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Student blog: My journey to Pestalozzi

5 November 2013

Prabha with fellow students, staff and volunteers
Photo: Prabha (L) with fellow students, staff and volunteers at a Pestalozzi event.
Prabha Upreti is a first year (IB1) student at Pestalozzi. She has volunteered to write a blog series over the coming year to give readers an insight into life at Pestalozzi. In this first post, she recalls her journey from Nepal to the UK.

I’d waited eagerly for so long, but when the day arrived, it looked disappointingly ordinary. The same buildings passed by, the same faces bid me farewell and the same old Kathmandu stood proudly beneath my feet. Yes, I was off to UK, off to start a new beginning, off to an unknown land and yet it made me feel more excited than anxious. Shuvechchha, also heading to Pestalozzi for the first time, gave me an eccentric look from my side. We could not help exchanging the biggest smiles and weirdest expressions possible.

I was already regretting not listening to my mother when she’d told me to eat breakfast. It was now 9:30 in the morning and my stomach frequently complained with long growls. The Pestalozzi IB2s were on seats far behind us and there was nothing interesting outside the plane window because of the fog. So, Shuvechchha and I started to discuss our big plans for the upcoming two years. Shortly afterwards, the air hostess brought us food. I started going through the magazines and safety manual. By the time we reached the Delhi airport, I had already turned each page of the manual over thirty times.

Dawa and Shuvechchha at Pestalozzi
Photo: Shuvechchha Ghimire from Nepal (R) with fellow Pestalozzi IB1 student Dawa Zangmo from Bhutan.
I enjoyed my three hour long transit. The first 30 minutes, we were busy queuing up for all sorts of checks. The next 15 minutes, Pestalozzi IB2 student Sushan and I spent trying to walk backwards on an accelerator. We enjoyed the strange stares of people at our silly action. Tired of laughing at the same joke over and over again, Sushan called me for a movie, and we watched ‘Chennai Express’ for the next 2 hours. We also met Pestalozzi’s first Bhutanese students in the Delhi airport.

I was worried I’d be bored for the rest of the journey until I got onto the plane and realised there was a lot to do. Shuvechchha and I started checking out the movies and songs there. After five hours, I turned off the in-flight entertainment system and looked around. I was getting really restless. I didn’t want to start another movie straightaway. I stared out of the window watching the beautiful Caspian Sea underneath us for a while, before starting to watch ‘The Hunger Games’.

I was getting closer to the UK and no matter how hard I tried to concentrate on the movie, my subconscious mind repeatedly chanted, ‘You’re getting closer…’ After four movies and the meal, I again turned everything off and relaxed back in my seat. We were above the English Channel. The screen in front displayed all sorts of information about the temperature, speed, height and time. But I just stared at the length of distance I had travelled and tried to imagine how far I was from my home and how near I was getting to my ‘home to be’.

It’s amazing how you play and replay upcoming moments in your mind, yet you don’t know exactly how to celebrate them when they finally arrive. In the end, I was too tired to celebrate my arrival at Pestalozzi at all. Too eager to put all my luggage aside and surrender to my new bed. Pestalozzi staff Miss Yangkey and Len were at the airport to receive us. After some hellos and welcoming hugs, we reached Pestalozzi at about 11 in the evening.

So, that would have been it. But for us (the Pestalozzi students), that was not just ‘it’, but the beginning of an absolutely thrilling life at Pestalozzi. Today, looking around at a room full of diverse and energetic young people, I recall the day which marked the beginning of my two year long stay at Pestalozzi and Pestalozzi’s lifelong stay in my head, heart and hands. I feel indebted to Pestalozzi and its well-wishers.

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