Only joking, we wouldn’t sell them for the world. These four kids are fantastic. We’ve uprooted them from their friends, cousins, uncles and grand-parents. They are going to a school where they haven’t any (real) friends, can’t understand what their teachers are saying or explain to them what they need or want.
Ben’s been a bit low this week (I think he’s still a bit under the weather – his glands are up). He played footie this week (with a member of the DR national team, no less – more on which in another post), but was aloof & not really into it – not Ben at all. He’s struggling to sleep (mostly the weather, partly – as he explains, “the buzz in my head”) and told me he’s missing his friends & family back home.
Katie has also been playing up a bit – but judging by the bags under her eyes she’s really, really tired. She & Zach have a sleep every afternoon – and if they miss it for any reason they are both real grumps. The combination of early starts (alarm at 6am), the stultifying heat (and brain-drain) of school means they are both so very tired in the afternoons.
Zach donwloaded his first game on the iPad this week. I came in to find him playing ‘BouncyMouse’ – which he’d downloaded and installed all by himself!
Matthew’s really into chess and backgammon. It won’t be long before he’s beating me at chess and Al at backgammon. I’d start making up some ‘Daddy Rules’ (I thought of ‘my queen gets two go’s each turn’) but he’d check it up on the internet in a flash.
So overall it’s really quite amazing that they are all doing as well as they are. Apart from occasional hiccoughs and tantrums, the kids have adapted quite amazingly to this very new, very different situation. Every day brings new experiences (swimming in a warm sea, throwing coconuts and not stones into the surf), new foods (yam, plantain, pidgeon-peas), new words (today was numbers – Ben can count to fifteen in Spanish already). We have no TV (Ben is mutinous), and are being Victorian-strict with the iPad (don’t finish lunch = no AngryBirds).
Anyhow, it’s the weekend again – we’ll be taking it easy this ‘fin de semana’. Tomorrow we may have a cooking lesson from one of the teachers at the school (we’ve arranged it for 9am, but it might happen, it might not….la vida es asi). On Sunday (if I haven’t poisoned everyone) we plan to get to our nearest ‘nice’ (i.e. tourist) beach (Playa los Gringos – very apt!), recharge the batteries and remind ourselves (and the kids) why this is all worth it.