After the students received their passport invitations on Monday telling them to bring a suitcase, passport, gloves, a hat, a spoon, a pillow, and a hostess gift; this is what the ladies' bathroom looked like Thursday morning.
And this is what was wheeled into my classroom and opened, much to my surprise, at lunch.
After school the students played basketball for awhile while we set up. Then they arrived, were given their tickets, had their luggage scanned, went through our fancy metal detector, and sat in the waiting area until we boarded our flight. Check-in agents were (L to R) seventh-grade teacher Caleb Martin, Levi Swanson, and sixth-grade teacher Wanda Hoover.
After take off, we watched a safety video compiled by our very own Shalom Supersonic Airlines crew. (Here are our pilot, Major Discomfort, and his helper, "The Thang".) We "landed" in Mexico, had our passports stamped, and enjoyed appetizers and mariachi music.
Our host in Mexico was first-grade teacher Laurie Martin. Afterward the students took their hats out of the luggage and we learned the Mexican Hat Dance.
Back on the plane the flight attendants served drinks and a choice of pretzels or peanuts. After landing, our next stop was in Italy where the students were served Italian wedding soup and salad at a fancy Italian restaurant.
The activity in Italy was for each table of four to stack their luggage up as high as they could. We call this the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The winning group somehow got four suitcases up to ninety-six inches.
Faith Builders' student interns LoisAnn Landis and Yolanda Lichty were our gracious hosts in Italy.
After leaving hostess gifts, we ran back to the plane. We had a loss of cabin pressure and had to don oxygen masks during this flight. (Flights aboard Shalom Supersonic Airlines are never boring.)
Our next stop was in Lebanon where the students sat on the pillows they had packed into their suitcases. Our hosts here included fourth-grade teacher Dorcas Shirk and teacher apprentice Mary Swanson. We then partook of a Middle Eastern meal and broke bread, dipped it in olive oil; and ate fish, raisins, olives, grapes, and cheese. After dinner, we had to vacate the premises when some intruders chased us off as strobe lights flashed and alarms sounded.
On the last leg of our journey, we braced in crash position as our plane accidentally landed in the Swiss Alps. All of the passengers were unhurt, and we crossed over a mountain (a snowy parking lot) and begged for refuge at a Swiss chalet (Jeff's music room at Terre Hill Mennonite High School) where the kind homeowner (Kay Fisher) served us hot chocolate and apple strudel. After we were warmed up, we sang one of my favorite songs, "An Austrian Went Yodeling", and said our good-byes to the chalet owner.
The students, as usual, were a great help to us in cleaning up all the mess which covered three classrooms, the hallway, the stairway, and the all-purpose room. They even vacuumed my classroom for me! Appreciative students are such a blessing.