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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 😉

mixed emotions

Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Auckland, New Zealand

What we like about being home… * books * space * having Grandpa with us again * “it has a homely feel to it, which I like” ~ Kgirl10  * toys and bikes * English * friends * proper ... [Continue reading this entry]

surreal arrival

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Auckland New Zealand

Friends are at the airport to meet us. Little people have grown big. Babies have turned into toddlers. Apart from that, it seems we haven‘t even been away. This feeling of *did it really happen?* will ... [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]

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]

if you go up in the woods today….

Friday, November 20th, 2009
Brasov, Romania You might meet a bear and you could go by cable car. But true to our tradition, we walked. And when you’ve walked to the top, you don’t want to take the cable car down; you want to run, trip ... [Continue reading this entry]

moving again

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
Budapest, Hungary Our final day in Krakow is Independence Day. Undoubtedly there will be a big parade. Patriotism runs rife here. There will be red and white flags flapping, national costumes, brass bands, pomp and circumstance. But it’s pouring with rain, ... [Continue reading this entry]


Sunday, November 8th, 2009
Krakow, Poland

Our ... [Continue reading this entry]

then and now; old and new

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
Krakow, Poland  Letterboxes. You wouldn’t think there’s much to say about a letterbox, would you? But they symbolise today’s observations. Down in the lobby of our inner-city hostel, just like in all the other old buildings and new apartments in Poland, ... [Continue reading this entry]