Come and join us as we leave behind family and friends in Canada and embark upon the adventure of a lifetime.
This blog is dedicated to everyone who is tired of scraping their car windows, shoveling show and sliding through poorly sanded intersections.
We finally have our NOC docs...come join us as we snorkel with sea snakes, camp with camels, shop for safron in the sook and disembark from the daily in the dessert.
I promise, it will be worth it...
Friday, March 26, 2010
Well we all woke up feeling a bit worse for wear due to our confused sleep but everyone was in good humor and excited to start their new adventures. With the sun shining brightly and the temperature a mild 30 degrees (at 7 am) we had a quick breakfast of "real" Kellogg's Corn Flakes, milk and Mango juice (not a huge hit with the kids as it tends to be VERY thick) I then spent some time unpacking while Peter showed the kids our new digs.
Peter was lucky enough to have a few days off to help us settle in so while catching up on what was new in Calgary, we had a tour of our new stomping grounds. I have to say, I am pretty impressed with our temporary housing. I didn't have great expectations about what to expect after hearing horror stories about the temporary accommodations from former expats but the 3 bedroom flat that PDO has provided us with for temporary accommodation is more than adequate.
A huge boon for moving the kids 1/2 way around the world has to be the geckos! Did you know that the reason that these adorable lizards are called geckos is because of the insane geeeccckkkkOOOOOOO, geeeccckkkkOOOOOOO call that they make in the early morning. They are quite loud and actually rival the birds when waking us at dawn.
The kids love the geckos and we have nicknamed the Maid's room; the gecko room as there are 2 geckos living in the room, including a pregnant Mommy gecko. It's pretty cool as you can actually see the eggs incubating in her tummy as she gets larger. I need to do some research on gecko gestation as I'm not sure how long Mommy will be pregnant for.
Later that morning, once we were all freshly watered and the kids were dressed in their new school uniforms of shorts and t-shirts, we headed off to PDO school to have a look around. I do miss having a school uniform and I am a bit surprised that PDO school doesn't have uniforms as some of the other private schools do. Oh well, the kids seem to enjoy vestichoix everyday.
We first stopped off at the office of Mme Juliette to receive an overview of the school and our initial welcome. The curriculum offered at PDO school follows the International Primary Curriculum program (IPC), an internationally accepted, British based education standard used by all of Shell schools. The program follows a Waldorf type education model and doesn't have near the structure of CFIS (or the homework) but with the temperature reaching the high 30's everyday, maybe that is a good thing. The class times are also a bit different starting at 8 am and finishing at 2 pm every day to avoid afternoon recess in the heat.
Nicholas's IP5 teacher Mr Paul, was our second stop. The classroom was very warm (yes, there is air conditioning in the school) and showcased a huge banner saying hello to Nicholas when we entered. The boys (5 of them) all swarmed around Nick and gave him a huge welcome with promises of football (soccer), computer games, swimming and other activities to fill their days. It was wonderful to see Nicholas finally excited about our move!
We then moved on to Robin's IP3 classroom with Miss Claire where Robin was also received with open arms and lots of giggles. Miss Claire is lovely and her classroom was lively and bright with lots of artwork and wall to wall books. In all of the classrooms, the kids sit at tables with 2-3 classmates as opposed to having individual desks. This not only makes group projects more manageable but forces newcomers to interact with their peers making them feel like part of the group in no time.
Our last stop introduced Ryan to his Zebra nursery class (the other is the giraffe class) with Miss Bridgette. Changing schools has brought many adjustments for the kids but I think that Ryan has been most affected by the move from Canada. The switch from his 2 am french preschool program at CFIS to attending classes 3 days a week from 8 am - 11:30 am as well as attending 2 full days from 8 am - 2 pm has been an adjustment. So far though it seems like a positive one (he's only run away from me in the opposite direction of the school towards the golf course one morning).
I love the fact that all of the children at PDO school are expat children so each of them understands first hand what it is to be the new kid in class and in a new country. As a result the assimilation and integration of new children into classroom activities is almost an art form! Each of the kids have made new friends and has a full social calendar filled with play dates, after school activities and of course, beach and pool time. I love the small community of families (friends of Nicholas often have younger siblings that are also friends with Robin and/or Ryan) and Peter and I have actually started to fill our calendars with play dates of our own but more on that another day.