After countless hours of travel from various points around the globe, MCV has finally arrived in Sydney! Most of the corps left the morning of January 27 from their nearest airport and flew to San Francisco where we met up for our flight to Auckland, New Zealand and connecting from there to Sydney where we arrived sometime during the morning of January 29 (although it was still Thursday the 28th in Boston!) The flights themselves were pretty uneventful (except that fun turbulence between Auckland and Sydney!) and our pick up from the airport by our Tattoo liaisons also went smoothly, as did our registration at St. Andrews College at the University of Sydney where we're staying. What's wrong with this picture?? This was too easy!! OK, just so that we can truly be MCV and have some glitch in the proceedings, Australian Customs was still holding all our equipment hostage because the shipping carnet (the document that describes in minute detail everything that was in the cargo shipment) was missing. So, no drums, no uniforms, nada! (More on this in a moment…)
Now that we have pretty much out entire crew together (we're still missing one fifer – don't worry, we didn't lose her!! She couldn't leave until a few days after us!) we put the "pedal to the metal" in terms of rehearsing to work out any issues or kinks that might have sprung up from the local contingent making changes to music or marching that our remote members might have missed. Our first rehearsal took place the afternoon of our arrival (after we all had a chance to shower and get completely horizontal for a little bit – let's face it, you just can't get horizontal in airports and airplanes!). Progress was made, but it was a little difficult without any drums or any way to mark a centerline on the circular field!
Today ran a bit more smoothly as (after much telephone traffic to both sides of the Pacific on Friday afternoon) the carnet was found and Customs released our cargo! Hooray!! All the equipment was delivered to the college this morning at 8am in time for our full day of rehearsing! We were able to mark a straight centerline on the field, the drums could practice on real instruments and our support team could sort through the uniforms while we rehearsed so that they could hand them out to us once we were finished.