We asked the children to write a story with the title 'The Journey'. Most wrote dramatic tales of their travels to Bangladesh. The first problem is getting to the airport:
All of a sudden smoke came out of the car in front … and then the car exploded! [Un-named]
The next thing I knew, Mum was shouting at my face! 'What's wrong, Mum?' 'Your uncle has forgotten to fill the car up, and now we're stuck in the middle of nowhere!' [Shamena, Class 5 story writing competition]
Then there are the last minute panics at Heathrow...
As everybody got inside the car they drove off to Heathrow airport. Finally we got inside. There were still two more hours until the flight. I told that if I could get some snacks then I wouldn't feel hungry on the plane. When I came back from the shop I checked to see if I had my passport. I checked my trouser pockets but it wasn't there. Then I checked my suitcase but it wasn't there either. 'Mum, mum, I can't find my passport,' I screamed. 'What do you mean? Didn't you put it in your suitcase?' Mum said … 'The flight to Bangladesh will be leaving in 15 minutes, I repeat 15 minutes.'
….As we headed for the counter, trouble began. [Nishat. Class 5 story writing competition]
When we arrive at Heathrow we go to check-in but there is a problem. There is too much luggage. Everyone is trying to figure out what to do as the luggage weighs too much… [Salima Chowdhury, Class 5 story writing competition]
Finally, there's the actual flight…
The plane flied for five hours but after that the plane stopped in mid air and it started to fall and we all shouted 'AAAHH HELP!' We all fell on something soft so I managed to get out. I found out a lot of people were dead. Blood was everywhere. I said my prayers. After that I climbed back into the plane and I saw all of my family members were okay. I think Labiba fainted during the fall but we all knew we were in the Sahara Desert. 'I hate this stupid holiday!' I shouted angrily. [Isra Rahamn, Class 5 story writing competition]
Most of the children wrote about how excited they were to be visiting Bangladesh, while others had more mixed feelings: In his story, which he poignantly calls 'Losing my Friends', Yusuf tells how after overhearing his parents discussing the family's imminent trip to Bangladesh, he and his friends plot to upset the plans:
I went to tell my friends, Batitsa, CJ, Ryder ... They were all shocked with what they heard so after school my friends had to do a plan. We planned to go and rip the tickets up but it was a waste of money so we decided to go and persuade my mum not to make me go there it took almost three hours but at the end mum had to say stop annoying me you will have to, it isn't your choice, it's my choice, so pack your bags ... [After arriving at the airport] everyone was sad. The flight took twelve hours. I was very sad. I went to the plane I was red eyed.
You see, [writes Isra Rahman] I'm going to Dhaka and I don't want to. But I'll have to stay with boring grandma if I don't go so I have to go.