Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pretty Pretty Princess is in Mexico for 11 days, with a group of about 30 people from church - mostly high school students, some college students and some adults who are bound for sainthood. She got a passport just for this trip.She left this beside her bed. She will find this beside her bed when she returns. Any questions?

PPP and company are on a 'mission trip' to Merida, a big deal in her world. Also, a big deal for me, because in our own little world, she still calls me "Mommy." In public, she calls me "Mom."

To be selected for this trip, there was an application and interview. PPP raised money to pay for the trip (still has some to raise, wonder how she'll deal with that?) and spent many, many days in preparation at Mexico meetings. A lot of Mexico meetings all winter and spring. Life skills she will need - attend meetings. This whole process started in WINTER.

Two days out, she wanted to finish at least ONE summer-reading book. She SAID she would read the second one "during the long boring travel day." Sure, you and 30 other frenzied teenage friends on an airplane or a bus - you will certainly be absorbed in The Things They Carried.

36 hours out, she had a few things to do, involving laundry, Wal-Mart and gel hand sanitizer. She is probably bathing in gel hand sanitizer. Also, she needed an Austrailian flag for the Olympic-themed day camp/bible school. Trip prep began in WINTER, still need the flag 36 hours out. She has 27,562 tee shirts, so we were good on that. Also, a single particular pair of shorts borrowed from The Sophisticate, who was off on her own trip, post tummy-ache exploration.
Wednesday evening PPP went to True North Bible Study (abreve TNBS) and then off to 'get ready for Mexico.'
Be clear, the 'getting ready' would start after TNBS, which ends about 9:30-ish. I sent the camera, with instructions to take a few pictures of 'getting ready for Mexico.' She returned with these. Does the world look like this to her? That's what she accomplished on Wednesday. On Thursday, she completed her last day of being a "Volun-Teen" at the children's hospital. Also reminded me that she hasn't flown since she was 7, when we went to Disney World and she doesn't it remember it AT ALL. How did we let that happen? Time flie$ when you have a lot of kid$.
She was looking pretty excited/panicked, since at this point, about 19 hours before lift off - no Australian flag. Also, anticipation of flying, because....(insert the Disney World story here). And ONE load of laundry. We don't go to the laundromat with 1 load. We took it to Mimi for washing. Bought the flag of Australia from a gratingly-cheery guy named Dennis about 7 minutes before the flag store closed. Preparations started in WINTER TIME. We were in the flag store 7 minutes before closing on the day before the trip. Has she not encountered the word 'procrastinate' in all the ACT/SAT prep she's done? No need - she learned it from her mother. In home school, we call it 'experiential learning.'Now that the flag situation is under control, on to the compelling action of the Lax Boys of Summer. Put on the to-do list: do something about those toes. Seriously. Also, check a 9 more times to make sure she has a passport.
PPP had to pack in bags that she could carry herself, with no assistance whatsoever, throughout the trip. We fixed a ginormous zip-lock bag of first aid supplies and miscellaneous witch doctor remedies for gastrointestinal distress which she remains convinced she will catch if she washes her face with Mexican water. There are many, many versions of hand wipes, face wipes, baby wipes, big kid wipes...any wipes. In travel size. All that stuff weighs about a pound. Trust me.

Her checked bag could weigh no more than 50 pounds. A driving force during the packing was the exact weight of the bag. No worries about her ability to carry her bags herself, but an obsession with exactly how many pounds the single checked bag might weigh. She SERIOUSLY considered going to the airport at midnight the night before to weigh the bag, with and without various tee-shirts. Still weighs the same. Another question - backpack or purse? Both. Wonder if they stopped her at security because her purse was jammed into her backpack? Does that arouse suspicion? According to her calculations, that bag weighs less than 50 pounds. She eventually pulled out 3 white tee shirts. She had identified no fewer than 5 people with packing weight to spare, if she had to repack in the airport. She left the giant Disney Princess coloring book at home. Also, since she has the purse AND the backpack, she could shift some things around. But WE don't know. The WE left at home. Because you can look very carefully and you will not find her cell phone. Consider that....11 days, no text messages. TTYL.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

You did such a great job catching the excitement and chaos of the pretrip! I'm excited for her. What an amazing experience.

I love the pics! :)