I just got back from a grand meeting between the boys and their Melbourne homestays. Pictures to follow as soon as Martha grabs a shower and several cups of coffee. Not all boys got their picture with their homestay, so don't panic parents! Your son is fine! Every boy will appear sooner or later in a photo here in Melbourne.
At about 11am (Sunday morning), Julie McKenna and I waved as a big ole charter bus turned onto Matlock St - a beautiful street in the leafy, historic suburb of Canterbury where the Australian Youth Choirs office is located. KSB had made it all the way from Philadelphia without any drama except one vomitting on the plane as a result of motion sickness. Every travel day MUST have one regurgitation event or it's not a boychoir. Parents, do not panic. The odds of it being your son is 1 in 46 and he is NOT ill. Just too much travel in one 24-hour period. Who can blame him? This young man was courteous enough to not throw up on either choir boy sitting to his left or right. Which was quite a feat according to Martha since the up-chuck was - in her words - volcanic in its force. How well-mannered!
Our boys hopped out into the crisp air of an Australian winter day, formed three lines and won the hearts of the Aussies with a rendition of "Waltzing Mathilda!" The Aussies were delighted! And so was Fitz and I - not bad intonation at all for 24 hours in transit. And by the way, what Aussie's call winter is really our fall. Quite lovely actually.
Ethan Walters, President of the KSB Trebles, gave a beautiful speech thanking the Melbourne homestays for opening up their homes, their hearts and their refrigerators. ETHAN, YOU STOLE MY LINE! I'll have to think up a new one for MY speech at the concert tomorrow night. What do they say...imitation is the finest form of flattery. The parents were impressed by Ethan's composure and eloquence. This is one of the advantages of being in a boychoir - learning how to present oneself and speak in public.
Martha and I then gave the KSB "tour rules" speech about no technology, no calling home, no technology, no calling home, no technology, no calling home.
Before long the boys were all walking off with their new adopted families. Then it was the chaps and staffs turn to find a place to call home. We are staying at the Pegasus Hotel on A Beckett Street - a change in the itinerary. It's right behind the Queen Victoria Market and close to one of the main drags of Melbourne - La Trobe St. So the adults will have some nice opportunities in Melbourne to get some respite from taking care of the boys. It's a big job. THANK YOU Julie (staff as well!), Bob, Mike, Sara, Susan, Evelyn, and Bobbi!!!
Now the challenge of staying up until 8:00pm Melbourne time. The homestays were encouraged to do things outside with their boys and not let them go to sleep until night fall. Otherwise they'll be up at 3am ready to start their day. If only that was the case at home on school mornings...
So everyone is safe and sound. Hopefully some of our more worry-proned parents can sleep better tonight.