Guest Bloggers: Granny & Grandad

At the end of an incredible 3 weeks immersion in their Madventure, Al asked us if we’d seen any changes in the children over the 6 months they’d been away. It was a bit like asking Custer if he thought the Indians were shooting straighter! But now we’ve had time to recover, remember and reflect, we think there are probably some comments we can make.

Firstly, it was difficult to see any real changes brought about by their new way of life as opposed to just being 6 months older. Their personalities are apparently the same as ever. Ben is still gregarious and Matt still absorbed in factual learning. They continue to have their twin-type rough and tumbles with Ben teasing and Matt squealing, always competitive but ending up thick as thieves. Katie is still loving and eager to help and Zach’s mischievous sparkle and enormous smile are as captivating as we remember.

We can see the benefits of being all together as a whole family, with no TV/games distractions and more quality time with Mum and Dad. Their powers of concentration seem to have increased which we saw from their homework and painting sessions. Mealtimes seem less fraught as they are less picky with food and their table manners have improved. They have all been able to absorb spoken Spanish remarkably well and seem totally unfazed by their Dominican environment.

Our stay was mostly in relaxed holiday mode and we spent only a short time in their everyday Nagua routines. But either way, we found them happy and contented, confident, not worried or anxious, accepting of their new life, fit and healthy, lean, suntanned and swimming like fish. It was difficult to tell if they were missing their friends, cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents who they used to see fairly regularly. As children, they probably don’t think about it like we do.

Thank you very, very much Rich and Al For organising the wonderful time we spent with you all. We enjoyed it all immensely – experiencing the life you are living in Nagua; our touring in the big white happy truck, Samana and the exciting whale watching; visiting all those glorious beaches and our fantastic holiday villa; and even being sardines in the guaguas! So many
lovely memories to treasure but most of all just being with you and our supercalifragilisticexpialidocious grandchildren.

Lots of love and hugs, G&G xxxxxx


  1. Al says:

    Thank you for being our first “guest-bloggers” and for giving such a positive account of the way the Madventure is affecting the children. You are right, they are six months older than when we started our journey so it’s hard to know if we should attribute their differences (hopefully all positive) to simply being older or if we can credit them directly to the trip. My personal observation is that there is a greater maturity to their thinking, which manifests itself in both their questions & answers and the conversations we have around the table. I think this is a reflection of the fact that they spend a lot more time with adults (well their parents!) and are party to many more adult conversations than they used to be. The maturity and development of their intellect is a good thing. Of course, the natural worry is that it comes at a price – is it because they are not spending as much time with friends and other children as they used to?

    I guess as parents, all of us can perpetually tie ourselves in knots about whether we are doing a good job of raising our kids. So I will continue to live life,as I did in England, by the “enough” principle – “Am a good parent? Don’t know but I’m good enough.”

  2. Ted Walkden says:

    Well Alison, I don’t wish to make your head swell too much but I’m sure you are the greatest Mum kids can have :-)

  3. Guess what? I have news … I’m pregnant!!!!! ………………………………………………… Happy April Fools Day!! HA, HA, HA!!!!! Oh, okay, you saw right through that one, right?!?!?!?!?!? Well, I have a bit of catching up to do on your Madaventure Blog, but I did want to say how lovely it was to read G&G’s “Guest Appearance” and to read their comments and observations taken from their wonderful trip to see you all. It is wonderful to know that you are all able to spend more time with each other, marvellous that the children are developing and becoming more enriched in their day-to-day lives. I wouldn’t be worried that they are not perhaps interacting so much with other children, as they used to do whilst back here in UK. I am sure that they do interact and play whilst at school anyway … and they all have each other, which is great! And let’s face it, with parents like you two, “good enough” just doesn’t ‘cut it’ … they are blessed to have you both, blessed to have been given this opportunity to learn another culture and even more blessed that they can be taught everything that is needed, in order to integrate themselves back into perhaps a more developed culture and education system at any point in the future. Great parents, great adventure and great children that already do and will make you both very proud in the future. Maravilloso!!!! Un beso xx

  4. Nana says:

    Is there anything i can add to the above? idont thnk so and as for your parenting skills you are both doing a fantastic job and our darling kiddywinkles are very fortunate to have a special mummy and daddy!Keep up the good work. Love as always xxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Al says:

      Thank you everyone for you kind words – I am just going out to buy a new “sombrero” – my old one is suddenly too small!

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