The link to all the South African tour hoopla can be found here:
I am exhausted. It was one long day of assembling all the items on the packing list, labeling everything including socks, then finally packing it all up. I gave each youngster a copy of the packing list. Their instructions: find each item; place item on bed (make a pile); put a check mark next to that item on your list. This applied to clothing, toiletries, cameras, garment bags. The piles were large. We discovered missing items. We went shopping.
Fact: It is not easy to label black socks. Yes, I know about silver sharpies, however after the 14th million sock, I was having to go over everything 3 and 4 times.
After all the labeling came the packing. The instructions: place things in plastic baggies, suck the air out, place items in your suitcase, then cross out that item on the list. I actually enjoy the vacuum packing part (I know that's weird, but whatever - small pleasures). I also wrote thank you notes on postcards. T assembled the packets of gifts and thank you notes for the homestay families This tour the family will GET the thank you card because it's IN the packet. Nobody had to sit on their suitcase to get it to close. In fact, both boys said they had extra space. Good! There will be room for gifts for Mom.
We all got into bed a little after 1am. This was not the best of ideas since we had to get up at 4am. We actually all got up, and managed to get done all the morning stuff that needed to happen. We were on time to the bus. The boys sang and then boarded the bus and drove off to JFK.
I tracked their flight all the way across the Atlantic. I love flight tracker! I also used Google maps and brought up the same map. It was very cool to check every so often to see how much progress they had made since the last time I had checked. They were scheduled to land at 3am our time. I was sleeping. I woke up with the email in my in-box that tells me they landed safely and all is well.
Now I will spend the next 3 weeks checking the tour wiki for a blog entry from Mr. Fisher, and looking for pictures of my kids. You should check it out. There is already a lot of really good background information on it.