Rock of Love Bus

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, March 3, 2011

This entry is going to be a bit different from the other ones. This time I'm going to focus on a school field trip we participated in.  On this particular field trip, we had planned to head down to the National Resources Institute (NRI, now part of the University of Greenwich) in Chatham, Kent and then travel to various locations to search for adult mosquitoes and their larva.  So we met at school at 7:30 (much earlier than our usual 9:30) and all piled into one big bus and set off for Chatham.

Much of this day revolved around waiting in the bus.  In all honesty, the entire day could have probably been over in mere hours if the times we spent doing nothing in the bus were cut out.  Another large portion of this day was pretending, because no one was particularly interested in this field trip so in order to keep up appearances, a majority of us pretended to do many of the things we had set out to do without actually doing them.  So like all good narratives, this story’s major recurring theme is "pretending."

We arrived at the NRI just in time.  The bus pulled around to the back and there we sat for about an hour.  We were finally allowed to enter the building for a few lectures of mediocre quality before being mindlessly led back out the bus again.  We spent an unreal amount of time in the bus at this point driving aimlessly from hamlet to hamlet.  The bus spent at least an hour parking, reversing, and turning around in the parking lot of a campground before we finally left.  Apparently, the spot we were looking for along the river had eroded since the previous year (bad planning? Yep.).

Our next strange stop was at a random farmhouse.  Our instructor exited the bus and wandered around the property for a good half hour knocking on the door (and the windows?!) to see if someone was home.  Of course, we were kept in the dark about what was going on the entire time, we could only longingly admire the outside world through the bus windows.  Finally we were aloud to exit the bus (we'd since forgotten what life was like on the "outside") with a goal of hunting for mosquitoes inside the barn on this farm; however, we’d already been cramped up on the bus too long to actually have the will power to complete any task so we just wandered around and admired the farm animals.  You'd never know that the biggest city in Europe was only an hour away...

After a less than successful mosquito hunt, we were reluctantly shuffled back onto the bus to be slowly driven around the country again.  This time we stopped near the Cliffe Nature Reserve.  First were told to explore a concrete shelter that most closely resembled an abandoned bunker in search of adult mosquitoes, but the location was probably most recently used as the scene of some heinous and unthinkable crime.

The only truly successful portion of the field trip was when we tested our larval dipping skills in the marshlands.  We walked out into the pools of murky water with our waterproof boots (that’s “Wellies” in British English) and skimmed the water with little buckets to catch tons of mosquito larvae.  Of course, this got old after a little while and we all shuffled back towards the bus.  We enjoyed ourselves and the countryside and marshland were very beautiful…but we could have lived without the whole “school” part of the field trip!

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Fran Fran on

Haha this is amazing - brings back such good (bus based) memories!!

Fran Fran on

I think you did miss out the highlight of the trip though....'WORD TENNIS' - non English speakers vs. English speakers....

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