Student blogging challenge Week 6 – Commenting across the globe

Hi bloggers,

This week for the student blogging challenge our task is to comment on at least ten other blogs that aren’t from our own classes or grades. I decided to show you the commenting and links some posts I will write a post about the comments I make on certain blogs. If you would like to visit the blogs I will include the post link so you can read the post and then look at the rest of the blog.

Victoria– http://2021ven.edublogs.org/2015/10/30/lets-celebrate-halloween/#comments

Hi Victoria,
I found this post very informative and it changed my aspect on halloween. Originally I thought it was just an excuse to get candy but I never knew it had so much history! Congratulations are due for your hard work and researching this under researched topic. I think your post was easy to read and well laid out, I enjoyed reading your poem.

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Mel– http://ameliander9702.edublogs.org/2015/11/08/week-4-activity-2/#respond

Hi Mel,
I enjoyed reading your short story, it was gripping and I hung on to every sentence. You ended the story cleverly with an open ending so anything could happen next, this leaves the readers wondering what will happen to Rachel now. I encourage you to continue your story!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Ellie– http://emcclintock20.edublogs.org/2015/11/05/popular-foods-in-america-ice-cream/#comments

Hi Ellie,
I really enjoyed reading your post it was honest as well as informative. 50 flavours of ice-cream! Wow, I would love to work somewhere like there. Next time I visit America I am definitely looking into Netties! Great job on a very interesting post!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Jared– http://jaredy20.edublogs.org/2015/11/02/hamburgers/

Hi Jared,
I liked reading your post about hamburgers it was funny but still informative and gave basic details of how to dress a hamburger. My Dad is a big burger fan and is good at cooking them, despite this burgers for us are a rare treat and we always make them ourselves. I love drawing faces with my ketchup!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Aiden– http://aidenas21.edublogs.org/2015/11/06/americas-favorite-food/

Hi Aiden,
Your experience was set out like a story and I felt like I was actually there! Great blogging!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Mason– http://masonsas21.edublogs.org/2015/11/02/american-food/

Hi Mason,
I like burgers at home that my dad makes, he rarely makes them so they’re a treat! I have been to a few other american blogs and pretty much everyone form america has posted about burgers. They are really popular!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Hoow20– http://hoow20.edublogs.org/2015/10/30/my-halloween/

Hi hoow20,
I really enjoyed reading your post about halloween. I am in sixth grade now and I enjoy going trick or treating with my friends. If you would like to know about the history of halloween I suggest you read Victoria’s post about it: http://2021ven.edublogs.org/2015/10/30/lets-celebrate-halloween/#comments Great blogging!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Kathryn-http://kathrync20.edublogs.org/2015/11/02/week-5-favorite-american-foods/

Great job Kathryn, your post as to-the-point and you stated a lot of unknown facts! I didn’t know any of the facts. Like how hamburgers eaten by Americans every year were put in a line it would circle the earth 32 times! That is a lot of hamburgers. Great job with your post, keep it up!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Wilao– http://wilao.edublogs.org/2015/11/02/celebrating-halloween-week-4/

Hi Wilao,
Great post, it was very personal and unique to you. I still go trick or treating with my friends but we go later on at night. We also dress up in really gory costumes, this year I was a vampire and my friends help drip blood down my neck and legs!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

Gisele– http://giselew06.edublogs.org/2015/11/04/vegemite-combinations/

Hi Gisele,
I wrote a post about the same topic! I never new vegemite and cheese would taste good. I personally try to avoid the spread as it makes me ill sometimes! Great post, very informative and unique!

-Anjali
http://bloggingwithanjali.edublogs.org/

 

This week I visited some amazing blogs and I encourage everybody to look at the blogs from the links above and leave the bloggers a comment! That is my challenge for you this week! Have fun!

-Anjali

Student blogging challenge Week 5- Our foods

Hi guys,

This week for the student blogging challenge we were told to post about our some of the most popular foods in our country. Living in Australia, obviously the food is very diverse which is great because it means our food supplies are culturally diverse and we can experience different eating in our own country!

Australian foods:

 First off I need to start off with the all time classic… Vegemite! This is an all-Australian toast (or other) spread. It has a nutella – like texture with a salty and pungent flavour. But warning: VEGEMITE IS NOT MEANT TO BE EATEN IN LARGE QUANTITIES, it I meant to be had in small doses (a thin layer on your toast not a glob!). Vegemite is also apparently now an adjective, in the vegemite song and in my parent’s vocabulary “happy little vegemite” is an expression used for happy children.

Vegemite in a bottle! Image from pixabay- no attribution require

Vegemite in a bottle!
Image from pixabay- no attribution require

 Another popular Australian food is the lamington. This is like a light, fluffy square cake covered in a thin layer of soft chocolate and sprinkled with dry coconut shavings. It tastes even better than it looks (and it’s layout is very appealing)! Lamingtons are an afternoon tea/ morning tea treat. They work perfectly with good cup of milk tea and a good book!CC Licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en CK_-_Lamington.jpg ‎(580 × 365 pixels, file size: 73 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Author: Chuck Norris

 This one is a family favourite, the well-known Pavlova. Pavlovas are not just popular in Australia they are very popular in my family. Every single birthday my dad requests a Pavlova instead of a birthday cake, and every single birthday my mum tries to make one and a couple of times the Pavlova has completely flopped, literally! We have had one of histories greatest family fights over the decoration of a Pavlova. My dad is very picky about the way he likes his Pavlovas.

Australian Lunches:

Australia is a very multicultural country; this means that we have citizens from all around the world. At school some kids might have sushi others might have curry. I have a wide range of different lunches that I take to school. Sometimes when my grandma has been over she will make us curry puffs and I will take those to school with some tomato sauce. At least once a week my mum makes fried rice with meat. The rice is usually warm and is very filling. If we are really in a rush I will take a simple sandwich with plum jam. As you can see there is a wide variety of foods that we can take to school for lunch in Australia.

Please answer my poll:

Commenting on other blogs:

Ella from the USA:

Ella’s post- http://thevolleyballartist.edublogs.org/2015/11/05/popular-food-in-the-usa/#comment-5

Hi Ella,
I live in Australia and wrote a post about the same topic. In Australia we also eat Pizza and hotdogs because we (like the USA) are a multicultural country. I wonder, does your family eat these foods?

Ashley from Canada:

Ashley’s post: http://www.psdblogs.ca/ashleyt7853/2015/11/05/student-blogging-challenge-week-5-food/

Hi Ashley,
I really enjoyed reading your post, it was very informative and it is obvious you put a lot of effort into this post. Half of my family are from poland and I never knew that bagels originated from there! I think they are from Germany?! Great job with your post and survey!

Dariana from Mexico:

Dariana’s post: http://dariana7pm.edublogs.org/2015/11/02/week-4-halloween/#respond

Hi Dariana,
I really liked your blog post about how you celebrate halloween and your added picture. For week 5 of the student blogging challenge, I was wondering what you take to school for lunch? Do you take traditional mexican dishes or normal sandwiches?

Brock from Russia:

Brock’s post: http://2021bke.edublogs.org/2015/10/30/lets-celebrate-christmas/#respond

Hi Brock,
I think that was a beautiful post about the true meaning of christmas. For the student blogging challenge week 5 I was wondering what food you take to school for lunch in Russia? Do you take a Russian dish or an international sandwich?

Hannah from Korea:

Hannah’s post: http://edublogs.eanesisd.net/hannah9282021/2015/10/15/bubblegum/comment-page-1/#comment-30

Hi Hannah,
I really loved your descriptive language in this post. For the student blogging challenge week 5 I wanted to know what you take to school in Korea? Do you eat traditional Korean food? Do your parents prepare Korean food?

I really enjoyed this weeks challenge and look forward to next week.

That’s all for now!

-Anjali

 

Halloween traditions

As the second task for the student blogging challenge I am going to explain how my family has fun on Halloween.

Every year without failure we go trick or treating this means touring around our neighbourhood and beyond to collect the most candy as possible. We trick or treat for an extensive period of time, we go for about 2-3 hours and make sure no house is left undisturbed. I usually go with my friends that live in my area or that are from school. We then have a competition to see who received the most candy. My dad usually takes my friends, dog and I trick or treating and my mum stays at home and hands out candy. But she doesn’t just hand it out. She will usually play a trick on the visitors and attract quite a crowd. Last year she came out of the house eating the candy and said, “I thought you weren’t coming so we had to eat the candy” the expressions on their faces were priceless!

Pre-Halloween we decorate our house to extreme measures. We usually decorate our gates with cobweb and fake spiders. We also have the occasional laughing zombie or red-eyed bat hanging in the shadows near the entrance to really scare visitors.

We also buy our costumes a week before the fun starts and plan our costumes a couple of months before. This year I am going as a bloody vampire my costume is quite large, I have stick on fangs and a bunch of black glitter-tipped roses. I will post photos of us trick or treating.

My costume

My costume

That’s all for now,

-Anjali

SBC Wk 4- 😈Trick or Treat👿

As we all know this Saturday (31st of October) is Halloween! For the challenge this week we are required to dress up our blogs and write  a spooky piece of poetry or short story. I have already dressed up my blog with black bats and spooky pumpkins. I wrote a piece of poetry about a ghostly figure trapping an infant:

The lights are flashing in my room,

all of a sudden everything goes dark.

Fearing for my life I feel around for somewhere to hide,

but nothing is in site.

 

I hear a creak in the door

a wheezing groan approaches me,

my senses are disabled as the threat tries to choke me.

 

Then the lights are turned on.

I turn to see my assassin,

but nobody is in sight.

 

The grip on my body tightens,

and the world goes black again.

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SBC Wk3 Part one- Recounting fond memories through pictures

This week for the Student Blogging Challenge there were multiple tasks we needed to complete. The first one of which was to recount a favourite family memory and include pictures from creative commons or another copyright free search engine or add our own and provide copyright details. Because I don’t have a specific memory that I enjoyed the most I will recount my most recent 3 favourite memories in words and pictures.

March 2015- My Dad’s Birthday

For my Dad’s birthday we went on a one-day road trip to Berrima and stayed 2 nights in the beautiful Seidler house. This was house literally hanging off a cliff into a canyon of forest and endless nature.

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Seidler House

 

 View from downstairs living room.

View from downstairs living room.

A family photo in the living room.

A family photo in the living room.

There was a long balcony jutting out from the side of the house and hanging over the green abyss. If you yelled from the balcony your voice would echo across the mountains. Staring out into the valley you received the most breath-taking, mesmerising view.

Mum and I on the balcony.

Mum and I on the balcony.

The view of the mountains that you awoke to in the morning.

The view of the mountains that you awoke to in the morning.

The long balcony

The long balcony

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Mum and I climbed onto the lower rocks.

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The beautiful balcony views.

 

Side view of the balcony and the steps leading down into the pool.

Side view of the balcony and the steps leading down into the pool.

The house itself contained many forms of entertainment. There we bird watching and nature finding books and binoculars to spot mountain goats on the rocky expanses of hill. In the play/living room there was a Wii set and multiple games and movies to entertain us at night. There were about four open furnaces and one night we toasted marshmallows by the fire. There were a million different rooms for you to get lost in and it was difficult not to forget work and school as you took in the hypnotic views and beauty of the house.

Dad in the living room with the furnace.

Dad in the living room with the furnace.

The dining room behind the furnace.

The dining room behind the furnace.

View from the living room glass walls.

View from the living room glass walls.

The master bedroom.

The master bedroom.

Master bedroom fountains.

Master bedroom fountains.

Dining room and kitchen.

Dining room and kitchen.

Coming down from the house was a drive way and a steep path into a hiking trail down the mountain. There we found many outdoor activities to take part in. There was a trampoline and basketball hoop just outside the house and we took photos of me in mid-air. We then toured ourselves around the property and found an amazing pool on the very edge of the cliff that looked out into the mountains. Unfortunately it was the middle of winter and it was about 2 degrees at the hottest because we were on top of a very very cold mountain, so we didn’t dare step foot into the pool, as it was likely that we would get hypothermia. We also found a table tennis table and spent every spare minute having mini tournaments with my Dad. But there were plenty of other things to do, we hiked a short distance down the extremely steep path (it was almost vertical and impossible get back up!) and went nocturnal wildlife watching in the evening.

My action pose on the trampoline.

My action pose on the trampoline.

The beautiful flora.

The beautiful flora.

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The pool.

:)

🙂

climbing a tree house with Dad.

Climbing a tree house with Dad.

I had the most amazing time in Seidler house and it is a memory that I will never forget.

Easter 2015- Touring of Orange (the place), Dubbo Zoo and Wolgan Valley.

During the Easter holiday my family went on a one-day road trip to Orange (the town not the fruit) we stayed in a hotel/small resort for Easter and I went egg hunting there also.

Easter egg hunting! 🍫

Easter egg hunting! 🍫

🐰🐇

🐰🐇

Next we stayed at Dubbo Zoo for one night. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. We were right in front of the big landscape of the most amazing giraffes. They were so friendly and didn’t mind the extra human company. We stayed in a little glamping hut.

We had personal encounters with many animals as we went on educational animal tours morning and night. I even got up close and personal with a very friendly giraffe that decided that he would gladly take a branch from me. It was very private encounter and only my Dad and I were there, as Mum was still getting ready! The giraffe was freakishly strong and nearly pulled my arm out of its socket. But he took food from me nevertheless and made this trip one of the most memorable I have ever had!

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Feeding the giraffes with Dad!

 

Up close with a giraffe. 😮

Up close with a giraffe. 😮

Feeding the giraffe.

Feeding the giraffe.

The view from our room.

The view from our room.

Giraffe.

Giraffe.

Asian elephants 🐘 They weren't in captivity all animals in Dubbo zoo have a vast amount of freedom, this was the elephant sleeping chamber.

Asian elephants 🐘 They weren’t in captivity all animals in Dubbo zoo have a vast amount of freedom, this was the elephant sleeping chamber.

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🐘The elephants responded to sounds and we saw drawings and art they made.

Gorgeous lemars🐒

Gorgeous lemars🐒

 

A beautiful and graceful leopard.🐆

A beautiful and graceful leopard.🐆

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We toured around all the animal enclosures and learned about them.

We toured around all the animal enclosures and learned about them.

Finally we went and stayed 5 nights in Wolgan Valley, a beautiful country resort in Wolgan Valley. This resort was also associated with animals.

They had an amazingly clean stable with the most beautiful horses will the rarest and kindest personalities. Every single day I went horse riding and enjoyed learning and riding the most beautiful horses I had ever seen. I enjoyed it so much that collectively as a family we decided to invest in a horse for my riding benefits and the experience of owning a horse. At the end of the stay Mum and I went on a 2 hour-long ride on the most breath-taking trail through Wolgan Valley. Poor mum struggled to walk after 2 hours on horseback but I couldn’t stop smiling. I had the time of my life and asked so many questions my head nearly exploded!

Me saddling Tricky the horse.🐎

Me saddling Joker the horse.🐎

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Bonding with the horses.

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Feeding time! Every day Dad and I went to the organic gardens and picked carrots for the horses!

I had so many fond memories and photos from that trip that I will treasure forever!

Spring Holidays 2015- Fiji

My most recent holiday/favourite memory was in the spring holidays about 4 weeks ago.

We took 2 planes to Fiji spending one night in a transit hotel. This is our 3rd time at the same resort and the reason why we always come back is the openness and friendliness of the locals and staff at the resort. We stayed at Jean-Michel Cousteau resort for 7 nights and actually met the real Jean Michel and had a conversation about his life and why he took up marine biology.

The views of the island and the resort were absolutely picturesque and second to none. Every day there were new activities for teens, children and adults and of course there was a table tennis table in the resort and I spent time with Mum, Dad and kids in the kids club playing mini tournaments. I partook in as many as the activities as possible but made sure to leave time for unwinding and relaxing. The resort was very safe so I was able to roam around as I pleased and enjoyed smoothies and milkshakes at restaurant.

The eating place and some of the resort!

The eating place and some of the resort!

Our Bure.

Our Bure.

We made regular video logs! Dad enjoyed being camerman.

We made regular video logs! Dad enjoyed being cameraman.

Views💜

Views💜

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On our trip to the private island just off the coast of the resort.

On our trip to the private island just off the coast of the resort.

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The water was warm!

The water was warm!

A hypnotic view takes your breath away with every blink.

A hypnotic view takes your breath away with every blink.

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There were hermit crabs everywhere and we went hermit crab hunting/ looking for crabs!

Family photo on the private picnic island.

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Paradise

As you can see from the photos I got my whole head braided. I had about 42 braids in my head and there were 3 beads on each braid so I had about 126 beads attached to the back of my head!

I also had my Scuba diving orientation there and had my first open water dive! We went to a beautiful location and as I was diving it looked like an underwater city. I was understandably nervous for my first actual dive because there is an exceptionally large number of risks that you take when scuba diving. But luckily I had a very calm trainer and my dad who were right beside me the whole time.   IMG_0013

After staying Jean Michel Cousteau resort we went to the intercontinental on the mainland. We stayed in a lovely apartment style room that included an outdoor bath!(there were privacy screens)

We had the most amazing time in Fiji. It was a great way to relax and isolate our minds from work, school and the busy year and to relax and prepare our minds for term 4, Christmas and the New Year ahead.

Fiji was PARADISE!

Fiji was PARADISE!

Underneath the beautiful tree house on a tire swing.

Underneath the beautiful tree house on a tire swing.

I really enjoyed writing about my holidays and more importantly being on them!J I hope you enjoyed my pictures and videos.

All my pictures were taken by my family and are copyright.

That’s all for now!

-Anjali

Student Blogging Challenge Week 1: My online personality  

This term I will be partaking in the student blogging challenge. This program encourages students from around the globe to be more active in their blogging and to explore the different ways you can further your knowledge and interest in blogging.

This week’s first activity is to distinguish your online personality from your real personality. How are you different?

Online I’m cautious about what I actually show about my real personality because I don’t want personal information leaking into the web. I don’t tend to express myself as much as I do in real life. I enjoy making videos and it helps me express myself to the world but sometimes I prefer to be a bit more conservative with my information.

In real life I am a loud and bubbly girl when it comes to socializing and hanging with friends. I like to be out-going and social and try to make new friends all the time. I am not shy but I refrain from talking to people I don’t know and feel uncomfortable around. When I am doing school tasks I try to be more focused and sensible, when I’m with my friends I get easily distracted. That’s why sometimes I work better alone!

My blog Avatar

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 2.56.00 pm

I chose this avatar to represent me because it shows my wild personality and the different character traits that come with my personality.

Until next week.

-Anjali

Chapter 6- Redefining Normality

Hey Bloggers,

I am excited for my very last chapter of my CYOA story. After reviewing my previous chapters I have come to the conclusion that I will be calling my book “The Train to Brooklyn” Brooklyn is a city in America and instead of making the story about a train ride to the actual place its about a train ride that affected Brooklyn the girl and her journey through physical hardship and mental disbelief. In a way it is a train ride to Brooklyn because we are discovering more about her in every chapter but we’re on the tracks to find the station in her heart. The title can give many meanings to many different people this is what I interpreted the title to mean. You can comment below what you think of the title and what it means to you.

Last week Brooklyn was running the first few meters of the home stretch.

Here were the three options:

  1. The woman insisted on driving the gang home herself but there are major complications on the way…
  2. The woman drops the gang off at the police station and to their relief without trouble…
  3. The woman gets violently ill on the way and Mr Victus has to take charge…

The majority of commenters voted for option one.

 

Slowly the twins and Mr Victus nodded off to sleep. I didn’t dare take my eyes of the little squirrel lying in my lap. I observed at his bulging belly and gazed upon him with tenderness in my eyes. This little squirrel was different. He may have been wild, but somehow this was my little squirrel.

I noticed my eyelids closing but my brain was still awake. Though I was stunned and thoroughly rattled by the last day or so I let myself sleep knowing I needed and deserved it. Just as I am allowing myself to enter my own mind and to release the tension stuck between the folds of my mind the car came to an abrupt halt just hours away from civilization, the frustration bubbled in my body.

I wake up Camila and we meet the kind woman around the front of the car.

 

“What should we do Mrs-“

 

“Jeanette, you can call me Jeanette.”

 

I can’t believe we haven’t inquired for her name and she has already driven us halfway towards the border of the neighbouring city.

 

Jeanette heaves at the hood of the car and pries it open. Inside lies a maze of red, green, blue, yellow and orange wires that tangle around my brain and make me dizzy. But I see what I must do. I feel the confusion channelling through Camila and Jeanette’s brains. I immediately start work. The smoke circles my head and snakes its way through the wires.

 

Behind me everyone emerges out of the miniature car and gathers around me. Then there are shouts, shouts of encouragement. For a normal person this would of course encourage them but to me these are like little golf balls being thrown at you when you’re on a tight rope. It distracts me and pressures me. I begin to sweat. Little beads form on my brow. I can’t take the pressure. I back away from the car and stumble on to the side of the road were I lie down and let my tears roll down my face. I am not crying from the pressure but I am crying for the pain. What we have been through in the last two days has been unbearable and I seam to be the only one game enough to show emotion. As well as feeling exhausted I am proud of myself; I can feel what others feel. Emotion.

 

The others continue to work on the car but Eva strides over to were I lay.

 

“I get it, I get you.”

 

I sit up longing to talk, to talk to Eva. My heart aches and my soul screams, I have something to say.

 

“Normal” I croak, it may be a croak but it is a word. I smile for my achievement, for my newfound emotion, for my newfound friends.

 

“There isn’t a thing” Eva looks longingly into the distance, her eyes looking into another galaxy.

 

The miniature car behind us gives a weak groan before starting up again. We all clamber inside. We’re safe now, its homeward from here.

 

As we drive off into the horizon the sun sets on a city of sparkling lights. They dance in the horizon welcoming us home. Through this madness I have opened my eyes to the world. The world didn’t reject me, everybody has a purpose and everybody has a place. Mine is right here were I will continue my quest in life and fulfil my purpose.

 

My definition of normal: there is none. Normal is just a word used by those lacking confidence to rate and class others. We are all unique in our own way and our own way is unique. We should stop judging those who are different because none of use is the same. In the end normal is just a word among many that cannot define you. We are all so beautifully unique and we all need to except that because if we were all the identical the world would be so unbelievably boring we’d all want to die. Being unique is not a rope that ties you down but more wings that carry you into the world and start you on your journey of life.

Chapter 5- A long way home

Hey Bloggers,

Last week I posted chapter 4 of my ‘choose your own adventure’ story. Brooklyn, the twins and Mr Victus just escaped a close call with a group of highway robbers. Now they have come across something new.

Here were the three options:

  1. Brooklyn shakes the squirrel off her leg and carries on looking for a road.
  2. Brooklyn takes time to examine the squirrel before deciding what to do next.
  3. They see a road up ahead as they run for the road the squirrel follows them.

All commenters voted for option 3.

 

Up ahead in the dense undergrowth I catch a glimpse of a fast moving light. As the light zooms past we can hear the sound of the screeching tires and can smell the pungent odour of burning rubber and exhaust fumes.

“ROAD UPAHEAD!” Mr Victus’ husk voice wheezes, his excitement followed by a series of coughs. Camila cups her hand around his mouth.

“There could still be bandits in the bushes!” She whisper-shouts at Mr Victus. Mr Victus, taken back by her sudden outburst of fear and anger, hushes his coughing and pretends to not look frightened by the little girl.

I am not paying attention to those surrounding me, my attention and gaze is fixed upon the moving lights up ahead. ‘It is a highway.’ I tell myself. I gather the others and we quietly work our way through the seemingly abundant vegetation.

We eventually come to a clearing. Trekking for hours exhausted us so we rest under the shelter of an oak tree and I examine the berries growing on surrounding shrubs and bushes. I am so beat that I find myself drifting of to sleep.

I awake to Eva shaking me to wake up I turn to see Camila and Mr Victus anxiously waiting for me. I hurl myself onto my feet and am led to the safety of some near by blackberry bushes. I peer out to see why we are in hiding. Then I hear it, the snapping of twigs and rustle of leaves. So quite you can barely hear it. Someone was definitely on our trail. But it was too late to move, we just had to stay in the bush and pray that we wouldn’t be visible.

The rustling was coming closer and closer, until I new that the bandit was in the bush opposite us. I crossed my fingers and closed my eyes, ready for my life to end. When I was certain that the bandit was out in the open under the oak tree I opened my eye just a crack to see what weapon they beheld. But to my surprise there was no body there. I double-checked just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. Then I saw it, the little fury squirrel from the forest. There was no bandit in the bushes. The squirrel had followed us from the shrubbery near the train tracks.

I signalled to the others that it was safe and we cautiously emerged from the safety of our blackberry bush. I sat down, my back against the tree and let out a sigh. We were safe.

The little squirrel hopped onto my lap. I cringed. I am not an animal person. In fact I despise animals. But this squirrel made me feel different. I stared into his jet-black beady eyes and thought. The squirrel moved further up my tucked legs and rested his paw on my arm. At that moment my heart softened. I slid my legs into a crossed position and let the squirrel rest in my lap. I unfolded my arms and rested them on my legs. The squirrel took that as an invitation to crawl even further so he clawed up my stomach and I cupped my arms into a platform so he could sit. My heart opened to this little squirrel.

By the time everyone was rested and it was time to head towards the road, the squirrel was in a deep slumber and I didn’t have the heart to wake him so with one hand I slung my duffle bag over my shoulder and freed my arms to carry the little squirrel.

Standing at the side of a road waiting for a random car to pick you up is a very risky move but with the luck we were having we were very willing to take it. Camila stood there for half an hour signalling to every car that passed but none stopped. Then Eva tried, she waved and whistled and eventually a kind middle-aged woman picked us up in her miniature smart car. There was not enough room for all of us so Camila sat on Mr Victus’ lap and I squashed in next to Eva.

I was scared that the woman would refuse to transport a squirrel so I hid him in my duffle bag making sure he could breath. Thankfully he didn’t wake up the whole trip. Eva told the woman to take us to the nearest police office so they could drive us home…

  1. The woman insisted on driving the gang home herself but there are major complications on the way…
  2. The woman drops the gang off at the police station and to their relief without trouble…
  3. The woman gets violently ill on the way and Mr Victus has to take charge…

Remember to comment which option is your choice!

Chapter 2- A train ride to unknown

Last week I wrote my first chapter of my ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ story. The main character’s name is Brooklyn. She is a different type of girl, she sees life through three different aspects. Last week Brooklyn decided to put aside her worries and try making friends at a new camp. I left the story at “but the only respond my brain gives me is a limp hug and a surge of embarrassment as I realise everyone is staring at me…” here were the three options.

 

  • Her train comes and she heads off to camp to make new friends but there is a small drama on the way…
  • Brooklyn decides not to go and runs after her mum her mum doesn’t see her and drives off…
  • Brooklyn’s train never comes and the campers have to find another way to get to the campsite…

The majority of commenters voted for option number 1. So I will bend my story to go down that path.

 

As I clamber onto the train I notice that there are only about ten other kids quietly sitting on gum covered chairs. A camp leader approaches me; I try to appear busy looking for something in my bag. She doesn’t know that I won’t talk, no matter how hard she tries I want talk. “Hello Brooklyn!” How does she know my name?! “Come take a seat next to Camila and Eva.” I stand there feeling stupid, I turn around to see who the camp leader is pointing to. A warm faced girl with long curly blond hair. She gives me a reassuring smile and gestures for me to sit. “Hi I’m Camila and this is my sister Eva.” I lean forward to see who she is talking about. Another girl, she looks identical to Camila. She is playing a game on her phone, she sees me and gives me a slight nod and a groan. You can barely tell them apart, twins I suppose. Twins have always fascinated me, I don’t know why. “You won’t be needing that!” A thin, pale looking camp leader leans over the back of our bench and snatches Eva’s phone. “HEY!” Eva yells. But she is powerless against the tall woman now raising an eyebrow to show her annoyance. Camila sighs, as I glance over at Eva I see that everything around her is slowly turning red. I push the feeling to the back of my mind and carry on observing my surroundings.

All of a sudden some one is pulling at my arm, signalling to stand up. I quickly rise and turn to face one of the leaders. “Today we have a new camper her name is Brooklyn please do your best to make her feel welcome.” I freeze everyone is staring at me I see the lavatories behind small group of boys. Remembering that I had a big breakfast I approach the bathroom turning around again to see everyone still staring at me. I blush quickly close the door behind me and take sigh of relief. Sliding down the door I curl into a ball when something small and fragile slides out of my pocket. A photo of Grandma and me. Small tears race down my cheeks, and it starts to rain in my brain.

I hear a quit knocking at the door followed by ignorant pounding and Camilla’s soft voice “Eva don’t pound so hard you’re gonna break the door.” Eva sighs and I hear her footsteps fading. “Brooklyn are you okay?” I get myself off the floor and unlock the door. Camila steps inside and locks the door behind her. “What’s going on?” I try to talk. Everything around Camila goes pink and yellow. I know I can trust her. I try to think, how can I tell her what is going on? I point to my throat and make a cross.

“Brooklyn I don’t understand!”

I make a cutting sign near my vocal cords. Not the best way of expressing my sentence but she seems to understand.

“It’s okay I get it”

It’s nice to know I have made a dependable friend.

“Come on I want to show you something.”

I follow Camila to the front of the train.

“Hello Mr Victus”

“Hello Camila” A husky voice replies from the front of the train. He looks like a train driver.

We take a seat on two upturned milk crates. I recognise the road we are on from the multiple times Mum, Dad and Granny took us to the theme parks. We don’t go to the theme parks any more. There is no point; it is no fun without granny. I’ve never been to this camp before but I remember passing it on the way to the theme parks multiple times and know the route there quite well.

Up ahead I see a fork in the road. I realise this is no the way to camp. Camila has many badges on her sash so she has definitely been to this camp before. Why isn’t she noticing this? We’re going the wrong way!

I start making urgent signals to Camila. She stares at me with a puzzled look on her face. My actions get rapider with every meter that we approach the fork. Finally she gets it!

“Mr Victus, we’re going the WRONG WAY!” Camila screeches. I have never heard her raise her voice before; then again I have only known her for 20 minutes.

“Don’t be alarmed Camila, we’re eeerrrrmmm taking a shortcut.” He says unconvincingly.

“Mr Victus your voice, it’s really croaky and husky. You should rest when we get to camp!”

“That won’t be necessary” His voice deepens.

“Why ever not” Camila inquires

“Because we’re not going to camp.”

Option 1- Camila and Brooklyn slam the brakes and call the camp leader.

Option 2- Camila and Brooklyn think they’re just going out for one of the nature walks and go back into the body of the train.

Option 3- Camila and Brooklyn are called for dinner and make the camp leaders aware of where they’re going.

 

Chapter One – A Questioner

 

I’m a questioner, somebody that with every answer comes a set of a hundred new questions. But you see I cannot mentally bring myself ask these questions to anybody except the search engine whirring inside my brain. I have no condition, no mental illness, no disability or disease. I am just mute because I have lost all self-confidence and enthusiasm for speech. I’m not saying my life is terrible or anything because I know others have it a lot harder than I do, it’s just I feel like tiny robots have taken over my brain stopping me from saying or doing anything remotely intelligent or normal and preventing me from speaking to anybody but the city inside my head that is busily working in a twenty four by seven factory of ideas, questions, formulas and possibilities.

 

Sometimes I can accept myself for who I am. I just remember that normal is merely a word used to class and divide the social groups of this earth and to determine who should be what. But I soon realise that that is only a definition in a dictionary and in reality it doesn’t apply. Being the person I am I had to question the word normal, why can one word hurt or heal. Why can one word divide friends or stop friendships from forming. Why is it that this one word can class people, rank them and divide them from others? Why in some cases it taken as a joke and in others an offence? WHY CAN’T ONE WORD DO ONE THING? Not picking different definitions in different contexts.

 

Mum brought home a fluorescently coloured piece of paper today. It excited me because when I see bright colours I associate them to a kid toys and happiness. She handed it to me along with the words “Give it a try you might like it”. Of course being the person I am I had to open it right away. I unfolded the paper and started to read the writing, my eyes moving rapidly from page to page.

 

Summer Activities Camp

  • Make friends
  • Play games
  • Explore different activities such as hiking, rock climbing, treasure hunts and surfing
  • Interact with animals

Overnight stay for 2 nights buffet breakfast and dinners included.

 

Staring at the page the colour of scene in front of me starts to change colour. First a bright yellow signifying that I should give making friends a chance then a deep blue as in this is a bad idea. My mind seams to be battling with itself as if the robots in the headquarters of my brain are debating over my situation. Part of me wants to refuse any commotion but the majority of me wants to do this in my Grandma’s memory, in memory of her daring, adventurous spirit that empowered my every thought. She would always say to me “Never ever ever ever give up on life. Because one day you will look back and regret wasting your life on giving up.” So I run into the kitchen and give mum the nod. The nod that can explain everything I am thinking.

 

Even though I am hesitant I pack my bags and load the car. All I bring is one duffle bag with my name embroidered on it “Brooklyn” the last piece of art Grandma ever made. When she made it she told me “Brooklyn this was made with love. Remember me when you use this because I will not always be here physically.” At that point a single tear had raced down my cheek at the bare thought of my loosing her “But I will always be in her” and her big European finger rested on my heart. I gave a small nod and tried to be brave. That was the last time I saw my Grandma that was the last time I spoke a proper sentence or had a conversation.

 

Now as a hold the tattered duffle bag in my hands a million memories rush to my brain but I hold them back and continue loading my belongings.

 

When we reach the train station I see some camp leaders and a large group of kids waiting near by all wearing matching caps. All of a sudden the scene turns a very dark shade of grey. I know what it means but I push it to the back of my mind and start finding my way through the crowd, my hand tucked inside Mum’s.

 

As we approach the group a tall man gives me a light brown camper’s sash to put badges on and a yellow hat with a tree on it. As I realise it is time for parents to leave Mum kisses me on the forehead. “I’ll see you soon ok” I give a weak nod in reply. “You’ll be fine I love you,” she whispers. I want to say, “I love you too” but the only respond my brain gives me is a limp hug and a surge of embarrassment as I realise everyone is staring at me…

 

Vote for one of the following:

  1. Her train comes and she heads off to camp to make new friends but there is a small drama on the way…
  2. Brooklyn decides not to go and runs after her mum her mum doesn’t see her and drives off…
  3. Brooklyn’s train never comes and the campers have to find another way to get to the campsite…

 

Don’t forget to vote!

-Anjali