When I first got the Swiss ski trip form from school, I was interested and excited yet, a bit apprehensive. My first move was to know who all from my grade were going. I figured out that not many children! However the attraction of learning a new skill in a new country was fascinating. I made up my mind to go and it wasn't difficult convincing my parents to say a yes. In fact they were very encouraging. We soon signed up for this trip and got on to my packing. The big day arrived faster than I thought and I was on my way to the airport. Having never travelled abroad without my family before, yet having confidence in my ability to do so, I set off looking forward to not only a new country but also a new experience in itself.
There was a lot of eagerness and enthusiasm at the airport as sixty children from our school gathered for this trip. Eight PYP kids who had signed up for this trip were assigned to Ms. Rina's charge. I hurriedly said goodbye to my family as we entered the airport terminal. Ms. Rina helped us complete our immigration formalities and we soon boarded the plane. After spending sometime on the in-flight entertainment system while munching away on snacks, I dozed off. We reached Zurich and then took a connecting flight to Geneva. On reaching Geneva, we stepped out to board a bus to Verbier. I felt the chill in the air and saw snow for the first time. I enjoyed the long three-hour scenic drive to Verbier.
Once we reached the picturesque Verbier Ski Resort town, we were directed to our chalet. I was sharing my room with three other boys, one from my grade and two from sixth grade. We freshened up and then went for our ski fittings. We tried out our skis and ski apparel. Some of us bought a few ski items while the rest chose to rent it out. Later that evening we went for a stroll in the resort town, followed by dinner and went to bed early
Next day was filled with anticipation and nervous energy. I was going to ski for the first time in my life. A busload of people got on to the bus that took us to the slopes. Dressed in our ski attire, we stepped onto the moving carpet that took us to the top of the slopes. Our ski instructor explained us the basics like braking, turning, going forward and snow plowing. We skied six hours with a break in between to have a lunch on the mountain slopes. What an experience it was to have lunch in the pristine snowy mountains with my buddies! I also ate some snow!
I slowly learned the rules of the mountains while skiing, making sure I stayed safe on the ski slopes and helping my teammates when they were in need. With each day of practice, my skills grew stronger and I progressed higher up in the mountains. We learnt pizza turns, snow plows and ski jumps from ramps.
Once we were back from skiing, we all bonded together over hot chocolate and snacks to discuss our progress in skiing. We would also play football with children from Jersey and Kenya who were on campus with us. Apres-ski activities were also super fun. Different activities were planned out for different days like ice-skating, bin bag fashion show, going to a discotheque, for a dine out, making a music video, playing holi, baking and a movie night.
On the last day of skiing in the mountains, we had a ski race. All the skiers fared very well and competently hit the slopes. In the evening we had prize distribution ceremony. I felt happy when I found a special mention in the ceremony and got a token gift for my progress along with a certificate. I felt a little empty knowing that there would be no skiing the next day.
The next day was an excursion day. We went to Geneva and visited the chocolate factory, cheese factory and also a mall. I never knew what a shopper I was till I picked up an Adidas football studs for myself, Lego technic set for my younger brother, Sketchers shoes for my Dad and a Swatch watch and sunglasses
It was a legendary trip and left me wanting for more. I promised myself to come back again for the next ski trip and this time to get my brother along too.
Ahaan Shah, Grade 5