Yes, yes, Davan came home and we were never heard from again. Sorry to leave everyone hanging! Although, Mom, it's not like you hadn't heard from us - such drama.
Anyway, let's see if I can give a really quick run down. We have been quite busy and that isn't changing anytime soon! I've been creating blog posts in my head, but not having the time to actually write them. Let's see how far I can get until my insomnia wears off. (It's currently 2am and I'm up due to lack of ability, though not desire, to sleep.)
Davan was really tired her first Monday back. She had trouble sleeping past 3am her first night back and ended up having had about 6 hours of sleep in the previous 40+ hours between travel and jet lag. Anthony and I had both taken the day off to spend with her. The two of us had decided we should do a fun and active family thing. We knew she'd be tired, but physical activity would help her adjust.
At first, when I told her that plan, she groaned, being so tired, but when I said it could be something fun and different from our usual activity, she brought up, not seriously, rock climbing. Well, we'd been talking about going to The Circuit Gym for over a year without making it happen, so I said, "Why not?"
It was certainly physical! We all had a good time and a got a good workout. Davan was a natural, though. I'm hoping to do more with the pictures we took, but, for now, here's a teaser:
After that, we've been mostly busy with regular life, trip recovery and preparing Davan for her next trip. I'm a little embarrassed to say that the down time we've had has been filled with things like catching up on The Amazing Race rather than blogging. However, we've also done the usual of baby sitting Kai, me working, Davan doing Zig Zags (and filling in for a Tic Toc who is out of town for their rehearsals), me working in the Do Jump office a bit still, finding Davan an interview outfit for her interview for both the Vietnam scholarship and the YES Abroad In Person Selection Event (IPSE), Wednesday adventures (more on that later), the Vietnam interview, a dance recital for a friend, a gig at Do Jump for Davan and a much delayed cast viewing of Seeds of Hope (the December show Davan was in). Whew.
Wow, I just realized I never posted about her making semi-finalist for YES Abroad! Not only did she make semi-finalist, but she just spent the weekend at the IPSE! She flew out super early on Friday (5:30am) and got back last night, Sunday, at 8pm. The IPSE was just outside of Washington D.C. this year, so she spent much of her weekend jet setting across the country. She was nervous and excited before she went and came home...well, changed.
She had a great weekend - one of the best weekends of her life, she says. She really, really wants this scholarship for many reasons and I think one of them is to spend more time with the people she met this weekend. She says she felt really good about her one on one interview at the time, but is less certain the more she thinks about it. There were also two group evaluations, done in small groups of 5, which she said were fun. She feels really good about her performance in one of them and a little more iffy about the second.
Sadly, she had a killer cold all weekend (she still sounds pretty bad now), which made things challenging. Imagine that it was one of the best weekends of her life, even so!
When I say she's changed what I mean is that in just the couple hours I spent with her before bed last night, I see a whole new maturity, confidence and spark in her in a way I haven't seen upon her return from any of her other travels in the last year (and there have been several). It's more than a little surprising and I think part of what is keeping me up this evening.
There are several other semi-finalists who live in the Portland metro area with whom she flew there, back and roomed with (in various configurations) and they are planning a Portland area IPSE candidate get together as soon as they can.
As for her chances...I'm not sure. She's come home with stories of how amazing everyone is - how well spoken, what ambition and personality. Yes, there were a couple of people she met that she didn't hit it off with, but by and large, it was an amazing group. She feels that others were more well spoken than she was, which would make them come off better in the interview. She was also one of the youngest. Most of them were sophomores or juniors, not freshmen. She met several people for whom this was their second year applying, most of whom hadn't made it this far before, but it was a repeat IPSE for one girl. She says they didn't say how many applied, but they did say that over 600 people start applications and don't finish them. I'm thinking, "Wow, if that many started and didn't finish, how many went through the whole process?" It's got to be a good number. The fact that she even made semi-finalist between being a freshman and having an irregular application (her references were Do Jump teachers, but they're really supposed to be academic teachers) is a huge honor.
She's hopeful and really wants it, but she's also telling herself that even if all she got out of it was this weekend, that's big because it was such an amazing experience.
Meanwhile, she had the interview for Vietnam the day before she left. She told me she thinks it went fine, but doesn't want to jinx it.
Her interview outfit (thanks Goodwill), is this:
And, with sweater:
We were able to find her a nice pair of slacks that make her feel like she's wearing yoga pants, but look more professional. The dress code for the ISPE was casual, so we were also going for nicer than jeans and a good shirt, but not too dressy.
While Davan was gone this weekend, Anthony and I got in a lot of bike riding (56 miles on Sunday, which is a good, long day for me right now!), some housework and general being together. While I did have a bit of time here and there I could have sat at the computer and done a blog entry, I'd have had to fight Anthony for the computer and didn't have the heart.
This week is spring break for schools here in Portland and I asked for the week off at work. While there is no after school program, there is day camp for the kids on break. Luckily, we have teen black belts looking for a little income to cover some shifts and I was able to take the week to spend with Davan. I'm really excited about it - a whole week of fun with my girl. I wanted this time with her post trip (and I was thinking Switzerland/Germany at the time, but now it's also post IPSE) to just connect and have fun.
We've got a busy week planned, for which I really should be getting some sleep. I will go back and try in a minute or two here. Later today (sigh), we're taking the train to Seattle! We're leaving in the afternoon, spending the night and taking the train home Tuesday evening. It'll just be Davan and I due to both trying to figure out Ranger care and Anthony not being able to take time off this week. I'm really looking forward to it and it's something Davan has been wanting to do for a long time - take at least a day trip to Seattle.
So, goodnight and I hope it takes this time.