The rounds of picnics began with a class XI Science getting in early with their class picnic and I was invited as a subject teacher.
Being the first they staked out a nice zone in the school, equipped themselves with a sound system and allowed the talented and brave to entertain those assembled between photo sessions.
When the time came to call it a day the teachers remaining delivered speeches and the class captains also had a few words of wisdom to share.
It was a fun afternoon and certainly set the standard for classes who are now following in rapid succession.
I was a little dismayed to see only boys on the football ground, basketball courts and volleyball area when I arrived at school for our on campus whole school picnic.
First I found just a few girls helping out the cooks but I managed to locate the rest of the girls dutifully waiting until 9am in the hostel area where they are mostly confined these days.
Soon enough the event was underway. Principal sir got the traditional games off to a flying start and then there was no stopping anyone.
Staff members were all designated roles and fulfilled their duties with good cheer and lots of laughs. No points for guessing what my role was!
Groups of girls gathered on the grounds and played games, chatted, giggled and ate snacks, frequently calling me over to take…”One photo Madam.”
Entertainment was provided throughout and the students had no qualms about taking the opportunity to showcase their talents.
One of the things I most love about the students here is that they have not lost their innocence and know how to create their own fun in almost any situation.
Staff from both our school and the LSS were called forward to play in front of a captivated student audience and being made a fool of was certainly the order of the day. Notice the distinct gap between male and female students in the audience.
The highlight and purpose of the day was the food and though this year it was prepared behind the scenes with only a few students involved it was very well received.
Guests were served and then classes with their class teachers all sat in circles to eat together.
Once the lunch with second serves was devoured those circles became dancing, and playing zones. Games we have seen the primary boys play all year even got an airing.
Childhood games, many but not all identical to those I played in primary school, were instantly engaged in and peals of laughter erupted across the entire playing field. The games seemed to be passed from one class to another, as one group noticed what another was doing.
Even those of us with no talent for dancing were compelled to participate and it only added to the joviality.
To wind it up the school cultural club did a performance.
Finally we as a whole school family (as they are fond of saying here) performed the traditional circle dance that almost always signals the end of such gatherings.
Last year the king himself insisted that the funds he donated were to be used in an off campus picnic so this year I had reservations about it being on campus, but I must say the students had a lot of fun.
Even after all that my XC boys still had enough energy to be attempting these kind of tricks after planning our picnic.
After a full day of picnicking yesterday I was back at school this afternoon enjoying yet another: Khandu House Picnic.
I was also told on arrival that Class XII Commerce were picnicking nearby in the Nature Area, while we who were helping Khandu House celebrate their victory on the football ground, feasted.
There was plenty of evidence that good food is what it is all about for the boarders.
Zero tolerance for leftovers, known as “ the clean plate policy” here, ensured that anything that was left after Khandu House members and teachers had feasted was carried to those in the hostels not fortunate enough to be among the winners.
Once again the dancing commenced immediately the eating ended and the pots were carried out but this time I slipped away having been up the mountain on the other side of Chazam Bridge to a spectacular chorten and lookout already today before arriving.
PART 2 will follow with Presentation Night to be held tomorrow and just one more significant picnic scheduled for the public holiday for the Descending Day of Lord Buddha, on Tuesday, when class XC have planned our own “grand picnic” a term they learned from the one at our school sponsored by HRH the king last year.