After an amazing week off, the time has come to get back to work. After a week relaxing in the mountains and having a few incredible days with Georgie the peaceful serenity has been interrupted by a new exciting and interesting group of skiers. This week I am really excited to be teaching and looking after kids from Bahrain, most of which have never seen snow. They are also at the wonderful age of around ten and so are super excitable about everything and really fun to teach and joke around with on the slopes.
As they only arrived today there wasn’t time to get onto the pistes but there was still plenty of opportunities for mischief and a few laughs. It began as soon as they got of the bus, fifty wide eyed kids smiling at the snow and marvelling at the mountains, not really sure what was going on. Some doubted the reality of the snow and questioned if it was all fake so decided the best way to learn more was to stick fingers, hands and heads straight into it. These snow covered kids then had to lug ginormous suitcases up an icy hill to get to the hotel which resulted in expected carnage. There is quite the temperature gap between Bahrain and the Swiss Alps and most of the kids haven’t been away from their parents before which resulted in ludicrous over packing and suitcases bigger than the kids. Some bags were as big as beds, stuffed with everything you’d need to trek to the South Pole and any remaining space likely filled with lead just to make the struggle of carrying it even harder. The normal minute long walk was multiplied into a chaotic ascent ten times as long as kids struggled to carry the huge burdens up the ice. Some waddled up forwards, slipping over as the bag tried to pull them down. Some dragged the bags up backwards, slipping over as they couldn’t get any grip. Most would have to wait as the queue slowly moved, slipping over just because they could. Others were still eating snow and sticking their heads in the ground. Once they got to the hotel the real struggle began.
At the hotel, there is no lift. There are now fifty kids with one hundred bags twice the size of them and three floors to climb. As most of these kids are from backgrounds of substantial wealth, they wouldn’t normally carry their bags, and as they could barely drag them along the floor, there wasn’t many who could carry them up three flights of stairs. Inevitably, this burden fell to the instructors. After the most intense exercise I have endured all season, frantically running up stairs with a countries supply of winter clothing trying to dodge kids who were cluelessly dawdling back down stairs all at high altitude I was left as an overheated state, out of breath and out of energy.
Luckily a trip into town to get my groups skis, boots and poles was next on the agenda to reinvigorate me and also provide a chance to cool down. Blessed with only four kids it should’ve been a easy, pain free trip into the centre, but these were kids who had barely seen any snow and were in the mood for mischief. I hadn’t even made it onto the road before a ice cold ball of snow hit me in the neck and disintegrated down my back. The whole walk to the bus stop was spent avoiding little white missiles which were repeatedly flying past my ears. The whole bus journey was spent listening to complaints about cold wet hands and the kids figured out the dramatic cooling effects of picking up snow which would then freeze their soaked hands. As soon as we jumped off the bus the complaints were forgotten as they returned to hurling clumps of snow. As I turned around to announce to my tiny snowball equipped infantry that we had made it to the shop,I got hit by one perfectly thrown wet lump of snow right on the forehead so incredibly that it stuck right between my eyes, resting on my face. It was so good that I couldn’t even be mad as I admired the wet blob stuck on my head with crossed eyes to the wonderful musical accompaniment of four kids hysterically laughing.
It’s going to be fun week, I just need to have my wits about me on the battlegrounds of snowball fights.