On one such occasion, we left one hour and forty-five minutes after confirmed departure. It was a 2.5 hour drive to Abu Dhabi; that's for a straight shot, allowing for no bathroom stops. We got to the Exhibit we were to be attending at 11:45. It closes from 12:00-1:00 for lunch. And our school day ends at 3:30, so we would have to be on the bus heading back at 1:00 to return back to Ras Al Khaimah by that time. However, all the boys were unloaded and sent inside to visit the exhibit booths. I guess looking at closed booths is just as beneficial.
Twelve minutes after entering the convention, our vice-principal frantically raced around telling all the teachers to round up their boys and get them back on the bus. 12 minutes! I kid you not--12 minutes! It was an hour before all the boys were back to the buses. And it was another 45 minutes before we pulled out of the parking lot. The students had not eaten. The buses had had no time to gas up.
The entire drive home was complete frustration. If one bus stopped, they all had to stop: One to get gas, the other for a bathroom stop, another to get gas (apparently communication between bus drivers is non existent), another stop for food (since the kids had not eaten since we left at 8:45), another stop to try and organize kids into buses in order to drop clumps off close to their homes. It was a record 6 hour, 15 minute drive to return home, pulling back into the school parking lot at 7:15pm.
9 hour, 15 minute bus ride for a 12-minute run around an exhibit. Another field trip logged on the books for our principal!