Her first Halloween as a school bus driver Sonia Cinelli wore a rocket ship dress, the second year she decided to turn her school bus into a jungle ride. This Halloween, her bus became a submarine.
“I have the best job in the world,” she said. She lives in Revelstoke, B.C.
“Everyone should be a bus driver.”
Cinelli is dressed in blue with a captains hat fashioned out of twine, fabric and paint. She looks like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus.
“Frizzle is me. It just is.”
She even has the stuffed lizard, named Liz.
The ceiling of the bus is blue with prints of sharks, the windows have become submarine portholes, in the back there’s coral and sea sponge. There’s even a working periscope made from PVC pipe and mirrors. Words at the front of the bus tell passengers they’re at 480 metres depth, which is the height of Revelstoke.
There’s also oceanic sounds coming from a speaker.
As Kindergartens board the bus at Columbia Park Elementary in Revelstoke, their eyes go wide and they stare in awe.
|The periscope was very popular. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
One student said as he looks through the periscope, “there’s no pirate ships!”
Another, dressed as a police office said-matter-of-factly that there were no bad guys in sight.
All the decorations and props, Cinelli paid for herself. Decorating the bus alone took more than 10 hours, which doesn’t include time spent at home making the portholes and periscope.
Cinelli said she does it for the kids.
“We’re [bus drivers] the first people they see in the day and also the last.
“School is hard enough. Life is hard enough, but lets have some fun with it.”
Cinelli’s route is along Airport way, south of Revelstoke. Some days, the journey itself can be an adventure even when the bus isn’t a submarine. Yesterday, they saw a coyote.
Cinelli spent months planning and buying from Amazon and the Dollar Store for this Halloween. Yet, she also re-uses items, such as pool noodles from the aquatic centre, egg cartoons and coffee filters.
After driving her route today, Cinelli volunteered her time and took the bus on tour to other schools.
“I can’t wait to see the kid’s faces,” she said with eyes twinkling.
“I’m so stoked for this.”
This is the last Halloween for three years that the day will fall on a school day.
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