Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wild and Crazy Kids

I went on my first excursion (field trip) today with Nini’s ninth grade class. To call the ninth graders wild and crazy kids seems like a terrific understatement. Spawn of the devil seems more accurate (but it’s a bit harsh) so we’ll stick with wild and crazy.
Some of the ninth graders (and me) trying to look cool

We were supposed to leave for our trip to Vani after fifth period but of course we were on GMT time (Georgian Maybe Time) and left a half hour after that. Why were we late you ask? Well, a teacher came over to the marshutka to yell at several of the ninth graders for skipping fifth period and when she came over she noticed that many of the other ninth graders were taking shots of vodka in the schoolyard.

Ten class-skipping, vodka-guzzling fourteen year olds isn’t enough to cancel a trip, so after a quick scolding we all got on the marshutka and set off on the road (drunk kids in tow). We first made a brief pit stop to pick up a few chairs as the marshutka only sits twenty and there were twenty seven of us. Despite the fact that we were packed like sardines, the ride to Vani was pretty fun. We sang Georgian songs and played “Never have I ever” ("Me ara sodis" in Georgian) while a few of the boys tried to sneakily smoke cigarettes in the back of the mini-bus.

When we arrived in Vani we toured an archeological museum that had all sorts of jewelry and pottery from way back to when Jason and Argonauts made their way through the area. It was pretty cool to see that so many artifacts were found in just small part of Georgia. It’s funny how in America, we think objects something from the 1600s are old but in Georgia, artifacts that were found a few thousand years before Christ came about are considered old.
Outside the archeological museum in Vani
Soon after witnessing a few kids vomit (vodka and marshutkebi are just not a good pair) we were back on the minibus, headed for a celebration in honor of the Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze. Well, as soon as we arrived at the celebration, we left. Literally, I think we were at the celebration for less than ten minutes. It kind of felt like a celebrity publicity event. We made an appearance, took a photo to show we were there, and bounced.
This is Melissa trying to get Nini to smile in photos
Me with Salome (basically my other little sister)

Before heading back to Samtredia, we stopped by a little stream on the side of the road to have lunch. While enjoying our carbs, cakes and chicken one of the boys had this brilliant idea to take the air out of the marshutka’s tires, so we would get stranded and have a longer field trip.

So, lo and behold, when it was time to leave one of the boys “noticed” that there was no air in one of the tires. Our marshutka driver was raging mad; I think we’re lucky he didn’t kill one of the students. This poor man was driving around drunk, screaming, smoking, vomiting fourteen-year-olds (beyond capacity) and then someone thought it was a good idea to create a flat tire to lengthen the excursion.

Our driver was no idiot. He knew one of the students took the air out. (Plus, the air caps were put back on the tire incorrectly). To make matters worse, as our driver began jacking the tire, a bunch of the girls’ twelfth grade boyfriends pulled up in an SVU and the students began to have a dance party with Georgian music. Meanwhile, somehow all the leftover food caught on fire (I blame the ninth grade pyro) and then one of the girls started hysterically balling after she accidentally got hit in the head with a small boulder that was meant to hit a dog. (Did I not say wild and crazy was an understatement?)
The work of some not-so-sneaky kids

Finally, the tire was fixed and we all got back on the marshutka. You can tell our driver wanted us all out of his car because soon after we passed a road sign that established we were physically back in Samtredia he kicked all of us out (instead of dropping us off at our school).

The weird thing is, even though I was somewhat fearful I was going to die today, I totally feel like I bonded with these demonic kids. They all wanted to talk to me and play with me and even with the language barrier; we learned a lot about each other. They may be insane, but I somehow love them all.

And at the very least, they make a simple trip to a museum an excursion and a half.


  1. Oh my goodness gracious, craziness.

  2. > Me with Salome (basically my other
    > little sister)

    That 'little sister' is apparently taller then you are. ;-)

  3. that was probably the best field trip i have EVER heard of...slightly jealous I didn't get to experience it haha