Having lived in Melbourne for over six moths as an expat and still in the honeymoon stage of the cultural adjustment cycle (as some stay in that phase a bit longer than the “official” six to eight weeks) it was bound to happen at some point. Disappointment.
A bit of background
To keep up and improve their Dutch language skills, the children have been going to a private Dutch school for two hours every week. We choose not to do this on Saturday, but rather after school, so we can keep our weekends obligation free. Driving to Beaumaris takes us about 45 minutes, so I picked up the children from school a bit earlier.
For this term we found out that the Victorian School of Languages is in Box Hill, only a 10 minute drive from our house. This school is subsidized by the government and among many languages they also teach Dutch. That all sounded ideal. So I gave them a call and found out that they would not allow us to contact the teacher, but that we could enroll and if it was not for us that we could quit. So hey, why not?
The first day of Dutch school
Today was the first day of school. We drove up to Box Hill to meet the teacher and the other students. So far, all still going very well. Then we noticed that there were also children there who did not speak any Dutch yet. Within two minutes of conversation, the coordinator had explained to us that the VSL teaches languages as a second language, which at primary school level remains fairly basic. So if we want our kids to keep up the level that they would have at a Dutch school, that this would not be the place for it. We did let them stay for the first lesson, already knowing that we should not let them stay there.
When picking the children up Luka got very sad when she heard that they would not come back. She had made a friend and she really, really liked it. Tears were rolling down her cheeks.
Some parts can hopefully be fixed again. Starting by contacting Alieska to see if she still has a spot for us at “De Leesplank“. Then we will get back to getting out of school early and drive to Beaumaris every week. It might even be possible to arrange to get in contact with Lukas new friend, so they can have a play date and still see each other.
But who is most disappointed? Luka, because she met a friend that she really liked? Kai because he will miss a big part of his art lessons? Or is it me, because I feel that I caused the disappointment?