Evidently it is quite common or perhaps even a tradition for Italian school children and teens to take an excursion, an outing, a field trip of sorts together as a class in the spring time -- la gita scolastica. Monday, we attended an informational meeting concerning Young One's field trip. As far as I can remember, this is the first group excursion that has been organized specifically by the school, and I can only assume that it's part of the activities of the final year. Maybe. I never really know.
We showed up, waited the required 35 extra minutes for everyone else to arrive . . . (Yes -- we are still, STILL, always the first to arrive! You would think we would have learned by now; it is just very difficult to forgo punctuality.) . . . and then received the packet, along with the pitch by the asilo director.
I expected a day trip in a charted bus to a local amusement park, a zoo, a park, Lake Garda, perhaps a beach near Venice. . . maybe even a destination unknown to me but obvious in the local culture. I had visions of being car sick as the bus winded up the snake-like road to Asiago or having to ride a rip-roaring roller coaster or sit through a planetarium experience in Italian.
She explained that this is designed "for the children" and threw out all sorts of other educationese that convinces parents. . . . and my inner monologue was like this: Blah, blah, blah. Did I understand what she just said? Oh, Gianni is making a joke and Angelica still hasn't arrived. . . maybe I'll understand more on the second explanation. . . maybe I didn't understand. . . .overnight? 5 Terre? I was thinking of a quick trip there at the end of May. I wish that they would stop the side conversations so I could hear. . . don't they know I need to hear to be able to understand. Ciao, Angelica. I personally think they'd be just as happy hiking and camping in my back yard. Is that a castle? Casale, does it mean castle? Let me look in the packet. Blah, blah, blah. Why did she waste three pieces of paper explaining the benefits of being in nature? Isn't that ironic? Wait, wait let me listen again and pick up some words. Cascata. . . oh there will be a waterfall. Is Richard getting these details? Yes. That's it. A big house. Everybody. Together. 3 nights. The kids will have the chance to spend the nights together in a . . . ??. . . missed that word but must be a good thing as all are laughing and smiling. Bella. How does everyone already know the date. Hey, that's Young One's birthday. The name of the place is not written in the packet and I don't have a flippin' pen. 6 page packet. No important details. What a waste. Una penna, per favore? A cook? Shared bathrooms are something to think about. Must have five families agree to go. NO WAY is that going to happen. Whew. . . let her know by Wednesday. I am done sitting in preschool chairs in this stuffy little room listening to outlandish ideas. Can't we just go to a park? Or how about bowling? I know a great place everyone could go bowling and have a blast. I can't believe Richard has sat in that chair this long. Can he get up now?
Tuesday afternoon we all gathered again for a birthday party of one of the children.
Contrary to my hopes, the anwer is "yes." Everyone is going. Everyone thinks it is just dandy. The kids are already talking it up.
We are going on a three-night gita scolastica to Cinque Terre.
All of us.
In one big secluded casale (house).
6 six year olds. (Giovanni's mom is preggo so they are off the hook.)
3 younger siblings.
1 older sibling.
One big casale.
All of us.
Do you think for a minute that either Richard or I has the heart to tell Young One that she won't be able to join the others on the trip? I mean, if we had a valid excuse, we could likely succeed . . . but with no reason other than we just, frankly, don't want to do it -- nah, no way. The guilt would be grand.
Hey. . . "when in Rome". . . or in this case, "when in Vicenza". . . .
Looks like we'll be there, too.
Cultural experience #436.
Should be a good one.