Our second stop was a known destination for us: George Town the island of Punau Pinang (also called Penang). We had been to this world heritage site a few years ago and were looking forward to exploring the charming city with its small side streets once again. Continue reading “George Town – Penang”
It seemed like not much new was happening on our blog lately, but we have not been sitting still. Quite to the contrary: we were just in the offline world for a while. Yes, that still exists and it is great! We went on a Christmas and News Years Cruise through Asia. Continue reading “Summer Holiday ‘Out on a Boat’”
When I was driving Kai to school this morning I realised that this is the last time I will be driving him to Primary school. Ever.
After six years of primary school (and a year of prep) the time comes for a new chapter. Moving on to secondary school. Primary school in Australia closes off with graduation. I knew graduation from high school in America, which is a big happening, but I did not expect a big event for primary school. How wrong was I? Continue reading “Very last day of Primary School”
After about three months of competition play in a round robin format, Kai’s team in the Associations Junior League made it to the finals as second on the ladder in the 12B division. To determine the actual winner for this season, the first two teams play a finals of four singles and two doubles. And that finals match was happening today.
…at least that was the plan.
Last Sunday was a very sportive day for us. Kai was playing his last round of Junior League tennis (they won and are now in the finals!) and Luka and I got ready for the happiest 5km in Melbourne: this year’s Color Run.
This weekend is a long weekend in Melbourne – because of a horse race. And while that still sounds weird, it is reason enough for a lot of tennis tournaments to be scheduled in and around Melbourne, most of them across three days.
Since Kai made some big improvements in the last few weeks and months, we decided it was time we try this tournament thing again: the 2017 Better Tennis Frankston Cup. And for the doubles we enlisted the help of Seba, one of his classmates and previous doubles partner.
With our one way ticket to Europe in our pocket, we have entered the ‘last time to…’ stage. Since we have two children in an Australian Primary School, this has played a big part in our daily life. Without a doubt one of the most memorable school experience is Showcase.
Showcase is the biggest event for Essex Heights Primary School and it is quite impressive. It is a very professionally run show, with all the children singing and playing instruments on a large stage. We are talking ages 5 to 12 year here. If you close your eyes, that is sometimes easy to forget. Don’t believe me? Close your eyes and listen to the performance of the Year 3-4 choir, roughly 160 eight to nine year olds:
Next to the regular curriculum that all schools have to follow, each Australian school has a focus on special area – whether that is in sport, arts and/or culture. This is what makes each school unique and different from the other. I guess this is what has impressed me most here.
Singing lessons are part of the curriculum and you can choose to learn how to play an instrument. In Year 4 they play the Marimba, so everyone gets to learn how to play an instrument.
Luka is in Year 4 and started flute lessons at the start of last year. She has lessons during school time and band practice before school. Because of this she ended up being on stage five times: Combined Bands, Marimba Ensemble, Year 3-6 Choir, Year 3 &4 Choir and the school song. So no doubt that in the run up before Showcase a lot of time went into the preparation. Quite an experience to be involved in such a large production, but since they do this from the start of school it is something that becomes natural to them, at least that is how it looks.
We will try to make a short movie with an impression of the whole night. So stay tuned.
Halloween is not a part of the Australian culture, but we have seen it grow in the two years that we have lived here. Or maybe our children are teaching us… or we are just finally starting to understand the rules.
But since any excuse is a good excuse to invite friends over for dinner, we have adapted to this new tradition. We made some soup and ‘mummy sausage rolls’, baked one of our almost famous bread from scratch and asked our friends to bring some bites as well. So we ended up with plenty of food, enough to also feed the extra children that we picked up along the way while trick-or-treating.
So what are the rules to Australia Halloween?
You dress up in a costume and knock on the door of houses and say ‘trick or treat’. Don’t forget a big bag to carry your candy in, but also make sure you have a trick up your sleeve to impress people, as they are not expecting that! Or as Kai said, bring an egg and pretend like you will throw it.
You go to the houses that are decorated and leave the others alone – unless you enjoy to see how people are quickly hiding. For anyone out there who thinks they can do that without getting noticed, it is not working! If you decorate your house, that is an open invitation to all kids to come knock on the door for a treat.
How did we do it?
I spent a half day in the kitchen, we gathered at our house with three other families at 5. The three women went out with the six kids and the men stayed at home to warm up the food and give out candy to the trick-or-treaters at the door.
After an hour and a half the group of kids had doubled, the bags were full of candy and we went back to our place to eat the warm treats.
For us it was a great get together with friends that are born in China, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
I like Halloween!
A few months ago, while on another expensive trip to the mall, Willemijn bought a book with walks within Melbourne, in an attempt to let us explore our city of residence a bit more. Since then, the book has been sitting on the shelf, gathering dust.
But a couple of weekends ago we decided that we would need to remedy that situation. We took the great weather as a sign, flipped through the book, decided on a trail, invited some friends, packed our stuff (including our new drone) and off we went to the Red Bluff beach walk.