MWRA 2009-2010 Writing Contest Winners

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Jake Letterie
Grade 6, The Rivers School, Weston


An Extraordinary Day

"The Vaishali Hotel please," I told the cabbie. He nodded his head and pulled into the street. I am an American boy. I love football and I barbecue every Saturday night (even in the snow or rain). I had never even considered visiting Nepal, let alone moving there to help bring safe drinking water into Kathmandu. I was honored when I was asked to lead the Project Management Unit for the $300,000,000 Melamichi River Water Project.

This morning, I was exploring Kathmandu until my Blackberry started vibrating like crazy in my pocket. I had gotten a text message from my colleague, Elvis Davis, it read: Hey Harry, an emergency meeting has been called and you need to be @ (Elvis uses a lot of text language) da Vaishali Hotel in fifteen mins. I shoved the phone back into my pocket and hailed a cab. The drive was short and smooth.

I yanked a $100 bill out of my pocket and squeezed it through the small hole in the glass dividing the backseats from the front seats. Due to the lack of time, I hollered, "Keep the change," as I rushed into the hotel lobby.

It was beautiful; a huge chandler hung from the forty foot tall ceiling, a huge rug detailed with different types of fruits covered the entire lobby floor, the walls were limestone giving the place a rustic feel and finally the lobby was lined with the most expensive furniture possible. I could have lived there, but I needed to find the conference room. I ran over to the hotel clerk and asked him where the conference room was. He told me (in bad English) that there were multiple conference rooms. I gazed up at the ceiling and sighed. Then I asked where I could find Elvis Davis. He then cheerily told me room 17 on the 30th floor. I hopped on to the express elevator and pushed the 30 button.

My ride was very short considering we didn't once stop. I got off the elevator and stood face to face with the door to room 17. I straightened my polka dot tie and took a deep breath. I knocked on the door. I man with a gray suit and a mustache answered. He looked to be about fifty-five years old. He had jet black hair and very tan skin.

The room was huge. The conference table had to be thirty feet long and had fifteen wheelie black chairs set up thirteen were filled. The man in the gray suit guided me to my seat at the head of the table. He then took his seat somewhere on the right side of the table.

As soon as I sat down, the minister of physical planning and works addressed the group and explained the purpose of the meeting; how to get the public to support the Melamichi River Water Project. Most of the land being used for the project was owned by local villagers. Many of them were upset because they thought they were being treated unfairly. They felt like they weren't being paid enough for their land.

Before we could get the project started, we had to get their support. Elvis said that I should show a model to the public and explain how the idea would work. This suggestion got a few head nods from the peanut gallery of government officials. I agreed to the idea, but asked where he would get the model.

Elvis smiled like a little kid and exclaimed, "I'm glad you asked!" Then he put on a sophisticated face and pushed a button that was under the table.

The conference table shifted in different directions and in the middle, a small platform was raised up. On top of the platform was the most elaborate model I have ever seen. It was about three and a half feet long, a foot tall and three inches thick. It was made with the best type of plastic and painted to perfection.

On the model was a two foot long path. The path represented the tunnel and was the shape of a cylinder with its top half sliced off. The inside of the cylinder had a mod~' piece of plastic which was painted with light blue paint which looked exactly like water. The last foot and a half was covered in four to six inch high buildings which represented the facility. Finally on top of the gray facility were large letters which read, "Melamichi River Water Authority.”

After a few hours, we came up with a plan that would be presented to the locals. I dismissed the officials and grabbed my model. With Elvis by my side we exited the hotel and got into his car.

A few weeks later, Elvis called and said he was on his way to my apartment to pick me up. He specifically told me to bring my model. When I saw him, a look of guilt appeared over his face. I asked, "What's wrong Elvis?"

He sighed and said, "Harry, I should have mentioned this earlier. I mean like a week earlier so you had time to prepare."

With a questioned look on my face I asked, "Prepare for what?"

Elvis gulped and said, "Your presentation of the model is scheduled for this afternoon." I was speechless.

Elvis felt really bad, so I hid my anger and said, "It's alright. Where is it?"

Elvis cracked a small thankful smile and said, "About twenty minutes away from here in Durbar Square. We have to make sure the locals don't get angry since the tunnel passes through their land." Elvis opened the door to his Diablo Lamborghini and I got into the passenger seat. He cranked up the radio and we sped off. As we reached the square, Elvis said something really fast but I couldn't understand him. It sounded like PREST N TEV/N. I just shrugged to myself and walked over to the podium model in hand. I looked at the crowd and I realized that Elvis had said, "Presentation on television."

I saw about fifteen different channels with their cameras pointed directly at me. I pretended they weren't there and started my presentation.

"Hello Katmandu, today I have come here to show you the future! What I'm about to show you is the model of a project that will change Kathmandu forever. It will bring clean tap water to many of the citizens who have been without it for several months. Without further ado, I give you the Melamichi River Water Project."

I placed my model on a small wooden table that was off to the right of the podium. I got a lot of "Ohhhhhhhs" and "Ahhhhhhhhhs" from the crowd. I stepped down from the podium and stood next to the table. I waited for everyone to be quiet. I pointed to the blue plastic piece.

I began, "What I want to do is build a 16 mile long tunnel to carry clean drinking water from the Melamichi River to a facility that would filter the water and then send it to the citizens in need of it. Building this tunnel and the correct pipe system will cost around $200,000,000. An artificial current will take some of the water from the Melamichi River and push it down the 16 mile tunnel into the water facility which is over here."

I pointed towards the gray facility on the model. "This facility will cost around $100,000,000. It will contain a state of the art filter system. Also the facility will be run by pure solar energy, making it good for the environment."

When the people heard this, they cheered loudly. To end my presentation, I explained that it is time for the people of Nepal to work together and move forward. The locals considered this statement and clapped. As they applauded, I stepped away from the table.

Elvis grabbed my arm with a huge smile on his face. He dragged me to the Lamborghini and told me he thought we gained the support we needed. I got insanely happy. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 6:00 p.m.

"Elvis step on it, I am going out to dinner tonight and can't miss my reservation," I exclaimed. With that Elvis sped off into the sunset. It was the end of an extraordinary day.

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