BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for the 'learning' Category

« Home

six months on

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

A few people have emailed to ask how we’re doing. Funny, these relationships-that-really-are-relationships-even-though-we’ve-never-met.

Anyway, the answer is………

The kids are loving being home. They enjoy having books to read, bikes to ride, trees to climb and friends to play with. They also enjoy knowing what’s going to happen on a given day and not having to share a bed or sleep on the floor. If asked if they would like to take another trip, they answer in the affirmative, sometimes with the proviso that it is only for six months.

The Dadda is also pleased to be home. He switched jobs soon after arriving back and is enjoying the stimulating and challenging environment he finds himself in. Occasionally he asks,”Who wants to go to Malaysia for a roti canai?”

The Mama is not discontent, but she is unsettled. She saw things that made her question how she is living and she is struggling with coming to terms with what that means for here and now. She questions lots and has found few answers.
She has also been collecting past experiences and putting them here. When that project is done, she’ll really want some answers.

Oh, and we should tell you, we found the perfect little piece of paradise…..ten acres that exceeded our expectations. But we were not peaceful about buying it, and so we didn’t. Crazy, but the right thing to do. We haven’t seen another piece like it since.
Maybe we’re meant to go and live in an Indian slum!

another question

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Auckland, New Zealand

Another dinner out.
Another question: how have you changed as a family as a result of the trip?

Now *that’s* a hard one!

The first thought springing to one of the younger minds was that ERgirl3 loves Dadda so much more now. True.
An honest older child appraisal is that living together so closely for such an extended period with no means of escape from each other taught us more clearly what pushes each other’s buttons. True again.

But that was all they could come up with. No-one had any further ideas.
So the questioner probed differently: are we rich here?, do you think we need to have so much?
Everyone agreed that, without a doubt, New Zealand is richer than most of the places we travelled to. But Jgirl15 observed, “We have seen we can get by with less stuff, but whether we WANT to is a different matter.” Honest.
Kboy12 added, “We’re definitely more thankful now for what we do have.”

Mother whispered a prompt: what about Big Brother Mouse?
Ah yes, we’re going to work to sponsor another book for kids in Laos. We have come up with some more ways to do this…..Mboy6 suggested that we give money that is gifted to us to the fund, and every time we have a haircut at home instead of at the hairdresser’s we can put the money we would have spent towards the sponsorship, and whenever we find money on the ground we’ll put it in the elephant (we were given an elephant before we went away for saving money in, and we’re trying to fill it up again for BBM).
Additionally, we have been in contact with the BBM founder and discovered that one of the things he would really like to see coming in to the country is “educational type toys” – the sort that are sold in museum shops, that people keep for a while and then lose interest in – toys/activities that illustrate a scientific principle or perhaps construction technique (things like a Roman arch or solar system model, globe or microscope, anatomical model or pyramid construction set). I am convinced there must be a lot of this type of thing lying around developed nations and we’re going to try to work out how to get some of them to Laos!
(By the way, some of you readers have said you will contribute if we put up a paypal account – thanks for the idea and the support – we need to work out how to do it!)

But back to how our family has changed. Rob had a few more ideas than the children:
* we’ve learnt how to deal with new and challenging situations; everyone has grown 
   up more, become more independent, yet at the same time become more
   interdependent, being content with each others’ company. The children have gone 
   from being quite self-conscious about speaking a different language to being
   comfortable even doing the shopping in a foreign tongue.

* we’ve learnt (again – it’s not that we didn’t know it already!) how selfish we can be,
   but also how much fun we can have together

* we’ve learnt how privileged we are, and now the challenge is to see how that is
   going to affect our lives in the future

old learning ways

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
Auckland, New Zealand

Little Routine We Wrote In Romania is now up on our wall: [Continue reading this entry]

at the table (aka the good, the bad and the ugly)

Monday, January 4th, 2010
Auckland, New Zealand As predicted, the trip’s influence is infiltrating our kitchen. We bought oats, but have not yet made our traditional morning porridge. In the mornings we’ve been too busy banging boiled eggs together to find the winner with the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lest we forget

Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Istanbul, Turkey via the Gallipoli Peninsula


Impressions from the peninsula: * the sheer number of cemeteries sprinkled along the coast

[Continue reading this entry]

those twins again: the big one, Lboy8

Saturday, December 12th, 2009
Brasov, Romania

“I liked Malaysia for the food and iced lemon tea. I liked Mongolia for the ranch, for riding horses and milking cows and herding goats. I liked England for the food like ... [Continue reading this entry]

caught by surprise

Friday, December 11th, 2009
Brasov, Romania We were starting to think Jack Frost was listening to our plans and deliberately foiling us. We went to Mongolia in search of snow – it started one hour *after* we left. We had already been to south ... [Continue reading this entry]

three days ago the third…and four days ago too

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Brasov, Romania Throughout much of Western and Central Europe the sixth day in December is set aside for celebrating St Nicholas’ feast day. Known for being kind to children and as a generous gift-giver, the saint has been remembered now ... [Continue reading this entry]

Jgirl15, the first baby (or The Eldest)

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Brasov, Romania written by Jgirl15 


I really hope no one asks me what the one thing I enjoyed most about our trip is, because its an almost unanswerable question! There’s no ONE thing. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Kgirl10, the quiet creating one

Friday, December 4th, 2009
Brasov, Romania


Even before she could talk properly, Kgirl10 was trying to work out what our food was made of. Her kitchen-interest has only grown over the years, and she is the one we ... [Continue reading this entry]