No ... not me, though I wish. It's Becky! Can you believe that? My daughter is going to Australia before me. All at once I'm excited, jealous, nervous and a bit scared. I'm excited at the prospect of traveling so far (until of course I remember, I'm not going). I'm jealous - well because she is. But nervous and scared because I'm her mom and that's just a natural reaction to the thought of your fifteen year-old travelling half-way around the world without you.
She's heading overseas with People to People, which I had been vaguely aware of before she received her invitation letter. Now, I've come to realize it's a huge organization. I can't believe how many kids I know that went on one of their trips and I just didn't realize it.
The process goes, first you get your invitation letter. Then you attend a 60-minute informational meeting. Then you must apply. As part of that, you have to submit three letters of recommendation, two from teachers, one from someone else. Finally, you have an interview (which turned out to be a group interview - with 9 other kids), and then you're in. It sounds more involved than it actually was.
Once you're accepted you have between four and six meetings where the kids learn about each other and about the country (or countries) of their destination. These meetings last from two to three hours each. Last night we had our first one and parents were encouraged to stay (we're not required to stay for the second or third but must return for the fourth). We didn't do much other than organize into committees (food - three hour meetings - there must be food, bon voyage party, reunion party, and then some research committees). The research committees need to get information on cell phone rentals and purchase, Visa buxx cards, and hiring a bus to get the kids to the airport on departure day. I didn't sign up for any of those, choosing reunion instead - hey what can I say it sounded like more fun. Though I will do some research on my own using SlowTrav into the cell phone thing. We're still not sure if she's taking one or not.
Since Becky was in the first round of interviews, I (along with the other parents at that interview), got snagged into bringing snacks for last night's meeting. I thought I'd go with the theme.
We served kangaroos, crocodiles and sheep. People got a kick out of them, but man they were a lot of work. Next time, maybe airplanes.