September 21 – from the west coast to the east coast

59/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. One of the most stressful things to organize as a teacher is a field trip. Not just a one day trip. No, a multi-day overnight trip. Not just for a weekend. No, 7-10 days. And not just a local trip. No, we’re talking flights. And finally, not just a Canadian trip. No, let’s take it all the way to Europe, China, Japan – you name it, we teachers do it. I have taken several groups of students on a few national and international trips and although a lot of work, they turn out to be amazing experiences for the students and for the teachers although we are on high alert as we are pseudo-parents 24/7. To get comfortable with doing this, the company I chose organized a tour to Rome for a weekend for the sponsor teachers – yes, a weekend…flying out from Vancouver to Rome!! I went for it. I was the teacher who flew the furthest for a weekend. I had no clue what to expect. I immediately made friends with my Canadian counterparts from various provinces and hit it off with friends from south of the border. Once again, odd connections were made – if one were to look at it from the outside, no one would have predicted urbanite trendy brown Vancouverite becoming fast friends with goateed, brawny, white, New jersey native Chuck. But friends we did become during that weekend bonding over drinks, lost passports, drinks, shopping for our wives, drinks, amazing sites, drinks, some wonderful Italian food and did I mention drinks? On the Sunday, we all went our separate ways not really thinking that we would stay in touch but Chuck had mentioned that he would definitely be having a reunion and about three years later, he put it out there. I was one of two from the original crew of 8 or so who made it out to New Jersey. Chuck and his family were amazing. They showed me the time of my life – from eating fresh crab to partaking in shandys, from shooting rifles to boating, from smoking stogies to meeting new friends. Who would have thought that a person you meet randomly on a weekend would end up becoming a friend on Facebook and then a friend in real life. I thank you Chuck for an awesome trip and even an “awesomer” friendship and I look forward to renewing it in real life yet again! Raising the US flag for you!

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