This was NEVER in doubt, but the Professor is a genius. After my last (frustrated!) post about our money we could not access, he figured out a way around the issues we were having with the bank. So monies have been moved, and we’re just waiting for them to arrive. And thanks to all of you – and there were a lot! – who offered to cover us somehow. We know the best people and we appreciate you all.
So now it’s business as usual. Had a teacher conference with Tate’s teacher on Tuesday and have two today with some of Gracie’s teachers. Tate got rave reviews, but it’s interesting, because here, due to her birth date, she is considered a Year 4 student (our equivalent of 3rd grade). Even though she’s completed that year. And the education system is more rigid than I had expected. Thankfully she’s in a blended Year 4/5 class, so she’s being taught on the level she is (and her lovely teacher said she’s well advanced for a lot of the work, too). But then there are some things that she’s required to just do the Year 4 work. It’s a little frustrating, but where she can, she’s learning new stuff. Guess we’ll see how it all works out when we get home, right?!
Gracie, on the other hand, is SO. BORED. in Maths (they’re plural here). She’s in a Year 7 class (our 6th grade), which she had last year. Just had a conference with her teacher who agreed that if we can get the materials/curriculum for her class at home, she can work on that here. So that will be interesting to make happen. I’ve got another conference with her Social Studies teacher in about an hour, so in the meantime, I’m sitting in our favorite little cafe, Mary’s, drinking a coffee and updating the blog. This is what I imagined most of my days would look like, but…
My inclination to stay home and do nothing is winning on a lot of days. I’m such a homebody (and super lazy), so it’s something I’m going to have to really work on, to make sure I’m at least making an effort to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Must. Get. Out. But honestly, by the time I run/walk to the gym, work out, run home, walk Tate to school and then myself back home again, I’m mostly ready to quit moving for the day. Don’t get me wrong, though – just because I’m home a lot, I still love it – I’ll look out one of our windows and just be blown away by the fact that we’re actually here!
So both girls are settling in well, making friends, and having fun. It’s such a huge relief, I can’t even describe it… And I’ve found a gym, which I’m pretty excited about, so I can talk to some people during the day, too! It’s called CrossFit Quattro, and it’s scrappier than my amazing gym in Columbia that I love so much (B^10 Method – try it if you want a great gym experience!), but it’s good. The people seem nice, although they’re not totally sure what to make of me since I’m a pretty boss spaz in the gym. But I’m holding my own – lifting well and lifting heavy and not complaining too much. (Yet.) But I do miss the shenanigans of my 6am crew at home.
Last weekend, we got out a little bit. The girls got to pick what we did, so we went to Snowplanet (and indoor snow park) and Sheepworld (kind of a petting zoo, kind of a sheep farm, and MOST DEFINITELY a tourist trap).
The girls – WHO DO NOT LIKE SNOW AFTER THE FIRST 10 MINUTES – wanted to go tubing in Snowplanet. So we did. This is one of them coming down the little hill, where you could work up to a surprising speed. After about 4 runs, I was done. Tate lasted one or two more than I did. And Mark and Gracie lasted maybe 10 after that.
Then we had lunch at a beautiful park, Shakespear Regional Park, north of the city out on a peninsula within the peninsula. Spectacular views and spectacular winds (hence all the winter gear). And fields full of sheep.
And THEN we hit up Sheepworld. Watched a sheepdog in training; saw (and petted!) some sweet, little, baby lambs; petted deer; and saw mini ponies (L’il Sebastian, Kiwi style!).
And this next one might be my most favorite picture ever. It just proves that a mother is a mother, regardless of species. Here’s a new ewe mom with her little baby lamb crawling all over her. There was another little lamb, too – the literal black sheep of the family – and they would not give this poor mom any rest. I swear I knew what she was thinking, because we’ve all been there…
Tomorrow’s already Friday of the second week of school, so we’re figuring out what to do for the weekend. Will keep you posted!