The second part of our Newport Primary School feature, where we answer the questions put to us by Mrs Savill’s class. If you missed it, check out the previous post for the first letters.
Dear Hudson and Dom,
Wow, you know your nautical terms! Don’t forget to tell your family and friends about the people in India, it’s important that you stay in touch with the students over there. You never know, one day you may meet them. We’ve had enough danger for the moment – remember we discussed piracy, tides, storms and sharks? I think we’ll go somewhere sunny and calm, maybe Thailand. We have a saying: a sailor’s plans are set in jelly!
Living in the mountains is indeed awesome, and we don’t use that word often. It truly is an awe-inspiring place, especially when, as you say, you’re above the clouds. Your question about plumbing is a very good one. I hate boat plumbing and yes, it does get blocked, but normally by me Sometimes when we flush the toilet little fish get caught in the toilet bowl. I think we’ll be doing some more video recording when we return to Darjeeling in October, so watch this space.
Talking of videos, how about we include Swapnil’s video clip here for your family and friends to see?
We hope your family and friends enjoyed the clip. Back to the letters…
Dear Harry and Joe,
How much would it cost for a boat to start to learn to sail?
You don’t need to buy a boat to learn to sail. There are plenty of places in the UK and abroad that teach sailing. You can join a club or go on a course by the sea, on lakes or rivers. The Royal Yachting Association is a great resource for would-be sailors and they are very keen to help young people get involved in sailing. You should be able to find somewhere near you on their website.
Do you have any tips for learning to sail?
I would recommend that you start by learning to sail dinghies. They are really great fun: you control the dinghy all on your own, sail nice and fast, and even race if you want to. Children in India learn to sail too.
Has Millie ever had any kittens?
No, Millie was spayed when she was younger, which means she cannot get pregnant, but she makes friends with lots of other cats wherever we go. She plays with them on land, but won’t let them come on Esper.
When you’re travelling, what do you eat the most — we’re guessing fish?
Good guess! Yes, all three of us eat fish when we travel. We troll a line out the back of Esper and catch all kinds of fish for our supper: tuna, dorado, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, barracuda even shark!
I’m really pleased you have been inspired by our tales of sailing. It is great fun and anyone can do it. There are lots of careers in sailing and boating, so maybe one day you’ll have a life on the ocean, travelling round the world too.
Dear Lilymay and Emily,
How long did it take you from the principle’s house to school?
Thank you for your excellent questions! The Headmaster of Magno Vale Academy is called Deven Subba and there are some classrooms in his house where the nursery and infants classes are taught – so they are very close by! However, Deven has started to build a bigger school in the village to fit all the students from infants to seniors, and that building is a short walk away from his house through the village market and round the side of a hill. It only takes 5 or 6 minutes. The new school building is not quite finished yet, so only the older students have lessons there.
Have you ever worn one of the Indian outfits?
When I was in India I didn’t get the chance to wear a traditional Indian outfit like a sari, but I would love to try one on – hopefully next time! Indian people often celebrate festivals throughout the year – these can be religious festivals, but also national holidays to honour historical figures or events, like Independence Day (15th August). Part of the celebrations often include certain rituals. One festival that I was lucky enough to take part in was ‘Brothers and Sisters Day’ (a bit like Mother’s Day) where traditionally, boys in a family will give their sisters money and the girls will make or buy beaded bracelets for all of their siblings. When the children are together at home the girls offer sweet breads and blessings to everyone and then tie the bracelets around their siblings’ wrists. People often wear the bracelets for weeks afterwards – I have kept mine!
What is Millie’s favourite fish?
That’s a difficult question because Millie likes all fish! One of her favourites, though, is a small fish with nasty spines on its back. I don’t know its name, but you can see it here. You have to be careful when you take it off the line because the spines prick and sting. Millie just chomps her way through the spines and doesn’t have any side effects. She loves those little fish.
Have you ever felt sea sick on your boat now?
No, I have never felt sea-sick on Esper, especially now because we live on the boat all the time, so are used to the motion of the boat. There are pills you can take to help if you feel sea-sick, but the best thing is to get up on deck and breathe in the fresh air. Usually, you get used to being on a boat after a day. A drink with ginger biscuits is also a good remedy. Sometimes, if someone is extremely ill they have to get off the boat in order to recover properly, but that is very rare.