Much to the chagrin of my fighter pilot dad, motion sickness plagues me. I’ve learned to avoid it by sitting towards the front whenever possible (driving is best), selecting airplane seats strategically, never ever touching carnival rides, and not boarding public buses. Especially hot, crowded buses with multiple stops. But this trip isn’t about me and the transportation isn’t going to cater to my issues.
Our group of 14 has been traveling by van to and from the Children’s Village, school, and our hotel. Each hot, dusty drive takes about 30 minutes. My compatriots have been kind enough to let me sit towards the front, and God has protected me from the first sign of queasiness.
But yesterday, our group was split: 7 at the Village with the van and 7 of us at the school. At the end of the day, our small group hitched a ride on the school bus with the kids… 80 from the Village, 6 adults from the Village, 7 of us, 14 teens that live elsewhere, and a gaggle of local kids who ride the bus to stops along the way. Well over one hundred people on one standard school bus. No air conditioning, no seatbelts. To say we were packed like sardines makes it sound organized. It wasn’t. There were bodies everywhere! Hot, sweaty bodies. Three to four of us piled in each seat, kids climbing across one another in the aisles.
What was also in abundance were smiles, laughter, pure joy. People were singing, battling through thumb wars, sleeping, and enjoying the human crush. Shoved somewhere in the middle of that bus, I sat on the edge of a seat already filled with 10-year old girls. Three boys leaned in from the aisle. We talked and laughed, then watched videos of my “loco” daughters. When time came for our group to disembark 45 minutes later, I was filled with such disappointment. This had been a heavenly bus ride.
Wednesday’s schedule will require us to travel on the same hot, loud, sweaty bus. And I cannot wait!!
A world of difference… First, the bus as I boarded, at about 80% capacity. Second is a shot I grabbed last week on a first grade field trip with my daughter.