Monday, August 22, 2011

She's gone

Right up until yesterday we were not sure that our eldest child would be heading away to the US on a student exchange. After applying around August last year she was accepted onto the exchange programme, we paid our monies and they circulated her info amongst prospective families. Several potential host families put their hands up but then things began to unravel when our daughter realised she would not be able to do the one thing she wanted to do while she was away - cheerlead. School teams are wildly variable and the only way to guarantee a certain standard is to train at a gym. But the hosts lived hours away from gyms and the programme could not factor this in to the selection process. In desperation our girl got in touch with the cheerleading community in America and said 'help'. This was her last chance. If a suitable family wasn't found in the two months remaining she would be staying home. Then someone put their hand up and said they would love to have her stay. Their local cheer gym is the top gym in the country. The gym was keen too. Could the details be sorted and approvals given in time? Would the local high school take her? Yesterday, we finally got a yes. We took her to the airport for a 10am meet this morning and the plane took off at 1.05. This time tomorrow she should be in South Miami where she will be living for the next 10 months. I am very proud of what she achieved through her own efforts and thrilled the exchange programme came to the party and organised the necessary paperwork. I hope she has a wonderful experience. I miss her already.

I'm glad she didn't get the call up to fly on the weekend. I flew down to Wellington last thursday night to do a bit of book promotion, reading The House That Went to Sea at storytime on friday at the legendary Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie and then manning the Kiwiwrite4kidz table (available for the first time ever) at the Storylines Family Day at the Wellington Town Hall on Sunday. Lots of people checked out the books by our members, some talked to author Bridget Feehan and I about writing and getting published and some folk bought books for us to sign. It was a wonderful event with many happy young book lovers enjoying themselves, making fun things at the craft tables and meeting beloved authors and illustrators. Its a buzz to be a part of such a positive occasion. Wellington put on a brilliant day. Huge congratulations to Adele Jackson, Fifi Colston and the Storylines team. I will be at the Kiwiwritekidz table at the Auckland Storylines family day this coming Sunday August 28th.

Last tuesday Duck Creek Press held a combined first birthday party and book launch for their 2011 titles including my book The House That Went to Sea, Goodnight Pumpkin (by Belynda Smith illus. Marie Sanders) and Whetu: The Little Blue Duck (by Jennifer Beck, illus. Renee Haggo). There was a large crowd and sales went well (in a sold-out kind of way). Thank you to my sisters, niece, SO and son, and friends for their support on the night.

I think now maybe a little lie down is in order :)


Old Kitty said...

Oh what a week gone for you! Wow. Glad your daughter found a suitable host family so she'd be able to carry on her cheeleading practice! This is where I'm so glad for the current technology we have - lots of opportunities to get in touch and stay in touch!

Yay for the lovely children's book event and better still, sales!!

Take care

maureen said...

It was lovely to have you too at Wellington!
Hugs and hope you have a peaceful week so you can gather your strength for Auckland!

Imogen said...

By gum, that sounds like an exhausting few days. Go well!