Saturday, 28 September 2013

School Days

Another weekend comes to an end all too quickly. It's been the first one where we've been able to focus on doing nice things, rather than rushing round doing various jobs associated with moving to a new country.

It is Flossie's birthday today so we went out for a family meal to a local restaurant last night. We had a lovely time and Flossie was very pleased when they brought a special dessert out for her and sang "Happy Birthday", even though it was quite a posh place.

Flossie with her special dessert

She got another rendition this afternoon at the Al Yasmina School Picnic, held to welcome new and old families to the school (and to drum up support for the "Friends of Yasmina" I think). In fact she got two renditions, one in English and one in Arabic.

School is going well so far. The only disappointment being that Flossie hasn't got into Al Yasmina yet (where Henry and Archie are going for those that don't know). She is still third on the waiting list, with no signs of this changing particularly soon, despite Jo's best efforts.

This means that she has to do a 30 to 40 minute journey to and from Pearl Primary each day. I can drop her off most mornings as the school is less than a mile from my office, but Jo has a pressured hour each afternoon when she has to pick Flossie up at 1:45pm and then make it back to Al Yasmina to pick Henry and Archie up at 2:25pm. Every day it is touch and go whether she will make it in time, but she's got a very impressive record so far. It means she has quickly learnt to drive like a local, but that is for another blog entry.

Anyway, Flossie is making the most of it, and has settled into her new school really well, making lots of friends and winning "Star of the Week" in only her second week for trying so hard.

Well done Flossie!

Archie and Henry have also settled in well, making friends and enjoying most of school life. Mind you homework has started in the last few days so that could all change very soon.

The school drop off and pick up is an experience in itself. Everyone wants to park as close to the school gate as possible, possibly due to the heat, more likely because they (we) are all lazy. This means that people will park anywhere, including the middle of the road, and think nothing of blocking others in, which can be a problem when you need to make a quick get away to pick up at another school (see earlier).

Some parents don't do the drop off themselves, instead they send the maid and / or driver to do it. This causes even more chaos. Some families seem to bring the whole family, including the maid and driver, all adding to the confusion.

Mind you, nothing has yet beaten the occasion, a couple of weeks ago, when a pet monkey escaped from its home near Pearl Primary, and headed straight into the middle of the school drop off crowd. Chaos quickly turned to utter bedlam as frightened adults and children scattered in all directions.

Thankfully nobody was hurt, and the monkey was soon recaptured by its owners and taken home. The father of a girl in Flossie's class works for the Environment Agency here, and he is now involved in an attempt to confiscate the monkey in question. Apparently they can't enter a property to do this, they have to wait until the monkey leaves the house again. I have visions of the house being surrounded by policemen hiding in the bushes waiting to pounce!

It's all part of the surreal life we are adapting to here. The approach to children's birthday parties is another example, but again that is for another day.

As always thanks for reading, and the kind comments from various sources.

1 comment:

John Chambers said...

Another newsy blog, great to get to know about the life differences there.
Nice to chat yesterday.