Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to School!

The new season of Autumn has started for real this week. The kids have gone back to school. And they love it. Proper love it. Josh is in year 6, the year he missed when we were on the Poop in Europe tour, so he can learn everything he already knows but this time in Portuguese. In year 7 they will have to study 16 subjects so we thought it best to ease him in gently to a new system and a new language. There are only 11 other children in his class, five older five younger, yet although so few pupils, they still have classroom assistants. You gotta love it here! Eli is in year 4 which is based in another building in the school and is the last year of the younger age groups, so she's a big fish in a little pond. Day 1 she was voted vice president of the class by the other 18 kids in it. They've both settled in nicely and are keen to learn as much as they can. One of our hopes for their 18 months of home schooling on our various adventures was to instil in them a desire to learn for learning sake. Not just to pass tests or to pass through the school system but to enjoy the process of learning. So it's been such a joy to see them both bouncing off to school at 8am and still bouncing when they return on the minibus at 6.30pm relishing the chance to discover more about the world.

Hi ho, hi ho, its off to school we go....

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We had a terrific time with Grandma and Papops, my mum and dad, while they we here on holiday. As did Josh and Eli who stayed with them for a week in a log cabin at the campismo de Oleiros. They flew back last Thursday from Lisbon looking much the healthier for 10 days in the Portuguese sunshine. Came back soon guys. And on Friday we took a trip to Coimbra to buy clothes and loads of school stuff. On Saturday we all went down to Albegaria, a little village an hour north of Lisbon where a South African and Portuguese couple, Sandy and Fatima, have made a piece of heaven on earth. A cricket field. Josh and I played and Von and Eli devotedly watched! But it was worth the trip cos Josh took his first wicket in men's cricket. Then another. And then a third. A truly momentous occasion and a fab boost to his confidence the weekend before going back to school. No picies to show but we do have a wee film clip of the cafe there that serves the best ham and cheese toasted sandwiches in the world!

The cafe in the famous cricketing village of Albegaria...

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Last thing to say is that "Jerry" has returned to the UK to see her mum and dad. Before she left we all had a rethink on how the renovation work is progressing at Bacelo and Moses. "Tom" really needs to focus his energy on Bacelo so Von and I will be renovating our houses and creating the gardens by ourselves from here on in. We have appreciated their support on the work at Moses since July, especially the belief they've given us that we can do this. Our first goal is to get the house called Moses ready for moving in before Christmas. We have a project plan to that effect and the first few days working together have been really sweet. Sieving the clay we took from the first 2 houses (called Cabeco) earlier in the year and mixing in water with our feet (well Von's feet actually cos I chickened out), then setting in slate with it on top of the walls. It's the way all the stone houses were built in this region years ago and it feels great to be using only the materials we have on the land to kick off the building phase after 2.5 months of demolition. The bathroom roof should be complete by Friday and we'll show you the evidence next week. For now just a short clip to show Von's gorgeous muddy feet in action.

Mud, glorious mud...

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1 comment:

Michelle said...

hi guys, can't wait to see Mós.... i'm so happy you are going to be living there.... beijinhos, michelle