Friday, November 27, 2009

What I wake up too every morning!!!!:)

Now that I have a NEW CAMERA that I'm SO thankful for!!!! Here is my very first picture that I took with it!!! Not too shabby!!!! This was taken from Mt. Hermon (where I live) on the backside of the place facing North!!!! Yes, these are the Himalayas and they are even MORE stunning in person!!!!:) It really makes you think how much of life you miss out on if you don't travel at least one other place in the world and experience an ENTIRELY new surrounding and culture!!!! I never dreamed I would be teaching in India, let alone LIVING in for 3 years minimum!!!!!! But now that I am here I am SO very thankful I took that chance, leaving pretty much all of my family and friends 4000 miles away, and moved to India!!! Yes, I miss you all OH SO MUCH, and here's the but, BUT like Dave said it best, you will all still be there waiting for me when I return from this journey!!! However long that will be!!! Yes, I am contimplating staying longer than 3 years now!!! I have taken a shining to my 8th grade class and want to see them graduate in 2014, which would mean 5 years over here!!! And there are so MANY teachers who only stay 2-3 years at Woodstock, some even 1, that I do NOT want to be one that builds this awesome relationship with my students and before you know it I'm outta there, leaving them hanging!!! They have enough of that as it is, I feel they need some reliability in at least some of their teachers!! But that's not here nor there, that's in another 2 years for me to decide!!! And a LOT can happen in 2 years!!!;) Heck, so much has happened already and it's only 4 months!!!!! AND I'm not even sure they'll want me back!!! There's no guarantee I will be asked for another contract!!! So when that times come, I'll come back to this!! For now, it's time to continue living life in India, missing everyone in Minnesota, and teaching the BEST subject ever: PHYSICAL EDUCATION!!!!!!:) Also, discovering my dream job!!! THAT we will cover later!! For now it's bed time!! GOOOOOOOOOD NIGHT PLANET EARTH!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Here are just a COUPLE of my RANDOM WITHOUT WARNING PHOTO PICTURES and the sweetness and realism they bring to the photo world!!!! ENJOY!!!!:)

Hey Laura nice face!!!! OH and you just got RANDOM PHOTO SHOTTED!!!!!!:)

Matt and I agreed that this was by far the BEST photo ever of him!!!:) Oh and by the way Matt YOU GOT RANDOM PHOTO SHOTTED!!!!

Hey NEW BEST FRIEND who I'm replacing Matt as your "rebound boyfriend" YOU JUST GOT RANDOM PHOTO SHOTTED!!!!!:)

OH THE HORROR OF BEING RANDOM PHOTO SHOTTED!!!!!!!! I got camera jacked....

Well I hope you understand now the seriousness and horror that is THE RANDOM WITHOUT WARNING PHOTO PICTURE!!!!!:) Look out and always be looking over your shoulder, they could hit at anytime.........


First off I would just like to clarify something that has been bothering me for a while now!!!!! Is Lake Titicaca a REAL LAKE or a FAKE LAKE?!?! Your thoughts and insight would be MUCH appreciated at this point in time!!!! Okay back to mature world, HEY WELCOME TO BLOG POST NUMBER 100!!!!!! HECK YES IT'S NOT, but it's coming up soon I think?!?! Maybe 2011?!? WHO KNOWS!!! Well continuing from the ARRIVAL to Mussoorie from Activity Weekgot home and said my goodbyes to the students and Jennie and Aloke, THEN immediately headed to the bazaar for groceries and CLOCK TOWER CAFE!!!!! Got the egg fried rice and honey chicken!! Can't EVER have enough of that!!!:) YUMMY!!!!!! Walked home and as soon as I stepped in the house Dave and Cookie get home and we talk about this terrorist thing!! Sorry details of the convo, for security reasons, will be left between us!!! HEY you never know who reads these things!!! BUT I can talk about the pizza they ordered!!!! They just got home from their MONSTER TREK/HARDEST OUT OF ALL THE TREKS and were starving so was going to order some pizza!! Couldn't pass that up, so they ordered Dominoes and we ate and sat at their place talking about our activity weeks!!! Yeah their week sounded like HellO!!!!! Cold as heck, slept in places claustrophobic's would HATE, and couldn't even make it to their destination cause of 3-4ft snow drifts they would have had to walk through!! YEAH sounds REAL FUN compared to a week on the beach and sun!!!:) After pizza I was exhausted so went home and crashed until waking up 10am Sunday morning!!! THAT felt good to wake up with NO SCHEDULES OR STUDENTS!!!! Pretty much my entire Sunday consisted of playing Risk II on my computer and blogging/journaling until 3pm!!! THEN I heard word that the Boven's were throwing a "Goodbye Brinner" (brinner = breakfast for dinner) for Matt and Brady since it was their last night in Mussoorie, sad!!!:( I headed over to Jennie and Megan's to pick them up then we headed over to the Boven's for some DELICIOUS BRINNER!!! Got there and the smell was INTOXICATING!!! They had: crepe's, egg bake (haven't had egg bake since mom cooked it for me last, which I miss by the way mom, little note for when I return!!!!;)), pancakes, cinamon bread, biscuits, AND JUICE!!! SOOOOOO GOOD!!!:) We ate and talked about life!!! Oh and maybe a little RANDOM WITHOUT WARNING PHOTO PICTURES!!!!!!!!! Haven't done those since the couch days!!! And all you UMDnites out there know exactly what I'm talking about!! If you have NO clue what RANDOM WITHOUT WARNING PHOTO PICTURES are, it's basically when I take a picture without warning of someone's face REAL close!!! It's SO MUCH FUN!! TRY IT!!!:) We hung out at the Boven's for a couple of hours, THEN shifted the party to the Farley's because Matt and Brady had to do their laundry before they left, and HEY where better to do it then the Farley's right!!! haha I bet they deep down HATE IT!!:) OR love it!! Whichever!! Oh and you know what LAUNDRY night means: MENTALIST AND SVU AND SCRUBS AND OFFICE AND SOMETIMES MOVIE!!!!!! That night it was a Mentalist marathon!!! AWESOME!!:) After hours of the Mentalist it was time to head home and have only ONE more day of Bratt (Brady and Matt)!!! NOT COOL GUYS!!!


Well we reassured the students, on the ride home, that no terrorists are going to be attacking Rishikesh or Woodstock when we return!!!:) Some of the students were joking that each one of them would get personal body guards wherever they went, including the bathroom, and the guard would be set-up on the toilet paper holder with sand bags all around!!! So it was very comforting to know the light-hearted mood could still be had under a terrorist threat!!!:) Get back to camp, have some dinner and call it a night!! And what a night it was!!! In the morning (Friday), AGAIN, we wake up to terrorist talk, but only for the first 15 minutes or so!!! Now one thing I was REALLY looking forward to the entire trip was yoga!!! I really really really wanted to learn traditional Hindi yoga!!! So everyone is ready to go at 7am on the white mats they lay out for us over the sand!!! We see our yoga instructor walk up wearing jeans and a dark blue polo shirt!!! Not to be stereotypical of a yoga instructor, BUT when one thinks of yoga they think of loose, comfortable clothing, very NON-corportate, and long (possibly beard) hair!!! This guy was the COMPLETE opposite!! FIRST red flag!!! So he takes off his jeans, WEARING SHORTS UNDERNEATH, and begins by having us breath in and out slowly, then chanting ummmmmmmm!! Okay kinda off to a normal start!!! Fast forwarding through the entire LAME session, it was basically glorified stretching for an hour with elongated breathing mixed in!! NO explanation on why we breath like that, NO easy-flowing transitions from pose to pose!!! The guy couldn't even explain the poses correctly, and this was to 3 teachers as well, ONE being a freakin PE teacher who kinda specializes in that!!!! Not to mention he focused on our shoulders for like 45 freakin minutes!!! "STRETCH YOUR SHOULDERS" he kept yelling!! I just wanted to yell back, "I'LL STRETCH YOUR FACE!!!" Makes no sense, but just random enough he'd be thrown off by it!!!:) So yeah needless to say yoga was a HUGE disappointment!!! After yoga we had a nice 2 1/2 hour hike planned, along the river and through the woods to a peaceful little village we go!!!! Then to get back to the bus we TOTALLY had to FORD the river!! THAT'S RIGHT OREGON TRAIL STYLE!!! However, sadly, we didn't have any oxen or people with typhoid to ford across!!!:( If only we would have lost 34 pounds of food, 3 oxen, 2 wheels, Jimmy, and Bobby, while fording the river that would have been awesome!!!:) Not so much losing Jimmy and Bobby but you get the point!! A REAL LIFE Oregon Trail mishap!!! IN INDIA!! Eat that Richard Simmons!!!! So we FORDED across the river 3 times, each with a different load to ford, and walked .47km to the bus!!! Friday afternoon was nice and relaxing, BUT with a little RAPELLING thrown in there!!! Rapelling was AWESOME!! It was a 60ft flat cliff!! Just getting up to the starting point was a challenge!! Basically an 80 degree incline of rocks and trees to get to our starting point!! AWESOME!!:) There were 5 of us, Jennie (teacher), me, and 3 students!!! One of the students, Arit, was awesome at it!! We were jumping off the rock and landing back on our feet again, AND even running vertically on it!! Very very fun!! Did it 3 times, and each time used less rope for resistance so I could go down faster!!! Pretty soon it was basically a controlled fall with lots of jumping!! Needless to say Arit and I picked up on it very quickly and shook off the nerves we once had in the beginning!!;) Friday night had dinner by the campfire, then we agreed since it was their last night here they could stay up 'til 11pm!!! I stayed up with them until 10, listening to ghost stories, getting asked how strong/tall I was in high school, why did I grow my beard, what sports did I play, why did I come to India!! So basically the first 15 minutes of campfire was HEY let's ask Mr. Steve 50 questions about his life!! But I found it fun, especially when I told them I was 6ft tall in high school!! They were very jealous, cause apparently every Indian boy wants to be REAL tall, and 6'2" (what I am now) is the perfect height according to them!!!:) Then they began telling ghost stories which were quite impressive!!:) I couldn't stay up all night with them so I headed to bed around 10 and fell RIGHT to sleep!!!:) Saturday morning comes nice and fast and AGAIN it yoga time, yay....... Sure enough it was the same guy as before AND same as before showed up in his corporate attire!!! BLAH!!!! He did the SAME exercises for the first 30 minutes of our session!! Even "STRETCH YOUR SHOULDERS!!! COME ON!! STRETCH THEM!!!!!" At that point I got internally irate!!! This guy is being paid good money for a session I could have taught the students for free!!! AND with clarity and easy to understand instructions!!! BLAH!!! Sooooooo another hour wasted with a stupid yoga instructor, who I'm sure is very successful, so I don't feel bad I'm completely bashing him, cause he's probably in it for the money anyways!!! ON TO A MORE POSITIVE NOTE: BREAKFAST!!!!! Our last breakfast there and was it ever AWESOME!!! Fried eggs, toast, pourage, peanut butter/jam, AND of course chocolate milk!!! After breakfast was done we agreed that the students would clean their tents and pack first BEFORE having leisure time!! OH MY GARBAGE!!! Jennie and I walked around the tents to supervise!!!! Their tents (even the girls) were RIDICULOUSLY MESSY!!! Garbage on the floor, clothes on the floor, etc.!!! AFTER ONLY 5 FULL DAYS OF LIVING THERE!!!! I do NOT want to see their rooms at home!! And yes mom and dad, mine was just as bad in 10th grade, I KNOW, if not worse!!:) But holy crikey brought me back to the good ol' days!!!! So they cleaned and packed for an hour then had some leisure time!!! Had our LAST lunch then said our goodbyes!!! WHAT AN AMAZING ACTIVITY WEEK IT WAS!!!!:) AWESOME!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Ooooooooookay so kinda stopped writing my blog mid-week there last Sunday, SORRY about that!!! MY DEEPEST SINCEREST APOLOGIES!!! For punishment I made myself do push-ups until I could push no more!!! Now one would think that would be fun for me cause I love working out, BUT I had to do push-ups WHILE............WEARING JEANS!!!!!!!! Soooooo uncomfortable and constricting!!! I don't know how your normal people do it!!!!! So I did my push-ups and INSTANTLY when I was done I stripped down and got my pj's back on!! Sooooooooooo much relief it was amazing!!!!:) Okay enough about that BACK to activity week!!! Now I didn't look at my older post to see where I left off, and I'm too lazy to go back and check right now, SO I'm going to guess and assume I left off on Tuesday!!! NOW Tuesday was AMAZING!!! This was the LONGEST day of rafting out of the 4 rafting days!!! We rafted for 5 HOURS!!! It was tiring, beautiful, and relaxing ALL at once!! Oh and add freakin cold too when we jumped in the river!!!!:) BUT I suppose it wasn't as cold as the hikers who hiked the Himalayas during activity week or didn't poo all week cause they were too cold!!! Hmmmmmm wonder who that was!!!;) Don't worry $#%$% you'll remain nameless!!! Rafted for 5 hours and pulled out where we will begin tomorrow (Wednesday)!!! Afternoon back at camp was leisure time again and we kayaked and swam!!!! Had dinner by the campfire then ALL went to bed around 9pm, cause we were EXHAUSTED!!!:) Now Wednesday was by far the most EXCITING rafting day!! WE FACED "THE WALL"!!! A level 4- rapid, which is 2 levels under the highest (6)!!! Yeah it was intense!!!:) Unfortunately, to hear about "The Wall", you'll have to wait until I return, via skype or in person here in India!! That's one adventure that canNOT be told via blog!!! So HA and HA!!!!!:) SKIPPING ahead to Thursday!!! Getting a little time to sleep in, we put-in around 10pm from camp and then rafted to Rishikesh!! FACING 8 RAPIDS!!! The first 3 were intense and awesome!! About levels 3+, 3, and 3-!!! A lot of water coming right at us, FACIAL!!!!:) The last 5 rapids were minor rapids but still fun as HECK and we stood on the raft for 2, and ALL made it!! YEAH we gots good balance here in India!!! Thank you PE class!!!!;) Then we came to a cliff diving part of the rapid, where it was this 25 foot rock overhang!!! Now to make sure it wasn't too shallow one of our guides, Vijay's brother, jumped from the rock into the river first!! HE popped up and sure enough said "SAND HIT BUTT"!!! Soooo no go for cliff diving, kinda disappointing!!! So I decided to use that rock anyway and did some REAL rock climbing!! Granted half my body was in the water while the other half was climbing, using all upper body baby!! OH YEAH it was INTENSE, if I fell the drop would be DEADLY!!!! I might have gotten my hair/bandana wet from the massive 2 foot drop!!!!!!:) There was also a heated springs that we relaxed in!! Mostly heated because the sun shined on this very shallow stream, no lava or anything naturistic like that!!!;) Thursday night we actually went into Rishikesh and walked around for an hour looking at shops and such, THEN celebrated Dev Diwali!! A light celebration where Hindi's lit candles and let them float down the river!! It was to celebrate one of their lady goddess who was the protector of the river if I believe!! Anyways it was SUPER COOL to witness!!! A lot of SINGING AND A LOT OF LIGHTS!!:) Oh and while we were watching, their was this REALLY white guy there that was dancing all white guyish and laughing, and had basically no rhyme or reason why he was dancing but doing it just for the heck of it!! Yeah basically every Indian was looking at him with disgust, and NO IT WASN'T ME!!! I have a little more respect than that, thank you!!! So I slowly moved away from him not to be part of his little dance show!!!! We head back to the bus and during our walk back one of my student's gets a little phone call on her celly!!! Well GREAT NEWS was received, apparently in the newspaper today, 2 terrorists were caught in Chicago and mentioned the LeT's next target was Doon and Woodstock School in Northern India!! Ooooooooh that went over GREAT with the student, and of course she told EVERYONE!! So the entire bus ride home it was, are we going to be blown up when we get back, what's happening, etc. panic continued!!! Except it wasn't scared panic it was more joking around panic!!! Terrorist's cont..........

Rocky and Apollo!!!!

You see we had dogs with us!!!! And you thought I was making all that stuff up!!! JERKS!!!:) Oh and Rocky is on the Left and Apollo is on the Right!!!!!!! How do I know?!? Because Rocky has a heart of the lion and that is OBVIOUSLY the left one!!!!:)

ACTIVITY WEEK 2009 BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT A WEEK IT HAS BEEN!!!!!!!!!!!! Going from CONSTANT sun in Mussoorie to CONSTANT sun AND 80+ degree weather everyday in Rishikesh!!!! It's a rough life sometimes!!!!!:) So as stated in my last blog we (3 staff (Jenny, Aloke, me) and 24 10th graders) left Sunday morning for Rishikesh at 9am and arrived at camp around 12ish!!!!!! As you can see from the picture THIS is home for the next week!!!! Everyone had their own tent (students had a roomie, some two!!!) and it was RIGHT on the Ganga!!!!! I mean you could basically do 18 cartwheels or 21 forward rolls or 7 running forward rolls from your tent to the Ganga and hit water!!!!! Not that I tried or anything just educated guesses!!!!!!!;) We had lunch when we got there then drove 45 minutes up stream and did the basic safety and intro rafting trip!!!! We had 4 raft guides throughout the 6 days we were there: Vijay (head guide), Ram (his bro), Phil (only white guy (besides Amon) on staff who loved going shirtless and doing crunches), and Small but VERY strong (that's what we called him I don't know his real name!!!!:) So they showed us the 4 proper safety rescue techniques: grab lifeline, paddle, throw rope bag, and kayak rescue!!!!:) All were very fun to watch being demonstrated on dry land!!!! We put-in 2 hours East of camp and encountered 3 rapids along the way plus a swimming rapid!!! The 3 rapids we CONQUERED were called 3-Blind Mice!! They were awesome!!! A very nice way to start off our trip, not too hard and overwhelming, but not wussy by any means!!! We lost NO ONE (and when I say lost I'm stressing overboard mostly, not died) in those!!!! Then we came to our swimming rapid which is basically a rapid we jump OUT of the raft in and just float the entire way through!!! Let me say one thing, the Ganga is freakin COLD, at first!!! Nothing like the Polar Plunge, but when the air temp is 80 degrees and you're going into a 40-45 degree river, yeah it's kinda cold at first!!!!! So we jump into the floating rapid and basically it lead us all the way back to camp!!!! Afternoons all week were pretty much leisure time!!! We had options to: rappel, kayak, swim, volleyball, badminton, frisbee, football (soccer), or lay in the sun and RELAX!!!!! Being the first day and our first chance to kayak or swim EVERYONE was in the water either kayaking or swimming in no time after we got back from rafting!!!:) Like I said once you warmed up to the water and moved around it was quite pleasant to be in!!! EXCEPT around 4pm!!! Because we're basically on flat ground in the river valley, once the sun goes behind the MASSIVE hill across the river from us, there is NO sun at all on the river and it's swimming in shade the rest of the day!!! The air temp at that point goes from 80 to 70 REAL fast, and that water is A LOT COLDER!!!!:) Dinners throughout the 6 days had a VERY common theme: CHICKEN AND RICE!!!!!!!! Every freakin night it was some variation of chicken and white rice, oh and can't forget the dal!!!! When we were there for lunches those were better: pasta, noodles, tuna, etc!!! VARIETY!!!!! Sunday night we chilled by the campfire, which started at 6:30pm cause it was BLACK as BLACK by 6-6:30 every night!!! It got dark REAL fast!!!!:) Oh and one thing we couldn't figure out is why all the tents and shelters were tied down with white rope ON WHITE SAND!!!!!!!!!! Whoever thought all tents and whatnot should be tied down with white rope while on the beach is a complete jerk!!!!!!:) It was constant tripping after tripping over ropes the entire week!!!! And at night time one would think the white ropes would be a little more visible in pitch black, YEAH NO, almost decapitated half of my students!!!!:) So we told them to ALWAYS walk around with a torch (flashlight)!!! Monday was no rafting but instead a 5 hour day hike through one of the North valleys, perpendicular to the Ganga!!! We hiked about 500-600 feet upwards throughout the day and had AMAZING views along the way, as seen here in this photogenic opportunity!!!!!! During our hike we added 2 black canine friends that tagged along the entire way!!! I named them Rocky and Apollo!!!!!:) There were a couple checkpoints that we passed throughout our hike, our first one was this little temple that was like any other temple we've passed!!! Then we came to this village that was on top of the highest peak we would climb throughout the hike!!! We got a FULL 360 degree view of the ENTIRE VALLEY!!!! IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!!:) Eating lunch in the village would just be rude, so we hiked a little bit past the village and ate lunch there!!! On our way back through the village, the local village dog (I called him Clubber Lang) was feeling VERY territorial that day towards Rocky and Apollo and TOTALLY got in with it with Rocky!!!! There was a 30 second scuffle, involving blood and Clubber RUNNING AWAY defeated!!! I was like heck yes Rocky and gave him some of my unfinished sandwhich in triumph!!!!! Then sang him Eye of the Tiger!!! We hiked back going basically 70 degrees downward and came to a river bed that was mostly dry, except during monsoon season, and enters into the Ganga!!!! It was obvious a day hike was NOT what the students had in mind for fun that day, BUT, barely little complaining and when they got back to camp it was history cause kayaks and water was waiting for them!!!!! ACTIVITY WEEK CONTINUED!!!!!!!!!!!...................

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Part 2 of manure!!!!!:)

I just need to say that this is not me, YET!!!!!:) I know there is a striking resemblence between Grizzly Adams and myself, and YES, Grizzly Adams did have a beard!!!!:) And he was a manly man!!!!! So all you ladies out there who "think" I need to shave my beard, ummmmmm let's just see who saves you when you're being attacked by a bear!!!!! Money is on the guy with the beard!!!! SO FACIAL!!!! And any guys out there who think the beard should go, well that's just flat out jealousy you can't grow one!!!!;) Okay ANYWAYS back to my week!!! Thursday night came along and you KNOW IT'S SVU NIGHT!! BUT WAIT........more like The Mentalist!!! OR as Megan pronounces it the "MentaLList"!!! Yeah real smooth Megan!!! And no Chris I have no manure for you!!!!:) SO it was laundry night, cause I didn't want to go into activity week smelling worst than usual and I didn't want to torture the students THAT much so soon!!!! Also, Matt came over for the first time and joined our laundry night/SVU/now The Mentalist night!!!! We ordered some Clock Tower Cafe delivery, and we pretty much made their quota for the month with our order!!!! Needless to say it was a LOT of food!!!:) Oh and a little sidenote, finished my entire two loads of laundry BEFORE 10:30pm!!! It was a record!!!! Friday was AWESOME!!! I wore my green tennis shirt all day, and definitely got some comments about that!!!:) i.e. "That beard doesn't go with that bright of shirt", "were you scared that you would get lost today and no one would find you?", "nice face does it come in stupid!!" Okay I made that last one up, but the students were very vocal about their opinions and my AWESOME bright green tennis Shako Sizzler shirt!!!:) Friday night was RELAXING night!!! Went straight home and got caught up in my journal, WHILE downloading the computer version of Risk II!!!! I missed that game too much!!! SOOOOOOOOOO after my journaling pretty much played Risk from 8pm-12pm!! HEY it's an awesome game back off or I will fight you!!!!!! Similar to Catan it's VERY addicting!! You just can't have enough of Yurtusk or Ural!!!!:) THIS MORNING (Saturday) woke up with NO alarm at 9am, always feels good to do that!!! Had my carbo breakfast and went on my nice relaxing 1 hour 32 minutes 14 second run!!! BEST part of the run BY FAR had to be running just past the Chai Tea Stop at the 5k mark, the EXACT turnaround spot for our very first hike that first weekend here!!!!:) I run past Chai and coming around the corner I come to the most AMAZING VIEW I have seen yet: at LEAST a 30 MILE STRETCH OF THE HIMALAYA'S!!!!! It was literally come around the corner and BAM!!!!! HELLO HIMALAYA'S!!!!!!!! It would have been a wider stretch but two hills were in the way on the right and left, but still seeing that much of the Himalaya's really puts into perspective the AWESOMENESS they are!!!!! They are sooooo TALL!!!!:) So I almost ran off the cud because of a trance at the view!!!! Stared at them the entire run down the hill towards Himalayan Weavers and back again to the Chai stop!!!!!:) Very AWESOME!!! And when I get my NEW CAMERA totally coming back and taking a picture!!!!:) And then saving that pic so NO ONE can see it until I get back to Minnesota, a little present for all of you, and to torture you!!!!:) After my run walked to Chardukan and had some apple/cinamon waffles and a nice relaxing afternoon!!!! NOW it's time to go and PACK FOR A WEEK OF FUN IN THE SUN!!!!! Oh and p.s. for all you Minnesotans out there, immediately after my run and before lunch I laid out in the SUN shirt off for a good 30 minutes in a beautiful 75 degree day!!!! AND THIS IS A DAY BEFORE NOVEMBER!!!!!!:) Can't find that anywhere in the midwest!!!!!;) Please don't be too jealous!!!! ALRIGHT UNTIL NEXT SUNDAY WHEN I RETURN FROM ACTIVITY WEEK HAVE AN AWESOME FANTASTIC AND AMAZING WEEK EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) I'll be thinking about you all when I'm in Rishekesh and in 85 degree sunny weather RAFTING down the Ganges!!! Again try not to be too jealous!!!! I really miss the snow right now..............:) BUMBLEBEETUNA!!!!!

Was that real manure? NOOOOOOO!!:) But CATAN will have his revenge!!!!!

Well I have to start this post with the EXCITEMENT OF ACTIVITY WEEK STARTING TOMORROW (SUNDAY)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Let's start off with MONDAY NIGHT = SETTLER OF CATAN TOURNEY!!!!!!! Freakin AMAZING!!!!! If you've never heard of Settlers of Catan (like me going into the tourney) it's basically a combination of Monopoly, Risk, and an entirely unique game in itself!! Google it, it's an awesome strategy game!!!! Sooooooo being huge nerds Monday night, we had 5 tables with 4-5 people at each one, with the winner of each table going into the championship round!!!! Sadly I came in a gentleman's 4th out of 4 at my table!! Table E (my table) was Greg, Joy, Nicole, and myself!!!! And holy schnikee did I see an entirely NEW side of all 3 of them!!! Sooooooooo competitive and cut throat, it was AWESOME!!!!:) I think Nicole may have been a little perturbed with me and my loudness whenever something good or bad happened!!!! AND then we even had CONTROVERSY at our table!!! So the objective is to get 10 victory points; you can accumulate points by either: building houses, settlements, longest road, largest army, and development cards that have victory points on them!!! WELL that last one is where "SETTLERS OF CATAN CONTROVERSY '09" comes in to play!!!!!! Greg had 9 points and ended his turn, not realizing he had a victory card in his possession, he clearly stated his turn was done and then BAM played the card and claimed victory!!! This would not have been a big deal if Nicole wasn't about to win it on her turn which was NEXT!!!! WELL the Dave's (Boven/Wiebe) and Greg discussed the ruling with Boven and Greg agreeing you can play the card WHENEVER, and that's how they interpreted it in the rules book!! However, Wiebe disagreed and said you can play as many victory cards as you want ON YOUR TURN!!! Well sad story for Nicole, the Bovenmeister made the final decision and declared Greg the winner, with Wiebe and Nicole not too happy!!!!:) I just got out of there as fast as possible cause I thought there was going to be a Settler's Masacre at hand!!!! OF course it didn't help that during the entire last 15 minutes of the game Matt was pushing Nicole's buttons and Greg and I formed an alliance against Nicole!!!:) So Team Ramrod (Greg and I) claimed a TEAM VICTORY when he won!!!!:) Well after that INTENSE ending I went and played in the consolation game, while Greg went on to the Championship table!!! Yeah I didn't deserve to be in the consolation game, but being addicted I quickly ran over and claimed my spot!!!;) OH on top of everything there was SOOOOO much food!! Like 10 pizza's, 8 of them home made YUM, fruit, vegetables, drinks (juice), ANNNNNNND BOVEN'S HOMEMADE COOKIES!!!! Yeah they could sell them, seriously, they are amazing!!!!!:) The whole tourney started at 6pm and the Championship/Consolation round didn't even get done until 10:45pm!! IT was an awesome night!!!!!:) On the way home we walked along the Eyebrow, and I've never walked it at night, and let me tell you the view at one point of the path was BREATHTAKING!!!! Could see for miles upon miles AND all of Dehradun was lit up and beautiful!!!!!:) Well besides Monday night, the entire week kind of FLEW by!!! Staff night on Wednesday was NO WHERE near as fun as last week's, mostly because everyone was at the Class of '74 dance at Hanifl Centre, so it was basically Dave, Joy, Scott and myself playing 2 on 2 basketball for an hour!!!!! MORE OF THIS WEEK CONT....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oh Chitty you make my heart go wild!!!!:) WHO NEEDS A PICTURE WHEN YOU CAN START OFF WITH THIS!!!!!:) I forgot to mention that Woodstock was having a wedding reception in the afternoon on Saturday, meaning for lunch we got WEDDING FOOD, which was AMAZING!!!!:) If only there were weddings and events every weekend!!! After my NO go of finding a bike shop ANYWHERE on the Western part of Mussoorie, I headed back buying some random things here and there: mini notebooks to keep log of my workouts in, rope to climb trees, and lip balm!!! YEAH it's very dry and being 7000ft up kinda makes one lips extra chappy!!! MY LIPS HURT REAL BAD!! Oh and the rope, yeah not that random!! There are PLENTY of trees around Mussoorie, and besides giving us oxygen why can't we have a little fun with them and climb them!!!! Going to make a figure of 8 knot, throw it over a branch and start climbing!! An excellent upper body workout!!! And if I want to train old school, fill an old sack with rocks in it, throw that over the tree and start pulling it up!!! Excellent for the lats and tri's!!!:) WHAT I'M A PE TEACHER, what do you expect!!!! I'm going to go relax and read a book?!?! Come on!!! BORRRRRRRING!!!!:) So on the way home I decided to stop by the Farley's and wouldn't you know who was outside reading a book and looking like an old lady all wrapped up in her blanket!??! Megan!!! But on the plus side, after I told her she looked like an old lady all wrapped up in her blanket reading a book she invited me over for dinner and a movie with Jenny and her!!! I don't know how I still get invited over with all the stuff I harass her with!!:) Well we ate some delicious pasta and watched Pirates of the Carribean #1!!!!! AWESOME!!! Then we had Kate/Elsa's Halloween party later on so Megan and Jenny had to get their costumes ready for that!! For the first time in 5 years I had no costume or ambition to wear one!!! BUT when I get back to the states that will change, since Mussoorie doesn't really celebrate Halloween, don't worry for Christmas though it's on!!!!:) Jenny dressed up as your black ally cat with SHARPIED ON WHISKERS, tail, and all black outfit!!! Megan was your ridiculous pumpkin/jack-o-lantern!!!! Wore an orange Kurta, and taped a face on their including a SQUARE nose, who puts on a square nose for a lantern of jack?!?! COME ON!!!:) Well we were all ready to go, and before heading over to Kate's Jenny and Megan wanted to show off their costumes to some 5th graders that were sleeping over at the Farley's!!! Well they all loved Jenny's cute cat outfit!! Then Megan showed off her pumpkin and they didn't know WHAT she was right away, THEN one of the girls yelled out "she's a BUTTKIN!!!" haha YEAH they said buttkin!!! Even though Megan thought she heard pumpkin!!! Ummmm NO it was definitely BUTTKIN!!!!:) And being the nice friend I thought it would only be appropriate to let everyone know at the party about Megan's new nickname!!! Which held it's ground when I called her Buttkin and she turned her head to look at me!!!! POINT PROVEN!!!:) We hung out at the party for a couple of hours, Jenny made some freakin sweet finger cookies!! They were cookies that looked like fingers with jam at the end so it looked like it was cut-off, then almonds for finger nails!! Very clever!!!! I left around 11:30pm cause it was WAY past my bed time!!!:) This morning woke up at a wonderful 9am and made some breakfast!!!! Did some writing in my journal under a BEAUTIFUL blue and clear sunny sky!!!! WHICH this is my NEW journal now because my old one is all full with 100 DAYS OF INDIA IN THERE!!!! That's right on Thursday it was our 100th DAY IN INDIA!!!!! And my journal has EXACTLY 100 days in it, which is kinda cool!!! Now with my new one who knows how many days it will hold but I'm sure the next 100 are going to be JUST as awesome as the first 100!!!!:) Mostly because in these next 100 will be WINTER BREAK!!!!!:) TRAVEL TIME!!! After journal writing I am GOING to go on a nice little mini hike down the back hillside behind Mt. Hermon to Freezer's Point, or whatever it's called and relax there by CLIMBING SOME TREES WITH MY NEW ROPE!!!!!!!:) IT'S CLIMB TIME!!! If you don't hear from me next weekend, don't worry I didn't fall down the cud too far!!!;) HAVE AN AMAZING SUNDAY EVERYONE AND HAPPY PRAYING!!!!:)


Sooooooo writing in my journal this morning (Sunday morning) I look up and what do I happen to see, THE HIMALAYA'S!!!!! It is sooo clear and beautiful this morning!!! It makes me think, I could be living at Monte Cristo right now and looking at a giant cement building and some parts of Dehradun!!! WOW thats a hard choice in scenaray!! Not to mention being up 7000 ft. and having the cleanest air EVER at Mt. Hermon!!!!!! And now I bet you're wondering why the heck Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and where did that even come from!! WELL I'll tell you nosey Nancy!!! If you recall in the movie, they are flying, in Chitty, over and around the Swiss Alps!!! Seeing the Himalaya's this morning and the clarity of them made me think of that same view and how awesome it is!!! And how much I want a flying car so I can fly to them and climb them!!!:) SO THERE!! Not so random after all!!!!!!:) As for this week, it was another SPECTACULAR week, mostly because ALL major sporting events are OVER with for the rest of the semester!! Having 4 straight weeks of SOMETHING major on a Friday (InterHouse/School CC, InterHouse/School Sports Day) is freakin tiring!! Now it's all systems go for focusing on teaching and fitness plans!!! Let's start off the week in review on Wednesday night: STAFF NIGHT!!! And this is mainly for Nicole to read, cause she MISSED this staff night, so this is IN HER FACE!!!!!! So I don't know why we didn't do or think of this earlier in our previous staff nights, BUT after a good hour of climbing I got into cartwheel and forward roll mode, THEN thinking wait we have a GYMNASTICS room!!! Got the key, and from 8-9pm WE WERE 1st GRADERS AGAIN and went into our GYMNASTICS ROOM!!!! We had jumping over random objects contests using the mini trampolines!!! Which Laura was so good at!!!;) We turned the blue mats into a king of the hill ring!!!!! Some even set up obstacle courses!!!! IT WAS AWESOME!!!!:) Needless to say we were SOOOO sore the next day!! Waking up with stiff EVERYTHINGS: necks, shoulders, butts, and of course medula oblingota's!!!:) Friday was amazing as well since it was a Middle School hike day, AND I had to stay back and teach high school so half of my classes were cancelled due to NO students!!! A very NICE relaxing end to an amazing week of relaxation!! A double whammy!! OH NOT TO MENTION SVU NIGHT ON THURSDAY!!!! It's slowly becoming one of my favorite shows to watch here, not, of course, beating Mr. Bean animated!!!!!!;) Then yesterday was another fantastic Saturday!!! Waking up at 7am to workout in the fitness room ALL BY MYSELF!!!:) After our InterSchool Sports meeting went to meet Matt and Brady in the bazaar, but couldn't find them so walked ALL the way to The Mall on the very Western edge of Mussoorie and back again!! Tried to find a bike shop to buy a bicycle, BUT no luck!!! Chitty chitty continued...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DIWALI IS A GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

HOLY SCHNIKEE I WAS SOOOOO PUMPED TO HEAR DIWALI WAS THIS WEEKEND!!!! My first thought was The Office and how HILARIOUS Dwight and Michael were at the Diwali celebration!!!!!!!! Sorry gang, no wedding proposals yesterday!!!!!;) Okay well Saturday morning (Diwali) I got up at 7:30am, which YES sadly is sleeping in for me now (usual wake-up of 4:45am)!!!!! Made some wonderful breakfast, and by made I mean pouring my milk on my honey oats cereal and TOASTING a bagel with my TOASTER!!! Which is still the BEST investment I have bought yet!!!!!!:) Ate breakfast then decided today was a perfect long run day!!! So after breakfast I put on my running shorts, tied up my shoes and just ran!!! I ran Northeast towards the Himalayan Weavers on Tehri Road, which if you don't live in Mussoorie, a road similar to Duluth's Jean-Duluth Rd. except WAY more extreme uphill and downhill!!! And if you don't know Duluth that well, ummmm GO visit Duluth and you'll know what I'm talking about!!!:) So ran that for a lovely/relaxing 1 1/2 hours!!! Haven't done that since I've been here!! So that felt AWESOME!!!:) Total mileage was 2.35 miles and an incline of almost 600 feet over my run!!:) Oh and that's at 6972 to 7562 feet ABOVE sea level!!!! Now comparing that to Grandma's Marathon of starting at 740 feet and finishing at 610 feet above sea level!!! YEAH just a little difference!!!:) After my run did some core workout and stretching on the little grass lawn we have in front of our Mt. Hermon complex!!! IN THE SUN!! AND from where I was you could SEE THE SNOW PEAKS OF THE HIMALAYA'S IN THE DISTANCE!!!! IT WAS AWESOME!!!! After that met my fellow Woodstockians at Chaya Cafe and ate lunch around noon, then explored the bazaar a little to see the Diwali decorations!! Not a whole lot....YET!!! Just wait til night!!! After that we walked back and got ready for our HUGE HIKE to Witch's Hill, which took us all 45 minutes to reach the top from Hanson Field!! YEAH it was intense!!:) BUT once on top it was AMAZING!! We could see North, East, South, and a little West of us!! Almost a 360 view!!! On the top there was a meadow EXACTLY like Little House on the Prairie's ending where she jumps and they freeze!!!! WELL one of our hikers, who cause of embarassment will remain nameless, did that jump for a picture and TOTALLY crashed and burned the landing!! The weeds were really thick and their foot got caught in it and BAM hard landing stomach first!!!:) HILARIOUS!!!!:) After we reached the top Laura and Kate had to get back to Hanson for a little ultimate frisbee, but didn't want to go the exploratory way/the COOL new way down!!! So Cookie, Dave and I after eating our food the Hustwaite/Swanson's gave us (who were also up there) to enjoy left on the East side of Witch's Hill instead of North which is Laura and Kate's exit way!!!! We hiked down a very STEEP and loose graveled path which eventually lead us to the low road!!! Walked down the road and found the MINE Harvey told us about!! Dave and I, of course, had to go explore it!! Well we got about 20 feet into it when there was no more to explore!! We ran out of light and the end of it had a very small hole that went straight down, another day!!!!:) Arrived at Hanson by 3:45, BEAT Laura, in her face!!!! Played an INTENSE game of Ultimate Frisbee!!! By intense I mean 2 went down with injuries and I accidentally shoulder tackled Stephen by using him as my stopping device BUT he did not land on the ground just a HARD collision!!! However, Aman and I collided with him on the ground and me dragging him by his arm for a couple feet!!! HEY Hanson is freakin slippery!! Ask my relay partner Tim, who pulled a tendon in his foot on that grass!!! DANGEROUS!!! After ultimate, walked back up to SouthHill to visit the Hills and nothing was going on there like planned, so headed home made some tuna sandwhich and carrots for dinner!!! Was planning on heading back down to SouthHill to party BUT after the shower the long day finally caught up and I was exhausted!! SO crawled in bed with my pj's, started to write in my journal and was OUT by 9pm!!! YEAH EXTREME NIGHT!!!!:) THAT WAS DIWALI!!!! Oh and all that night it was BAM BOOM POW BAM BOOM fireworks constantly!!! Except it was just the loud cannon firing sounds, no actual works in the air making sweet lights!!!!! LAME!!!!! Or maybe there was later, who knows!!! But a very nice Diwali it was!!!!!!!!


Friday morning!!!! The skies are mostly blue and beautiful!!!! The smell of competition is in the air and Woodstock is feeling it!!!!:) The Woodstock students are dressed uniformly in their black and gold Woodstock track suits (looking VERY spiffy)!!! Opening ceremonies start at 9:30am sharp with a couple speeches from esteemed guests and the principal of Wyneberg-Allen (the host of the 12th InterSchool Sports Day/ "Olympics")!!! After the speeches, as seen in the picture, the 4 schools get in marching lines and march the track once then assemble as seen above!!! Now in India marching is a HUGE deal!!! W.A., Waverly Covenent (all girls school), and St. George's College (all guys school) practice marching everyday!!! Woodstock.......we practiced once, and that was Tuesday, 3 days before Sports Day!! So needless to say for the practice we had, we NAILED IT!!!:) The set-up of the day was very similar to our InterHouse Sports Day, track would run their races while the field events would do their thing in the middle!!! As a school Woodstock placed 3rd in both boys and girls divisions!!! Which I have to mention was out of 3 schools!! YEAH!!! YOU KNOW IT!!!!:) Hey for the practice we had, that is exactly what we expected and could hope for!! We had fun!! Individiually we had some very nice performances from our women, and some younger division boys!!!!!! But like I said at least we had a blast being there!!! During lunch time I was invited to the V.I.P. lunch where ALL the big whigs eat lunch and the view from their cafeteria was equally as amazing from our tea garden at Woodstock!!!! You could see for miles!!!!! W.A. sits right on the edge of the hill due North of Dehradun, so it's a pretty incredible view during October and November!!!!!! After Sports Day was done with you could see a BIG sigh of relief from Ajay and myself, BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING NOW UNTIL NEXT SEMESTER!!!! CC's and Sports Day's are DONE WITH!!!! We can actually focus primarily on teaching again!!!:) Not that we weren't before, but now it's ALL teaching!!!;) Friday night I stopped over at Jenny's and Megan's to see what they were up to and BAM hello birthday party for one of their/our students!!!! It was a blast!!!:) But once they left at 9pm to be back for check-in the adults had our fun with a little pre-Diwali celebration with watching THE DIWALI EPISODE OF THE OFFICE on the Mr. and Ms. Farley's projector!!! NOW I say Ms. Farley, even though it is Mrs., because all of the students that were there for the birthday party called Nicole Ms. Farley, because they thought Chris and Nicole were just dating, and they happened to have the same last name!! It was HILARIOUS!!!!:) And I think one even thought they were brother and sister!!! PRICELESS!!!!!:) So we watched 3 episodes of The Office: Diwali, Gay Witch Hunt, and Summer Lose Weight Challenge (where JIM ASKS PAM TO MARRY HIM!!!) (in your face Jay)!!!!!:) IT WAS A PERFECT PRE-NIGHT TO DIWALI!!!! WHICH WAS ON SATURDAY!!!!!! More of that too come......

p.s. AT SPORTS DAY ON FRIDAY, in the morning their song that was playing in the background was the whistling song from GREAT ESCAPE!!!! That's right my hiking crew, OUR HIKING WHISTLING SONG WAS THEIR MAIN THEME!!!!!!! HECK YES!!!!!;) I have video which I'll have to show you!!!!! Everyone else, I'll explain this when you're older!!!:)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall just isn't the same here!!!!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO finally being caught up with the blogs feels SOOOOOO good!!!!:) I can actually write stuff now and not have to strain my brain and try and think about the last month and what happened!!! Anyways being away now from Minnesota for 3 months there are definitely some things I miss!!! First and foremost family and friends!!! Granted if I was still in Minnesota NO ONE would be around cause they're all away from the metro anyways, but I'd be closer to them than half way across the world!!!!:) One thing I really miss is the Minnesota fall!!! Yeah, living there for 23 years it can get repetitious and tedious, BUT now that I'm actually gone from it for the entire fall season there are definitely some little thins about Minnesota falls I miss that one day I will want to live forever in!! One is the coloring of the leaves and the cool weather that comes with it!!! The air is so fresh and perfect at that time of year!! Another thing I find I'm missing are the apple orchards!!! Picking apples during the fall with my mom is something I did last year, that I hadn't done in such a long time and it was the BEST time ever!!! Can't find that in India, especially not being able to pick the apples off the trees and eating them!! Freakin die of polio if you did that here!!! But not in Minnesota, you can pick as many as you want and eat as many as you want while you pick!!! And they are fresh and delicious!!!!!:) Going to a pumpkin patch and picking out that perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween!!! The leaves rustling under your feet as you walk, and throwing dried out cow manuer at friends as you walk through the field!!! Then get home and leave the extra pumpkin you got for a roommate sit on the floor all winter and become molded to it when you finally check on it in the Spring!!! Mike that is still your fault!!!:) Heck also Sunday football games!!!! Sitting around the tv with friends and family watching the Vikings or whoever your favorite team is kick the crap out of the Packers with their former quarterback they've had for years, or whoever your rival team is!!!:) HA in your face Packer Nation!!!! All the while you have a bar-b-que going grilling up that burger or hot dog, or brautwurst!!!! Then after the game sitting on the porch or outside lawn with the temp being just cold enough you need a sweatshirt!!! Finally being able to sit outside at night under the stars without a million misquitoes biting your flesh and buzzing around your ears!!!! Also the MINNESOTA STATE FAIR!!! Something almost every Minnesotan looks forward to in the fall!! Fried food on a stick, crazy inventions in the Agriculture building!!! Weather that is perfect for being outside for 13 hours straight from sunrise to sunset!!! All makes for one expensive, but fun day!!! All of these thoughts are in my head today, cause on Thursday when I was over at the Mark's house they had a Duluth picture book, not as random as you think, their daughters go to St. Scholastica in Duluth!!! I was looking at all of the pictures and I'm like what the heck, WHERE WAS I in Duluth to miss all of these wonderful sites!! I couldn't believe the pictures that were taken right under my nose!!! You live in one place for such a long time, that place being Minnesota, and you don't even bother really "seeing" what is around you, and what opportunities you have to see beautiful streams or rocks or leaves or nature trails!!! I thought I had to get away to India to see nature at it's finest, which I cannot lie it has been absolutely amazing here, but looking at that book there are equally enough chances back in the states to find that beauty in nature I sought out for!! Now I'm not writing this because I'm feeling homesick and I cry myself to sleep each night thinking I made this horrible mistake!! Trust me NOT DOING THAT!!!!!:) I absolutely love it here and can see myself here for 3-5 years!!! All I'm saying is I definitely know now that I eventually will move back to the states and settle someplace with seasons!!!! Coming to India I had no idea what to expect!! And right now they have exceeded all of my expectations!! However, one question I could not know until I arrived and become settled was how long I could live here!! Could it be forever? Could it only be a year? Could it only be 6 months? Well I know for sure I will be here for my entire 3-year contract, and maybe another 1-2 years on top of that!! But there are so many things I want to do/miss in the states that I know I eventually will return to live the rest of my life there!!! Living in Delhi for 3 days solitifies that I will NOT live someplace hot year round! No thanks to that!!! I think what has made living Mussoorie such an easy transition is the weather!! It is SO similar to Minnesota, just minor difference seperate a Minnesota fall and Mussoorie fall, which is comforting!!!:) And the size of the town!! After leaving Delhi and Dehradun, returning to a nice peaceful town like Mussoorie, similar to Shakopee and Duluth make the living pleasant and relaxing!! One option I will never pursue, living in a HUGE city!! Noooo thank you!!! Simpler the better!! As I eat my PBJ with potato chips for lunch!!!:) Oh you better believe you can find PBJ in India!!! You go to the bazaar, buy some whole wheat bread, jam, and peanut butter and BAM pbj Indian style!!!:) Also, what's really nice about Mussoorie is you still have the Western food option!! Yeah when you first arrive having all of these exotic choices is awesome, but guaranteed in the long run you will crave that pizza or pbj sandwhich every once in a while, and it's comforting to know you can find it here!!!;) Well that's all I got on my mind for today!!! Thanks for listening!! Miss all of you still so much!!! However, would not trade this experience in for anything, STILL VERY VERY VERY GLAD I am here in India!!!!!!!:)

The Most BESTEST Feeling a Teacher Can Ever Have!!!!:)

So the best part of Sports Day hands down was Kritika (Senior Girl) coming in second in the 400 meter!!! Now usually one gets excited for winning an event, but not this time!!! In practices before Sports Day, Kritika asked me to time her and give her some running tips about the 400 meter race!!! I watched her run and noticed she would always get tired after the first lap!! So I told her, Kritika you're starting off way too fast and on race day it will be worse cause of racer anxiety!! Your time should be slower on your first lap than second!! So the next day I saw her she reversed it, ran a couple seconds slower and faster on her second lap and improved her time by 5 seconds!! The smile she had on her face when I told her her faster time was priceless!! Definitely made my day!!:) So the last day of practice before Sports Day, she showed up one last time determined to master the 400!!!! It was obvious she was MOST concerned about this event!! I told her, okay for race day on Friday, you want to shoot around 44-45 seconds on your first lap, then really turn it on on your second lap!! Shooting for a time around 1:27!! So 45 seconds first lap, 42 seconds second lap!! She understood and I knew she believed she could do it, there was a definite confidence in her!! Race day comes and she comes up to me, looking very nervous for the race!! She asks, what if I keep my pace and all of the other racers are out in front!! I said, Kritika do not worry about the other racers, you know how to run your race so run it like we've been practicing!! "On your mark.......set.......GO" race starts and what do you know ALL but 1 of the racers are in front of Kritika 3/4 around the first lap!! I'm like crap she's going to give in and try and catch them and not run her race, BUT she does NOT!!!!!!!!!!! I look at the lap time on her first lap, it could not have been any more perfect it was 44 seconds EXACTLY!! I knew this was going to be her best race!!! Coming around the first turn on the second lap she is getting stronger while the others are fading!! BOOM passes 1 girl, THEN another, THEN another, all of a sudden she's in 2nd, coming from 5th!! Coming around the last turn she was on PERFECT pace!!! Crosses the finish line AT................1:25!!! Her best time yet!!!!!:) She had the BIGGEST SMILE ON HER FACE!!!! She found me afterwards and thanked me like a thousand times!!! I was sooooo freakin proud of her, trying to hold back some little tears!!!!!! The way she was smiling and proud of herself was the BEST thing I could ever witness as a teacher/coach!!!!!!! For other people, this may be some minor event, but as a teacher this is why we become one!!!!!!!!!!:) No money in the world could replace that moment right there!!!! AND on top of that, her second place in the 400 mt. solidified her the I.H. Championship for all Senior girls!!!! An award that goes to the TOP points earner in their division!!!!! Her face when accepting that award was also priceless!!!!!!!!! She was on cloud nine, and it could not have gone to a better recipient!!!!!!!!:) So ending on a note like that was amazing!!!!:) Definitely keeps me going as a teacher and reminds me why I am one to begin with!!! Moments like that come so rare for teachers now-a-days, that once you get one all of the hardwork and long hours at school payoff, even if it's a single moment like that!!!!!:)

End of Quarter Break to NOW/PRESENT/CURRENT!!!!!:)

We wake up at a lovely 5am to pack all of our things and check-out of the Metropolis, which in the end turned out to be a pretty decent hotel, and for the quality of the room we stayed in 1600 wasn't too bad, BUT still not going there again due to principal!!!;) 6:20 we arrive at the New Delhi train station to catch our 6:50am train out of here!!! The 6 hour train ride went by super fast, half the time we either were sleeping, reading, or doing fitness programs!! Of course I was the only one doing the fitness programs!!!;) After exiting the train station in Dehradun, it was a Woodstock reunion it appeared!! AT LEAST 40 different Woodstockians we saw from Dehradun train station to Woodstock main gate!!! Most of them (students) we saw at the McDonald's we ate at in Dehradun before heading up the winding roads of Mussoorie!!! Once unpacked from the taxi Megan and I chilled in the LL for a while until dinner, which was EVER so good!! RICE AND DAL, yummmmmmmmmm it's good to be back!!!!:) Then called it a night and headed home!!! Since quarter break it's been ALL prep for Sports Day which happened yesterday (Friday)!!!! Monday, not Tuesday (rain), and Wednesday was finishing up the PD Final events!!! On Thursday there was NOTHING AT ALL after school for the first time in a while, because they had to get the field ready for Friday!!!! I took FULL advantage of this and went and got some much needed moola from the bank and groceries from the bazaar!!!! I've been wanting to do this since Sunday and nothing was going to stop me!!!!!:) I got all of my things, INCLUDING FRESH WARM BAGELS FROM CHAI CAFE!!!!!! That's right oven fresh bagels!! I had one and it was the BEST thing I've tasted in India so far!!! Yeah I'm Western whatever!!!!! You can take me out of America but you will NEVER take my love for bagels out of me!!! Bagels, cereal, and fresh fruit could be my meals for the rest of my life and it would be AMAZING!!!!!:) Continuing on, I arrived back at school and waited around there until 6:20 when I headed over to the Mark's for some dinner!!! There place, which I've been over there once before, is so amazing!!! Definitely you could tell they've been settled in for a very long time!!! 25+ years long time!!!:) For dinner we had CHICKEN BALLS!!! An Indian version of meatballs!!!!:) Still, nothing will ever beat my grandma's meatballs, potatoes, green bean caserole, AND rolls!!!! But the chicken balls were pretty decent, especially since they were mixed in with these very splendid tasting potato slices!!!:) There was also rice, more chicken, and some other Indian foods I will not even ATTEMPT to spell or sound out!!!!:) DESSERT was equally AMAZING!!! Sanjaya made this DELICIOUS apple crumbler, WITH ice cream (vanilla or butterscotch)!!! I had 3 slices of apple crumbler with 2 scoops of butterscotch and one vanilla!!!! A perfect ending to a delicious meal!!!:) Moving right along to Friday (yesterday) iiiiiiiiiiiiit's SPORTS DAY!!!!!!!! SLEPT IN until a wonderful 7am, hey when waking up at 4:45am everyday, yeah that's sleeping in so back off!!!! And yes it's my choosing so I'm not complaining, just explaining!!! Walked outside to a BEAUTIFUL FRIDAY MORNING!! Now it has been raining the past 4 days, so we were worried about it raining and ruining our field, BUT not a cloud in the sky!! PERFECT WEATHER BABY!!!!:) Arrived at Hanson Field around 7:30 and helped get the field in order!! We had the: shotput, high jump, long jump, 100 mt, and track all set-up by 8:30am!!!! So yeah there were still a LOT of events to be had!!! Similar to CC InterHouse, there was bonus points awarded to the house with most spirit, so again students showed up in their colors, face paint, signs, AND the Eagles and Merlins even had MASCOTS!!! It was hilarious!! Dave Boven was dressed up like a Merlin by his student, HILARIOUS!!! And Eriko was dressed up like an Eagle!!!! All very impressive!!!!! Events started and my position for the day was Chief Timer!! So my timing crew and I were timing races alllll day!! I had 2 different crews, an a.m. and a p.m.!!!! They were equally good crews!! Lunch was served down at Hanson and after lunch was the relay portion of the day!! The 4 x 100 (4 people running 100 meters each)!!! We also had a Relay Invitational where 3 other schools (W.A., WC, and St. G) showed up to race against our best teams!! Yeah, similar to CC, we got SMOKED!!! Hey just wait for basketball season!! That's OUR sport right there baby!!!!!! Ajay's pride and joy!!! The very last part of the day was by the far the most fun!!! STAFF RELAY!!! Now in the past, Ajay told me, each staff house provides one team to race against each other!! The women did this, having 1 team per house!! Now the men being a little more competitive and active, I know surprising!!!! Men acting like that!! The Eagles AND Merlins alone had 3 teams each!!! While the Condors only had 1, which apparently all they needed!! Cause for the 4th or 5th straight year in a row Ajay's Condor's relay team took gold!! AND THEY ACTUALLY RECEIVED MEDALS!!!! Now my Eagles team consisted of 3 very tall men, I figured with long strides we'd have an excellent chance, like Usian Bolt!!! However, and I felt sooo bad for Tim, Tim our 3rd leg pulled either a tendon or fractured a bone coming around the last bend before handing the baton off to me, the anchor!!! SO our team finished dead last sadly, but more sadly was Tim injuring his foot, cause he felt soooo bad that happened!!! That was a bummer ending to a very FUN day, and Tim was looking so forward to running!! Well sports day ended with an awards ceremony!! Which by the way the EAGLES WON THE SPIRIT AWARD FOR THE 2nd STRAIGHT YEAR!! AND ALSO WON THE HIGH SCHOOL INTERHOUSE SPORTS DAY AWARD!! Meaning we had the most points at the end of the day out of ALL the events combined!! A WIN WIN WIN SITUATION!!!!!! However, out of EVERYTHING, and all that happened on Sports Day my favorite moment BY FAR, was Kritika coming 2nd in the 400 meter race!!! I'll explain that reason coming up....

IT'S TAJ TIME!!!!!!:)

BEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEP!!!! It's that time to wake up and catch the 6:20am train from Delhi to Agra!!!!! Yeah it's freakin early and we get up and head out for the town that hold the most intriguing landmark in India: The Taj Mahal!! A question EVERYONE I know will ask when I get back is: how was the Taj Mahal!! When honestly, yes the Taj Mahal is very cool and amazing to go see, but at least for me personally I was/am WAY more excited for the Himalayas and overall views of Mussoorie than seeing the Taj!! The Taj is something you need to see when you visit India, no doubt, BUT once you've seen it, yeah never going back there again!!! Seen it done it!!! PLUS if you're not Indian it costs you 350 TIMES MORE than it does for Indian locals!!! Indian locals pay 10rp, I (and other non-natives) pay 750rp!! MESSED UP?!?! YEAH!!!:) That's 75 TIMES more that we have to pay!!! I can understand double the price or maybe even triple, but that much of a difference, come on!!! Any Indian government official when visiting America should DEFINITELY have to pay the price for that!! Cause it's just not the Taj as well they do that for, we had to pay the same ridiculous amount for the Agra Fort as well, and I'm sure other famous landmarks do the same thing!! When they come to America we should jack up our prices for them and see how they like it!!! Ridiculous!!! BUT anyways the Taj was amazing to see!!! When you first enter you do not realize how massive it is, then you see it and the people next to it from a distance looks like ANTS!!!!! It has to be at least 500 feet high!!!! The line though was probably the most entertaining part of the Taj!! Just like the Vatican, Washington DC, etc. there is a HUGE line to see inside the Taj!! Which I told Matt would be funny if all that was inside the Taj was an old man on a rocking chair hitting a rubber ball against the paddle and saying "HA! Sucks to be you!!":) But there wasn't sadly!! The line though, holy chaos!!!! No ropes or strings guiding people, we had to form our own lines!! And of course in India or anywhere that means COMPLETE PANDAMONIUM!!!! The guards there were LITERALLY pushing tourists/Indian natives around like punching bags!!!! This one man was carrying a child, and I'm like there's no way he's going to be pushed out of line......BAM pushed by the guard and he almost fell down the stairs!!! CRAZY!!! But so many people tried budging/succeeded at budging in line!!! Oh it is something you need to witness for yourself!! We get inside the Taj finally after an hour wait and it's pretty cool!! Inside you'll also have to see for yourself, not going to tell you!!!:) Also, no pics were allowed inside so don't try looking on my facebook to find out!!! HA!!! We leave the Taj around 4pm and decide to hit up the McDonald's in the BIG BAZAAR we saw on the way walking to the Taj!!! This place is the epiphony of a Western Mall!!! Stores forming a square in the center, little kids play place in the middle of the square, and of course and information kiosk!!! We ate at the McDonald's and then walked around the mall for a while!! Then with some spare time we decided we could make the Agra Fort as well, so we found ourselves an auto-rikshaw and drove to the Fort!!! The fort was amazing, not as amazing as the Taj, but it was up their!! Take Fort Snelling and multiply the overall area by 4, that was the size of Agra Fort!!!! IT WAS HUGE!!!! You could literally fit 4 Fort Snellings in it, and we only got to see 1/4th of it!!! LAME!! But it was very detailed and a lot more spiritual than I anticipated!!!:) After Agra Fort we needed to head back to the train station to catch our 2 hour train ride back home again!! So for the last time we called upon our trusty auto-rikshaw and rode back to the train station!!! There we took the train back to Delhi and met up with Megan at the Metropolis!!! She didn't come with us cause she already saw the Taj, and there really is NOTHING to do in Agra except that or barter all day!! Which she could easily do in Delhi!! We got home, stayed up watching some movies then headed to bed, ready for another 5am wake-up to catch our 6:20am train back to Dehradun!!!

Quarter Break cont......!!:) PART 2!!!!

We talked with the guy behind the desk and he would not budge, and neither did us!!! So we thought hey, it's only 100rp more a night for each of us, whatever let's pay it and never come back here again after this vacation is over with!!!!:) Got our room key, headed up stairs to our room, and when we walked in we were pleasantly suprised about the niceness that was our room!!!! 1 KING size bed, 2 mini couches, a tv, air conditioning, bathroom, AND fridge!! All of this for 400rp a night, which is about $8!!!:) Yeah suck on that Motel 8 and your "cheap prices"!!! This was also considered a "suite" room!! Which it clearly was!!!:) Okay so being Thursday, our first day in Delhi, it was freakin HOT as heck and we were not used to it yet, so when we got to our room we decided hey let's take a quick 2 hour nap in the nice air conditioned room and refresh our motors!!!! We lay in bed until like 4pm and finally decide to go out and explore Delhi!!!:) Hey it's vacation DON'T JUDGE!!! We get this really cool driver who takes us to the Humayun Tomb, which is considered the baby Taj, a little preview to the Taj on Saturday!!! It was really cool and really amazingly built!!! After walking around for an hour we decided to get some food, and Megan mentioned earlier this restaraunt called "The Big Chille"!! It serves primarily Western food, very similar to the Clock Tower Cafe, but way more expensive!!! We go and the food is AMAZING!!! I had lasagna, cheesey garlic bread, fruit smoothie, AND an OREO CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE!!! All for the cheap price of 900rp!!! Compared to a regular meal in Mussoorie, it's about DOULBE the price!! A regular meal in Mussoorie at a nice eatery is around 3-4oorp!!:) So it's the Olive Garden of Delhi!!! Went home after stuffing our faces and watched MORTAL KOMBAT while passing out from tiredness!!!! The plan for Friday was to wake up early, see the Red Fort, grab lunch and come back to the hotel and eat it!! Well it was Ghandi's Birthday so basically EVERYTHING was shut down!!! AND we didn't even wake up until 11am!! That felt awesome!! We had in mind what we wanted to do for lunch, and that was go to this really Western type grocery store, buy ACTUAL ham and bread and bring it back to the hotel and pig out!! Well it was about a 50/50 chance this place would be open because of Ghandi's birthday!! We arrived in the bazaar where this place was located, saw that 50% of the stores were closed and thought with our luck it will be closed, and BAM IT WAS OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Got our food, headed back to the hotel where we spent the entire afternoon up until dinner time laying on the bed and eating our Western lunch/snacks!!!! It was amazing!!! Friday night we called up a friend who lived in Delhi and she showed us around her place which was by the US Embassy, which is where she worked!!! We went to this restaraunt called Chalos, and had exquisite lamb and chicken!!!! After that we walked around the very Western type bazaar and called it a night due to the EXTREME earliness we had to get up at for the train to Agra tomorrow!!! That coming up NEXT.....don't go anywhere!!:)

Quarter Break in DELHI/AGRA!!!!!!!!!:)

IT'S BREAK TIME!!! A time where no students are around, or at least not too many!!! A time when you can sleep in and have no CLUE what time it is when you wake up and you know what IT DOESN'T MATTER!! A time when 4 friends can completely drive one friend crazy, sorry Megan!!!! A time when all you want to do is nothing, and you know what that is okay!!! And most importantly a time when you can turn snapple bottle caps into 3 hours of fun and annoyance, again sorry Megan......NOT!!!!!!!:) Soooooo Wednesday 12:59pm.....1 minute away from break.....clock strikes 1pm.....BAM IT'S QUARTER BREAK!!!!! School is officially OUT and I headed home to start packing for our loooooooong weekend trip to Delhi and Agra, the site of......?!?! Anyone, anyone.....VD economics.....Voo-Doo Economics (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)?!?! THAT'S RIGHT THE TAJ MAHAL!!!!!!!!:) So we leave Wednesday night at 9pm to catch the night train in Dehradun!! Oh yeah we're taking the overnight!! Why spend money on a hotel when we can just sleep on a train, which p.s. was the COOLEST train EVER!!!! So we get on the train and we come to our compartment, and it's basically a tri-bunkbed!!! 6 beds total, 3 on each side, with the middle one folded up so we could sit on the bottom one like a bench!!! There were 4 of us, so 2 others were just random folks, which when they arrived were of course Indian, so no communication there!!! The train arrived at the station by 11:20 and we headed off to Delhi by 11:30pm!! So we only stayed up until 12ish and then unfolded the middle bed and headed to bed!!!! Megan and I were top bunks, and Matt and Brady were middle bunks!!! I felt bad for Matt cause he was under me, and all that week let's just say my bowels was playing "A Farting Fanfare For The Common Man"!!! And that night that man was Matt!!! He luckily fell asleep right away so most of the smells were ignored due to sleeping!!! The train pulled into Delhi around 5:20am and you could tell not one of us slept that well on the train!! A LOT of tossing and turning!!! With our energy level low and patience beginning to fade, outside the train station was COMPLETE CHAOS!!!!! Taxi drivers were like vultures and basically pushing each other out of the way to get to us white folk and ask where we're going, do we need a taxi, etc.!!! After a while I just said nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo and held it like that for a minute after taxi driver/taxi driver approached constantly!!!! Matt used his teacher strict voice when saying no, and Megan/Brady were behind us so they didn't have to deal with as many vultures!!!!:) We THOUGHT we were at the New Delhi station which then our hotel was within walking distance!! HOWEVER, we were NOT at the New Delhi station, in fact we were at Old Delhi station which was a wonderful 40km away from New Delhi station on the west part of town!! Thus, could not walk to our hotel!! So we finally gave in to one of the auto-rikshaw drivers and said take us to the Main Bazaar, which is where the Metropolis (our hotel) was located!!!! The ride in the auto-rikshaw made the mornings blunders all disappear!! IT was a BLAST!!! If you're not familiar with an auto-rikshaw, picture a wheelbarrow frame, with an engine, big enough to hold 3 adult size people in the back, with a roof overhead!!!! Now as you know there were 4 of us, so one sat in front while 3 sat in back!! The front seat was lovely cause half of your body was out the door cause the driver took up 3/4th of the seat!!! And that lucky person was Megan!! HA!!!:) We arrived at the hotel within 30 minutes, so the drive wasn't too bad!! But when we checked in there was some disagreeance with the hotel room price and our booking!! It was clear we were supposed to be there, our name was written down, BUT was not made clear when the hotel was booked was apparently the number of people staying in the room!! The price we agreed on was 1200rp a night, but the man behind the desk said no no no no, for 4 people price is 1600rp!!! Since this was NOT our agreement we asked to talk to the man who talked to our travel agent who arranged our booking in the first place!! The guy behind the desk said that person didn't get in until 8am, so we had to wait an hour and a half!!! We went up to the restaraunt they had their and basically crashed and slept for an hour we were all exhausted!!!! When we woke up it was 8am and no sign of this man at all!!! We figured the guy behind the desk had NO clue what he was walking about!! So we waited another hour, until finally we just ordered breakfast and talked to the guy behind the desk again!!! Quarter break cont...

Nope not caught up yet!!!:)

The funny thing about the move was, within 1 week I was COMPLETELY settled in an feeling right at home at Mt. Hermon!! WHEN the first 3 months I was here and living at Monte Cristo, yeah not feeling like at home at all!!! I mean I bought rugs, towels, FOOD, more towels for Mt. Hermon, nothing was bought for Monte Cristo!!! I think I just felt like, Monte Cristo wasn't a for sure 3 year stay, where as Mt. Hermon definitely feels like this is "home" for 3+ years now!!!!:) AND THE BEST PART OF MT. HERMON APT. #5 IS I have this steel beam on my ceiling in my living room, PERFECT for pull-ups!!!! Granted the grip isn't ideal, BUT toughens you up right!!!;) And I have a rug on the floor, perfect for core work-outs!! It's my own living room/workout area!!!! OH YEAH!!! A PE teachers perfect living room!!!!;) Feeling right at home now I can finally focus on why I'm here, TEACHING!!!! With CC done and accomplished our next big task at hand was preparing for Track and Field season, which coincidentally started 2 weeks after CC InterHouse!! So all the TIME in the world to practice and get ready for that!!!:) Our first major event we had to prepare for was the 1500 Meter Finals!! The next Saturday after I moved!! Do you see how weekends are filling up with NO free time yet?!!?:) The 1500 Meter Finals were races for sub-jr.'s-senior divisions!! So basically 6-12 graders were running in these races!! The day was luckily shorter than CC day!!! Since it was ONLY one event and a shorter race compared to CC, it went from 8-12pm!!! During the next 2 weeks, in addition to finishing the 1500 meter races, we needed to finish other PD (predetermined) Events before Sports Day, cause there was NO WAY we could fit every single track and field event on one day with all those division and students competing!!!! Thus for 2 weeks we held practices after school down at Hanson Field until dinner time!! Basically the school day was from 6:30-6pm!! Oh and I forgot to mention after we opened the gym officially we opened the fitness room in the mornings from 6:30-7:30, which on every Tuesday/Thursday Matt and I supervise!!! ALSO meaning in order for me to get my run and workout in I start at 4:45am!!!! OH those runs are amazing!! Under the moon-->into a beautiful sunrise around the Chukkar!!! With the sun rising from behind the mountains, all I see is the outline of the Himalayan mountain line!!! Ummmm yeah kinda amazing!!!!:) Kinda beats Duluth's morning runs of mini hills and country!!! BUT in the winter I will definitely miss those -40 degree runs with -60 degree wind chills!!! Puts hair on the chest after completing those!!!!:) So with the full days, one can get pretty tired when coming home!!!!;) Anyways, we had Sports Day practices for a week straight THEN had our PD Field event finals the week of Quarter Break and the following week up to Sports Day itself!!!! Now I said in their the week of Quarter Break.....

Playing catch up is fun!!!!:)

Soooooooo that was our Cross Country season!! Basically over a span of 2 weeks!! Which as I'm starting to learn real quickly, most of our sports, except soccer and basketball (go figure) are about 2 weeks in length!!! OH and the BIGGEST EVENT PROBABLY THIS ENTIRE YEAR HAPPENED THE DAY BEFORE INTERSCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY!! That of course being our GYM OPENING!!!!!! The New Gym at Woodstock officially opened September 18th, 2009!!!! We had a very nice ceremony in the main part of the gym with the Mumby-Downs families in attendance (the 2 biggest contributors) giving their speeches and whatnot!!! THEN after the ceremony we had a tour of the gym for everyone, and of course EXCELLENT food for dinner!!! We apparently flew in chefs from all over India, making North, South, and Eastern Indian food!!! It was amazing!!! This was definitely bigger than India's Independence Day celebrated at Woodstock, which was funny to think about!!!!;) After dinner was my favorite part: DANCE PARTY IN THE GYM!!!!! All of the staff received yellow jackets for FREE and were wearing them Friday!! So at the dance party it was this big circle of yellow dancing awesomely and very smoothly as well!!!!!:) We all stayed until 9:30ish, when at that point our old age started to kick in and most of us left between 9:30-10!!! Mostly because we had to get up at 7am the next day to help volunteer for Cross Country races!!!!! So that takes up through the middle of September with big events!!!! The next HUGE event in my life would have to be the very next weekend after CC, and that is my moving from Monte Cristo Apt. to Mt. Hermon Apt. #5!!!!!!!!!! The reason being is Woodstock wanted my place at Monte Cristo for a family, since it had 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms!!! I was hesistant at first on moving cause I was nice and settled, BUT then they said the magic words: Hobit Hole!!!!:) Apt. #5 at Mt. Hermon is called the Hobit Hole, and with good reason too!!! I checked out the apartment after the CC races and it is AWESOME!!! The doors are 4.5 ft tall, so I need to bend down just to walk around my house, and the best part yet is the complex has INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) Which I am using right now to update this blog!!!:) So I moved into my NEW APARTMENT the following weekend!! It took me exactly 3 hours to pack EVERYTHING I own and move!!! When it took easily 3+ days to get ready for India!!! Weird how that works!!! How my entire life here can be moved within 3 hours!!! The later part of that Saturday I unpacked all of my things but didn't really get settled in (unpacked and organized) until Sunday, after my trip to the bazaar!!! MY life continued...

FOR EV ER!!!!!!:)

Holy schnikee it's been WAY TOO LONG since my last post!!!!!!!!! I always say, oh yeah I'll do a summary post next weekend, then the next, then the next goes by and bam no time!!!! Now I've been busy a plethora of times during the summer with summer tennis!! Every hour during the day from 6am-8pm it seems is tennis!! However, there's always been (for the most part) the weekends free and Fridays!!! BUT here, it's summer tennis busy times 4302597!!!! 7 days a week it seems there is something to do or needs to be done!!! This is the FIRST weekend in 5 weeks that I have NOTHING planned on Saturday and it feels awesome!!!!:) So let's get started on the updating my life part, since it's the main reason you read my blogs in the first place!!! Or you just log on because of the sweet music!! I know deep down you love Final Countdown!!;) Well the last post I had was our middle school hike about 8 weeks ago now??! SINCE THEN SO much has happened it's ridiculous!!! I can't even remember if I talked about InterHouse and InterSchool Cross Country!!! If not we had InterHouse Cross Country races on September 11th, 2009!! Yes 9-11!! Except here doesn't really have the same meaning as the states!!! Basically what happens on InterHouse CC Day is the entire school is shut down and dedicated for running CC!!! It's amazing!!! In the morning we have elementary and middle school run their races!!! Distances anywhere from, just around the bend to 4.6km!!! The students, like I mentioned in my earlier blogs, are separated into 3 Houses: Merlins, Condors and the best for last Eagles!!! Yes, staff get a house as well and I'm an Eagle!!! BLUE BABY!!!! FAVORITE COLOR and pretty much the color of every shirt I own!!!!!;) Students come up with these VERY Western type cheers and houses receive extra points for being the most spirited!!! Eagles, of course, WON the MOST SPIRITED AWARD!!! Brought a huge smile to my face!!!! Picking up just where I left off from summer tennis!!!:) Even though, in NO way are they anywhere in the league of dressing up like shakopee tennis!! They'll need to get tutored eventually!!!! So lunch time came and we ate down at Chardukan, which I got this HUGE chocolate pancake and HUGE apple cinnamon waffle, all for an equivalent of $4!!! Cheap food rocks, but still DELICIOUS FOOD!!! After lunch it was high schools turn to run!!! These runs were distances from 4.6km to the senior boys of 6.1km!!! Staff have their choice to run and earn points towards their house, so most of the men staff run with the senior boys, similar to the ladies!!! I would LOVE to say I got first in the senior division race, BUT Kakivi, this extraordinary natural athlete beat me by 10 seconds!! HOWEVER, there was a point in the race he was easily ahead by 45 seconds, SO, only losing by 10 wasn't too shabby for this old man!!!;) Definitely motivated me to start running and training again!!! After InterHouse CC comes InterSchool CC the next weekend (Saturday)!!! This is similar to CC invitationals where 4-5 schools show up and compete vs. each other!!! So we invited Wyneberg-Allen (our biggest rivals) and St. George's College (all boys school)!!! Woodstock totally got 4 2nd places and 4 3rd places during the course of the day!!! Now in all honesty the 4 2nd places were out of 2 teams competing, and the 4 3rd places were out of 3 teams competing!! Thus pretty much got last place in each team race!!! BUT, individually we did have 2 1st place winners and 3 3rd place finishers!!!!!:) That was pretty sweet to see!!! MY life continued....

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Sooooooooooooo it's kinda been a WHILE since I've written a post!!! My bad been very busy!!!!:) YESTERDAY we had our SECOND middle school hike of the year!!!! 15 students, 5 staff, and 20km of hiking!!! HOLY SCHNIKEE!!!!:) Alarm goes off at 6:30am and packed up 6 LITERS of water, and of course on the way to school stopped off at my shop and got 2 more liters of water AND Tiger cookies!!!! The usual for hike day!!!;) Arrived at school for an excellent breakfast of fried eggs and cereal!!!!! We walked down to Ridgewood and met the troops!! All 15 were waiting and ready to go around 8:30am!!! We took 4 taxis to near a spot called Cloud's End and unpacked there!! So we had 15 middle schoolers 7/8th grade, 5 staff and one adult chaperon!!!! I had 8 liters of water, lunch, 50 cookies, and some other minor things in my pack ready to go (it was kinda heavy, but BRING IT ON)!!!!:) The first 1/3 of the hike was on cement!! It was very mossy on the way down the cement so we had to be careful when hiking downwards!! We hiked downhill the first part and then took our first break right before our nature trail incline!!:) The middle school girls asked for a break EVERY 15 minutes it seemed!! The middle school guys just kept asking is it lunch time or how far have we gone EVERY 15 minutes!! Needless to say it got VERY repetitive VERY fast!!! And of course the pace some of them had was sooooooo SLOW!!! Like walking through cement it seemed!!!! We kept saying COME ON COME ON let's go let's go!!! Trying anything and everything to speed up their pace!! A couple of times we took the stragglers, and not being chauvinistic, but they were often the girls!!! Our goal was to make it to Bhadraj Hill by 1pm!! That's 10km over a 4 1/2 hour time frame!!! Hopefully we can make it and not have to turn around before that!!:) Especially with the pace some of them were walking at!!! We make it to our first checkpoint around 10:30 and that was the bottom of the hill about to begin our incline on the nature trail!!! We ascend up hill and make it to this open area with a little stone platform that is about half way from the start of the nature trail to Bhadraj Hill, and take our second break!!! Now the moods are starting to change from the girls and they begin to whine about being tired and not wanting to go to the temple and blah blah blah!!!:) Continuing on, Matt and Suman are at the back pushing the girls while I'm in the middle, and Stephan and Titu are in lead, leading some of the guys to our final checkpoint before lunch and Bhadraj Hill!!! We arrive at this house on the lower part of the peak where we take our final break before climbing Bhadraj Hill!! It's about noon right now, and we make it to the top of the hill by 12:30, so we totally made it within 30 minutes!! Very awesome!! We have lunch and the rest of the hike cont....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


So we make it to Thatyur around 12:30, only a 4 hour hike down, compared to last weekend's 6 hour hike down!!!:) We stopped and got some food again and while we were waiting for our food we did a leech check, since we didn't really want to stop and check for leeches WHILE more leeches would crawl up our feet and legs!! WELL I thought I had gotten all of the leeches earlier, and then I lift up my LEFT PANT LEG, and if you look at the picture this is what a I saw!!!:) Not really shocked anymore at the blood, but definitely shocked I did not feel the FREAKIN THING SUCKING AT MY LEG!!! That must have gotten HUGE!! I never saw it, cause once it's full off your blood it just disappears!! It knew salt was coming if I found it!!;) BUT after all of the blood was wiped away it was as big as a misquitoe bite!! So don't be thinking holy cow that bite must be huge, no, it just appears it is from all the blood around it!! It does help to pour salt on it after you get the leech off to quickly neutralize the blood and wound!! It may burn, it may not!! It hasn't burned yet, but others said it does!!:) YOUR MOVE!!! After searching for leeches we sit down and eat our rice and dal!! Half the group got chop suey that was really spicey!! Made Nicole cry which was hilarious!! I asked Tim and Matt if their's were and they're like no!! Haha in your face Nicole and your weak pallet!!! Finished lunch before 1:30 which was when their taxi was leaving to take them back!! THIS TIME we had a mix of people going back!! Dave AND Nicole joined me for the hike back this time!! Matt road in the taxi cause he had lesson plans to write, oooooh to be a student teacher!!:) But it was sweet having a party of 3 heading back, so more people to remember our way back in case of lossness!!:) Which the way back we took was EXACTLY the same as the way up!! So basically 1% chance of getting lost, especially having Dave and his brain AND G.P.S. with!!:) No worries there!! We head back at 1:30 and make excellent time the entire way!! It was 9 miles heading down to Thatyur this way, so we had 9 miles going back!! Since it was the same way going back I'll just skip ahead to any exciting moments!!:) We head through Magra again and are SO ready for LEECH TRAIL!! But we must have sucked up all the leeches going down, because on the way back there were NONE!!! And we were looking for them!!:) Got back on Tehri Road around 4pm!! So had about an hour hike left!! Now compared to the last 2 hikes, my legs were REALLY feeling it this time!! I literally had to keep up a brisk hiking pace for their to be no cramping or pain!! Dave and Nicole noticed this when I would walk ahead like 300 feet then wait for them to catch up!!:) We finished our hike at SouthHill at 5:35pm and at 17.9 miles!!! SO CLOSE!! But Nicole had to walk home which was at LEAST .1 miles, so she made 18 miles!! Dave had to walk uphill home, so he easily made that .1!! And I had to walk to Woodstock then home!! Which is like 2 miles there!! SO we ALL made our goal of 18 miles!!!! After Nicole and Dave split for home, I ran to Woodstock which felt REALLY good!! To actually bend the knees when moving was a different feeling than the past 17.9 miles!!! Arrived at Woodstock and collapsed on the floor with soreness!! Matt was in the LL watching movies!! I stretched it out then we (Nicole, Matt and I) headed to the dining center to await dinner!!! PLEASANTLY to our surprise the dinner ROCKED!! PIZZA!!!! A perfect surprise for us!! We each had 4 little circle pizzas and I had 4 bananas!!! Soooooooo good and perfect for a nice end of a hike!!!:) After dinner I walked home and FINALLY finished my last Saturday's post in my journal!! 15 freakin pages worth!!! Average journal entry is like 3 pages!!! So yeah that felt good to get done!! After doing that WENT TO BED AND RESTED THE MUSCLES!!!!!:) That was the weekend and I'm sticking to it!!!