The mountains and land was so beautiful it’s unable to be described but I will try. It was like driving through a movie seen. Everything was pure green with trees and rives flowing through the rolling mountains and cows grazing peacefully along the riverside. It was an unforgettable sight that will just be engraved in my mind forever!
            Our trek was cut short due to a surprise monsoon! Thank goodness for good old mother nature because I was suffering terribly from altitude sickness! I was so dizzy and could not stop puking…..but I tried to keep a positive attitude J  We went to some beautiful locations and made some great friends along the trip. The last night we had a huge bonfire and all the girls were dancing and it was loads of fun. The next day we were supposed to leave around 8 and head to a water park for the day plans changed quickly……..
            We were evacuated from the hotel at around two in the morning due to a strike in kerala. Kerala is a communist run state in India so when a strike happens it is not a peaceful activity. It was more like a huge riot to which the strikers were planning to attack and destroy anything moving on the road, that would include are 7 tightly packed large party busses. Oh and I forgot to mention that our bus driver on our bus rolled into the bus in front of us and completely shattered our windshield! We drove without a windshield through the night, in the cold, down the insane mountainside over looking a deathly drop, in the rain, undercover to avoid the riot!  We survived and reached a safe spot around 5:30 and the riot would begin at 6am and end at 6pm. So for 12 hours we sat about twenty too a hotel room sitting and waiting out the strike and watching the news about what was going on outside! It was actually kind of exciting and it was a good time to make friends with the other students!
            We headed home back on the 12 hour train ride and I thought about some of the things I had learned from the three day trip!

1)   In the U.S when there is a mountain and we want a road we just blow a whole right through the mountain. In India when there is a mountain and they want a road they just peacefully build a long, curvey and slightly sketchy path along side the mountain.
2)   Indian girls when free from school will sing and dance no matter what time and what the occasion
3)   A strike in India is generally not like the average strike in America it’s a tad more violent and unpredictable
4)   When in the mountains, drink plenty of water because altitude sickness is NOT fun!
5)   If your in front of teachers you should NOT stand to close, talk to much, or have physical contact with the opposite sex.
6)   Don’t expect hot water in a Hotel room!
7)   All that amazing looking junk food in the hotel fridge…..Is NOT free
8)   Its impossible to be perfect all the time even when people are watching you, so don’t pretend to feel all right when in reality you know your going to puke any second!
9)   When on an Indian sleeping train make sure you get a bottom bunk if you don’t know how to use the latter
10)                  Go to the bathroom before you go on the train because OH MY GOODNESS  my feet were not going to step foot in that bathroom!

                                                      Train station in Chennai!

                                                      Wild Elephants!!!!

                                           Loving the mountains so much!
                                                      Karate kid in Moonar
                                       No touching boys....awkward stance!
Lloyd our favorite bus driver proud of his windshield incident



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