February 4, 2015

APAC 2015: Shanghai

(APAC: Asian Pacific Athletics Competition--basically a summit of all the varsity teams from about 10 different international schools in Asia, I am a member of Brent's Varsity Swim Team: representing Manila! Goooo Lions!) 

This year one of the Shanghai American Schools (of which there are two: Pudong and Puxi) hosted APAC and we all had so much fun playing cards, freezing in the cold (hello we're used to 34C weather!), and, bien sûr, swimming!
The fun started before we even left Manila!

Our team is so close and it's truly a blessing that I was able to travel to Shanghai with this crazy bunch of people. We bickered, we play-fought, we got pissed over card games, we did cartwheels in hallways, we lost our voices screaming for each other, we ate a lot, we laughed a whole lot.....I wouldn't want it any other way!
One of the keys to a successful APAC is the homestay: a family that agrees to take in 2 or 3 (once they took a whole team!) swimmers for the full five days. They agree to house them, feed them, generally take care of them. It cuts way down on costs and it helps us all work on our social skills. This year my roommate Sydney and I were blessed with an especially wonderful family. The mother, Helen, took such great care of us--she worried after us like she actually was our mother, and her boys were so respectful and polite. They made our trip 8x as wonderful, at least.
It's always the right time for an impromptu dance party!

We had to hang out in the hallway after we were kicked out asked politely to leave so rehearsals for a 5th grade fashion show could commence. We made our own fun and we ended up laughing a lot more than we could have after being silenced in the room. 

After our events that day we went out for a team dinner to Ubiquity, a local Chinese restaurant across the street from the school. 
My roomie and me at dinner
My beautiful smoothie concoction artfully titled "Babylove"
Sydney's "Mango Tango" was also a popular choice that night 

The restaurant was so lovely, they managed to sit all 22+ of us together at one long table in the back and the waitress that helped us throughout the night was very efficient and nice--she kept track of about 7 different checks (each with at least 7 dishes ordered) for the entire table.
Our experiments eating the steaming dumplings as soon as they arrived started and ended with Hannah scorching her tongue
Just chillin'
Not only was the service prompt and attentive (perfect for 22 starving swimmers), the food was absolutely delicious! Our group of four ordered: two orders of the shrimp dumplings, shrimp fritters, a California roll sushi order, buffalo wings, two chicken dishes, two crême brulées and an order of the custard dumplings for dessert. There's probably more that I'm forgetting. (I know there were at least ten dishes) I had a full on food baby by the end of the night.
We almost ordered the huge Napoleon dessert (five layers of fruit and yummy cream filling) but the group next to us ordered it so we decided to try something else.
The whole lot of us at dinner

Of course we didn't just goof off and eat in Shanghai (I also nearly adopted this little puppy at a pet's shop that used to be a street dog--the shop was offering her for free because she's the last one of the lot that they found left, I literally bawled the entire walk home from the shop), we swam!
The beginning leg of our successful girls 200 medley relay (this is me swimming backstroke yay) 

Our girls' 200 medley relay came in 5th place overall! We were so happy, all of us convinced that we had done our best.
The relay team! Cathy (team captain) swam breast stroke, Hannah swam freestyle, Jillian swam butterfly, and I swam backstroke (L-R)

We weren't the only relay team to place that night either. The boys' 200 medley relay team came in 6th place. It was a good night for relays. 
At this point in the evening we were all incapable of taking normal photos displaying our ribbons and I ended up with like 10 blurry photos of us in various stages of this picture. 

APAC this year was a success for our team. Even though we didn't get a trophy (as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd place teams do) we did all bond and get closer. Now when we pass each other in the hallways we can't help but make a face and wail "I miss you!" Literally can't stop it, we're such a close-knit team I'm crying thinking about the seniors moving on and the fact that APAC is over. I miss spending all my hours with this motley crue crew!

APAC depression has hit all of us pretty hard, and that only happens with the best teams. Even though we didn't medal or get trophies, I'm so happy with our team and time we spent together. It's worthy of a trophy all on its own. 

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