Monday, December 30, 2013

Be sure to "Like" the KSB Facebook page for more from India!

Be sure to check out and "Like" the KSB Facebook page for more photos and quick updates from the India tour.

Here's a photo from on the rooftop of the Salaam Balaak Trust:

See the page for more...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Photos - Saturday's Concert, arrival in India, ISKCON Temple

As rehearsal wraps up - here are some pix!

All is well!


All Saints' Church, Spring Park, Shirley


Welcome at the home of Bim Bissell

Bim Bissell, related to our chaperone Marlis Kraft

After the boys sang for Bim and her guests, she treated the chaps to lunch while the boys headed to the ISKCON temple. Stay tuned for the story behind the pictures!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Waiting for a shipment of Grads...

Sunday morning here.  I've just spent the last hour at the International Youth Hostel making final preparations for the boys' arrival.

The Hostel is spartan, but perfect for the boys. They will be in large dorm rooms by voice section.  The entire 3rd floor is ours.  There's a great rec room for fun and for rehearsing. Outdoor spaces and indoor terrace space for the boys to hang out. It will be home for the next nine nights. God help the International Youth Hostel ;-)

After three days of putting the finishing touches on the boys' itinerary, I'm more excited than ever for what India has in store for them.  Every tour changes their lives, and this one will be no exception.  They don't call it "Incredible India!" for nothing. The boys will gain a global perspective in a way that no other tour has offered.  I could go into detail about what's on the horizon, but I'll let it unfold for you as it will for them - day by day.

The itinerary is evolving.  Any member of the KSB family knows we make plans so we can change them.  I will post the most updated itinerary for each day so you can follow what we're doing.  Add 9.5 hours to YOUR time in Philadelphia to know what time it is in India.

More later...

WEARKSB Golf Shirt & Blacks
AMBreafkast: Virgin Airlines
Hygiene (Brush teeth! Comb Your Hair! Deodorant! Old Dan Tucker!)
Change back into KSB Golf Shirt & Blacks
Fill out Arrival document: as to reason for travelling to India, check whatever option refers to vacation. (might be "holiday" or "leisue" or "recreation")
Customs: Be humble and courteous with customs agent!
Claim Luggage
13:30Load & Board buses at Terminal
14:00Depart for Bim Bissell's Home
15:00Arrive @ Bim Bissell's Home
Bissell Sing! 
16:00Adults Lunch at Bim Bissell's Home
16:00Boys Depart for Iskon Temple with Mr. Fisher and another adult
BBL on bus (from Bakery)
17:00Enjoy Iskon Temple
18:00Depart for Bim Bissell's and pick up Adults
19:00Depart for Hostel International (HI)
20:00Arrive at HI
Buses unload and continue on with Hotel Adults to Hotel Diplomat, followed by check in & chap meeting
HI: Room assignments and Honcho Assignments
Bus taking adults to hotel returns to Hostel to tranfer boys to Hotel Diplomat
21:00Staff & Chap meeting (Olive Kitchen)
Boys depart for Hotel Diplomat (Buses must be finished by 9:30pm)
21:30Dinner @ Oliver Kitchen
23:00Boys & Hostel Adults depart for HI by foot
23:30Evening Showers
24:00:00Silent Room
1:30Lights out

Last day in London - off to India!

Back at Heathrow waiting for our gate to be announced. For the most part, the boys slept in today, though I hear that at least one group got to go back into London. You may get a peek at their purchases on a later blog with pictures. They were very excited about what they found. ;-)

Today's concert was in a small church in the town where we have all been staying, with an enthusiastic audience of parishioners, homestay hosts, friends and relatives of our group who live in London who were so excited to have a chance to see the boys perform. We even had an audience member who had been a member of Kings' College Choir back in the 1950's. The boys were quite happy to be performing for a real audience for the first time on this trip, and did not fail to please!

They've just announced our gate, and we've just learned that it's a 20 minute walk from the waiting are where we are gathered, so I guess that's it for now!

Looking forward to catching up with Mr. Fisher in Delhi, and to see what India has in store for us!

All are still as healthy and happy as they were yesterday,

Just one photo from my phone from Whistle, Maggie, Whistle.

We're having fun!

Off to India!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

First Full Day of Tour - London!!

Greetings from Jolly Old England!

First of all, everybody is happy, well fed, getting through round one of jet lag, and safely at their homestays, and I'm quite sure, sound asleep after our first full day of tour.

Just a few highlights, and a quick first round of pictures before I head to sleep myself.

Despite a stormy night last night with high winds and rain, and some showers off and on this morning, the weather turned out not to be much of a problem for our one day walk through a bit of London. First stop? The London Eye, the enormous Ferris wheel that was built to celebrate the Millennium, but is so much fun that it's still here 14 years later. Incredible views of so many London landmarks - Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the cool new tallest building in the EU - The Shard, and more. The London Eye includes a great little 4D movie (ask your son about the sea gulls) which was a perfect way to stay dry during one of the showers before we crossed the Thames, stopped for a quick sing in the courtyard of Somerset House, then on to Covent Gardens for lunch. But before we ate, the boys had to stop and sing "Holly Jolly Christmas" in front of a huge topiary Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Fun!

After lunch, we headed up to the British Museum for a couple of hours. Usually the boys aren't so big on museums during tour, but there are so many amazing treasures here to keep everyone interested - Mummies, the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, Assyrian Lions, and on and on. Cross that one off the bucket list.

As the sun was setting with a clear sky, we held a rehearsal outside the museum, and of course drew a crowd. Even the guards gathered around to listen, unlike the guards at the Somerset House who said it was lovely, but we should move on.

After dinner in Leister Square, the day ended a little earlier than expected when we learned that the trains were still not running reliably because of last nights' storm, so we steamed over to the Charing Cross Station. On our way we spotted the South African Embassy, with a memorial tribute with flowers, flags and farewell messages to Nelson Mandela, so I am sure you can guess what happened next!

The boys sang "Nelson Mandela" and "Shosholoza" just long enough  to make what we hear was the last train back to our part of town. Might not complain about Septa after seeing how quickly the trains shut down here!

Here's a first round of pictures - out of order, but here for you to enjoy! Here they are -  settling into tour at the airport, singing for homestays, Chaps' Boxing Day dinner, the bus ride into London this morning (no trains!) and some of the day. If your son is not here be sure that he is happy and having a great start to tour, and we will be sure to catch them for the next round! If there's wifi at the airport, we will post tomorrow night. Otherwise, next round will be on Monday when we arrive in India and catch up with Mr. Fisher.

Good Night!


PS - Three cheers for the terrific group of chaps, medics, photographers that are along for the adventure!!

View from the London Eye

Instead of Lanyards, Emergency Contact Cards

Somerset House

Big Thanks to Mariah Butler and Tom Berendt for being our tour guides!

Having fun waiting for homestays to arrive

The Kahn Family all together for a day!

London Eye Sing!

Fun on the London Eye

Trains cancelled, but fortunately our bus drivers from yesterday were available

First night Chap Dinner

Singing for Homestays

Welcome back to Jack Schmieg, Ben Schrager, Joe Marx and especially Dan York, who moved away before his voice changed, and is FINALLY getting to be a Grad!

Playing cards - we must be on tour!

Fitz's words of wisdom.

Singing at the airport