A few weeks have passed and the blog has shifted into the background. This will hopefully serve to bring you all up to date:
Home front: We’ve moved into a semi-detached villa in the middle of the city. It’s a lovely, modern house about four years old, with a small garden and outside area. There’s a big expat compound right next door so we have the benefit of a community to tap into, without sacrificing the pleasure of relative seclusion. There’s a big shopping mall nearby, complete with roller coasters and an ice skating rink. It’s about 100m away, and yep, would you believe it, too hot to walk there!
Kids: Last day of school underway as we speak. They’ve settled in really well and we feel very fortunate to have been so lucky a) with a good school and b) that they’re all in together. Some families can’t get siblings into the same school – imagine the hassle of that. The school reports for both boys were excellent – the teacher said Cormac’s “enthusiasm was infectious”, which I thought was lovely spin on a part of Cormac’s personality which can have me tearing my hair out. Mental note: must be more enthusiastic when Cormac decides to build a pneumatic dinosaur out of boxes with a live circuit involving batteries, syringes and coat hangers). Liam meanwhile is loving learning Arabic and will take any opportunity to give us the “Yella!”-up (I think it means “get a move on you lot!”). Bobbie has spent a total of 5 weeks at school, just long enough to make me wonder where my little four year old has gone. I’m told by her teachers that the flurry of kids wanting to sit next to Bobbie, to hold her hand in the line, be her best friend, etc etc, has shown no sign of waning yet. Lucky for her!
Malc: Busy at work, but he finally has two staff on the team and it seems as though they’re starting to make headway. Yesterday he went to visit a school who had raised a whole lot of money for Christchurch, there are 60 kiwi kids at that school apparently (at our school we are the only kiwis). He’s down in Dubai sometimes two or three times a week. But all in all, from where I sit on the periphery at least, I think he’s doing a great job.
Me: Now that I’m in the house with a regular internet connection I’m going to be able to get stuck into my work with Te Rau Matatini. 20 hours a week (I think I’ll split it and do a couple of hours early morning, and a couple in the afternoon). My other job is going to be tutoring the kids – we can’t afford to let them have two months off when they have already had 7 weeks at christmas this year. We’ll hopefully break our days up with visits to the ice rink, pools and clubs.
And in a final piece of news.. if we survive the never-ending summer, we are hoping to take a holiday… Malcolm needs a proper break, somewhere away from the heat, a place where he can really relax and finally begin to recuperate from this crazy start to the year. So I went straight out and booked flights to Africa. What could be more relaxing than sleeping in a tent in the middle of the Serengeti with lions and tigers prowling around?