First school experiences and preparing our move to a new home.

After now being a month in Brisbane, we are happy with the progress we made. Friday we will move to a normal house (leaving the cabin) and the children already found good schools close to our new home. Also most of the formalities and paperwork have been done now.
It still feels as a luxury having a temperature between 25 and 30 degrees each day with lots of sunshine. The new environment and habits are a nice experience. 

After Nicole has done an acceptance test she could start in grade 1 at “Genesis Christian College” on the 19th of March. The first term had just started in February, so Nicole will try to catch up and already started immediately with serious lessons. Her curriculum looks interesting with courses such as Mathematics, English, Science, Study of Society& Environment (Cultural, History & Geography), Music, Art, Japanese, Health & Physical Education, Christian Life, and Information Technology (computers).
As usual on all schools here, she has to wear a uniform. She has a dress for normal classes, a uniform for sports and a combination for special occasions (such as cross country run on the 25th of March). You can see the uniforms on the pictures, with the hat being part of it. The hat should protect the children against the sun, which is shining intense most of the days.
Nicole really likes school and is looking forward to each next day although she really got tired after 4 days, which is quite understandable. It’s not easy to start with serious lessons and with a new language at the same time. The school gives Nicole very good support. A teacher from South-Africa (with knowledge of the Dutch language) sometimes pops in the class-room to help Nicole with some translation and the school is also proposing some private English  lessons which we will do.This will help her to catch up more smoothly.
This week is de last week of term 1, followed by two weeks holiday. The holiday will give Nicole some time to relax and time for additional English lessons.
Tomorrow Nicole has an excursion with her class to the “Science Centre” in Brisbane. 

On the 20th of March Jorick started at pre-school “Living Faith Early Learning Centre”, which is like a creche with some educational programs through playing for the children of 3-5 years old. Jorick enjoys it now for two days a week. He can do all kind of plays but has to get used to the quiet time in the afternoon in which the children are supposed to sleep.
Recently we bought Jorick a “Thomas train” (with railways) and after “Cars” he now is a fan of Thomas as well. When you start the train it says “Come on Thomas, here we go” and you can imagine what we are hearing all day long 😉
For pre-school he needed a backpack and as you can see it is a Thomas one..

We are supporting the children to get used to the new situation by talking some English at home, reading booklets with them in English and doing their homework. Nicole will not start with “after-school-care” before she gets used to school and English a little bit more. The days Jorick is going to pre-school is also still limited to 2 days a week.

Besides all this we have been preparing the move to our next home on Friday. We have done some research on local plans of the government, have done all the formalities and procedures, have already arranged beds, a fridge, outside furniture, a BBQ (essential for an Aussie), etc. We also have already arranged insurance, Medicare, electricity delivery, a Telephone connection and an Internet connection which should be supplied in two weeks and also our laptop has been repaired now.

Today we succeeded to get an Australian (Queensland) driving license. Yes !! We had collected a range of required documents and finally we’ve got it. This makes it easier to buy a car which is one of our next challenges now. (we still are renting one)

Next week Anita will start working at the Prince Charles Hospital. Once the children are fully adapted and our settlement is mainly done, Jan will start looking for a job as well. Probably this adapting and settlement will take another month. We’ll see.

Thanks for all your emails. Since we have bad internet availability and our laptop broke down, not all emails have yet been answered very accurately. Sorry for that. In 1 to 2 weeks we expect to have good internet in our new home.

Kind regards,
Jan, Anita, Nicole and Jorick


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