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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


Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Auckland, New Zealand

ERgirl3 has resigned herself to the fact that Dadda will go off to work every morning.
Now she is asking, “Please may I go wif you?”

PS Rob has not resigned 😉


Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Auckland, New Zealand Of course individual replies are much more personal, but responding to readers’ comments and question in a blogpost is much easier. Even though we do not usually shy away from difficult, *easy* is good right now. Oh you ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Auckland, New Zealand

We keep being asked questions (which is nice).
We’ll start with Grandpa’s one at dinner tonight: How are you kids settling in?
Mostly it’s nice, but when ... [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]


Friday, January 1st, 2010
Auckland, New Zealand It was a meaningful conversation. It was with an older lady, who has been unable to work in paid employment for fifteen years. When she suffered her accident she was still only middle-aged, and expecting to work ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
Auckland, New Zealand

and the new babysitters:

That about sums up the day - apart from people dropping in and us popping ... [Continue reading this entry]

lost in space

Sunday, December 27th, 2009
sleeping at Dubai airport….onwards towards Auckland We lose most of today somewhere. We left Istanbul yesterday evening and took a four hour flight (just long enough to watch a movie and enjoy dinner) to Dubai, arriving when it was pitch black. ... [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]

Tgirl4….turned 5

Friday, December 4th, 2009
Brasov, Romania


What did you think of the trip Tgirl5?
It was fun. I like walking around towns and riding horses in Mongolia. Chinese food was nice, especially noodle soup. The tuktuk was very squished. ... [Continue reading this entry]