Talking about 'disorganisation' of the military kind this time. I went with a party of Air Force Cadets to Vancouver one year as guests of the Ogopogo Squadron.
Canada is such a beautiful country and my father once seriously thought of emigrating there.
It was a very long flight and when we landed, we'd been awake and in the air well in excess of 39 hours.
We landed, glassy-eyed but our hosts (or rather the organisers, all in their 60's and ex-military men) gave us no time at all to rest or even have food and drink but took us to a lengthy official reception (lots of speeches from dignitaries, no refreshments) then we went to look at a gravel pit. Yes, you read that right.
Exhausted and jet lagged, the cadets nevertheless rose at 5am next day hoping to go across the border to Seattle, to an air base and famous air museum.
This was to be the highlight of the whole trip.
En route the elderly bus broke down but instead of re-arranging the trip with private cars as was suggested, they took us instead to several other boring places the teenagers didn't want to see.
It was, as far as our whole squadron was concerned, a total fiasco for which we paid many thousands of dollars.
The only good thing was the Ogopogo cadets and their parents who were lovely and very interested in Maori culture.
My son taught them a haka and why its done. When we were leaving, the boys broke into a spontaneous haka in the airport, brought it to a complete standstill and were cheered to the rafter at the end.
When we got home, a reporter asked a young girl cadet if she could encapsulate the experience.
She said, "I learned what SNAFU means."
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