After school care, Jorick’s birthday, 2nd Car, Kangaroo bullets and Snakes.

During her holiday Nicole enjoyed vacation care very much and wanted to continue this experience with “after-school-care”. When school is closing at 2.45 pm she can move to the Genesis OSH Club (Outside School Hours Care) which is at the same location. The days we still pick her up from school she is disappointed for not going to OSH, so we try to increase the number of days she can go there.
Her English is improving very quickly. She can understand a lot, speak some and is even able to read some child-booklets with a limited number of words. We are very happy with all the support Nicole is experiencing. Sometimes a voluntary mother at school helps Nicole to translate the lesson, two days a week she gets private lessons from a Dutch speaking teacher and also at OSH Nicole can practice her English.
Overall Nicole adapts very well, has some girlfriends and feels very happy here. She also enjoys the outside living with all the animals around.  
In front of the house we noticed some kangaroos regularly showing up, but also leaving things behind. After we teased Nicole that it was her job to remove the Kangaroo bullets, she was asking us permission to really clean it up. We were surprised but when she kept asking …  She likes to catch geckos, frogs and other animals, and she likes to watch the possums at the end of the day stealing the grape-fruits from our grape-fruit trees. They keep the lemons and citrons for us. 

Jorick has made a big change but still has some steps to go before he is adapted like Nicole. Until recently he refused to speak in English and when we said something in English he then firmly told us “Ik spreek Nederlands, JA !”. The last weeks he started trying and is asking how to say things in English and is even trying to learn us some English words. The first weeks he enjoyed pre-school and was looking forward to each day he went to school. Then suddenly he started crying intensely each time Jan left him at pre-school. However with very good support from “The Living Faith Early Learning Center” he now feels at home there and has some friends there. It was also very positive that some class-mates from pre-school visited him on his birthday with their parents, which narrowed the gap between home and pre-school even more.
His birthday was a good experience for him, with his class-mates and some other children from (and with) new friends we have met here. He enjoyed this and also was happy with the emails, postcards and presents he received from the Netherlands. Thank you all for that !
Anyhow, we get the impression that Jorick still doesn’t feel 100% at home here. The fact that his toys (in our container) still haven’t arrived yet also is causing this feeling we guess. Anyway, we see things improving and don’t expect it will take long before he is fully adapted as well. At least he went to an Australian hairdresser for the first time 😉

Last week some Dutch friends (Wim, Ellen, Jim and Rene, staying in Coffs Harbour) came over and joined us when bringing the children to school. The children then showed to be very proud and also this helped them to bring (known trusted and new) pieces together. A good experience. They even left some presents for Jorick’s birthday (and for Nicole) which was highly appreciated.

The last weeks were characterized by many hours in the car each working day. In the morning Jan had to bring Anita, Nicole and Jorick to different locations and had to pick them up in the afternoon. With all local coaching and support involved this took him 5-6 hours a day. Last week Jan has bought a 2nd car (Ford Falcon) at an auction house, so Anita can go on her own now saving Jan and the children much time to spend on other things.
For next week Jan has planned to buy a lawn mower, a brush cutter, a chainsaw, a hedge trimmer and some other tools to do garden maintenance as well. We have plans to create a playground and some tracks (for walking, jogging and mountain biking) through the bush-garden. Another target is to have a closer look at all the equipment and installations around the house, like the water infrastructure with tanks, pumps, valves, water streams, dams, ponds, sun-collector, signaling&control equipment, etc., the sophisticated “recycling sewer tank” with signaling and control equipment and the electrical infrastructure with detectors, switches, etc.
Jan will also start more seriously to investigate the local Brisbane (labor) market, so he can start looking for a job as soon as the children are adapted, the whole week to school, and all settlement things are largely handled.
Anita loves her job at the hospital and gets more and more introduced in all procedures and local habits at the hospital. Medical English, Australian sayings and patients with Queenslander dialect are still a challenge and probably stay a challenge for some time.

Yesterday Anita noticed a Snakeskin on the lawn and we would like to know which snake this is, so if you have any suggestions … This also indicates that we soon need to use a lawn mower.

At the Brisbane’s Alma Zoo (see picture) Nicole and Jorick could touch a snake and small crocodile. Nicole really wanted to wear the big Python Carpet snake round her neck but her father was not yet ready for it, perhaps another time ;-).

Below you’ll find some pictures made on Jorick’s birthday.

Wish you all the best.

Kind regards,
Jan, Anita, Nicole and Jorick




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