ITP Diary 2nd September 2014: Hajra Haider

2nd September: even before we could get our bearings right, it was our last day at the British Museum. It came as a shock, we had just arrived only a few days back but without realizing it had already been a month and the four weeks were coming to an end.

It was a strange yet beautifully sunny day mixed with too many emotions and exhaustion to clearly decipher what we were going through. The project which we had presented the night before had taken all our energy and we entered the boardroom with much disorientation; varied phases of half sleep, half depression, half bewilderment.

It did not take us long to snap out of it though, with David Owen’s energetic presentation, we were soon  focused on the interesting aspects of visitor services especially the parts which include interaction with the visitors. This session was followed by a break in which Rhea and I decided to take in the delicious sun which was the perfect cure for our aching bodies. The short sun soaking session was followed by a fun photo session, as I suddenly realized that the most important picture have not been taken yet and that was of the British Museum, as when I had arrived I could not manage to capture the complete building but after our numerous sessions and seeing images I had finally learnt the perfect angle.


This short break followed an awe inspiring session of Human remains, display and storage with Daniel Antoine. I feel as your knowledge on a certain subject increases so does your reverence for it.

We decided to have our last lunch together, all the participants and the team. It was hard to believe that this was the last time we will be eating in the BM canteen. Lunch was followed by an evaluation of the program in which everyone shared their opinions and do’s and don’ts for future programs and finally our times of departure to partner museums were distributed. We got off slightly earlier than usual, and the last minute souvenir shopping that we kept pushing thinking would be done later, needed to be done now!

The evening was divided between packing and trying to spend time with the new friends we had made with each other. We had arrived as strangers and lived together, shared breakfasts, dinners and bathrooms and suddenly we had to part. With hearts a little heavy, excitement lurking in the background for the partner museums and new adventures and experiences awaiting us we did our packing and went for a last dinner at corner pub.

I like to think that we have made a lasting relationship with the British Museum and that all of us will be meeting again soon someday somewhere in the world. For the time being there’s the weekend to look forward to and then the farewell dinner when we will all be together again! I don’t want to think about the end yet. I am certainly not a fan of goodbyes!

 Hajra Haider/ Pakistan