We left Australia to go back to our other home a couple of weeks ago. So now we are home again: back in Dorst, The Netherlands. Australia has been fantastic for us and we have met some beautiful forever friends and family. It was hard saying goodbye, but at the same time it is wonderful to miss people, as this means there is love and it makes us long for reunion!
Since the 21st of August, we have proper WiFi-internet, TV and a landline at our new house. Thanks to our wonderful new neighbours, we have been able go online as they let us use their WiFi for the time in between. This was a great help and we have now spoken to Grandma Elsie (from Skype to landline – perfect!!), spoken to Cassie and the girls and of course John and Gaynor. The girls obviously have been talking to their friends face-to-face through Skype and Facetime.
Sveva has perfectly settled in her new room. This time she is the one who does not have to share. Her two big sisters are sharing the attic room at their own request. Sveva has turned her room into a flower-jungle room and is decorating it with as much plants and vines as she can get her hands on (or mum can buy). She also has the balcony at the front of the house. She took some pictures of the view, which show the kind of terraced houses we live in at the moment.
At the same time the photos give you an idea of how far the tennis courts are from our house: see the trees on the right and the light poles? That’s it. So 1 minute walk. Additionally, you can see the “tiny cars” in our street. We have one like that now as well: so many Dutch people drive these small cars. I am sure it has something to do with the road tax and the fuel economy. Road tax is calculated of the weight of your car! So the heavier your car, the more you pay for standard Road Tax (opposite to a toll system mabye, where you pay more when you use the roads more). Besides that these small cars do not use a lot of fuel and fuel is very costly over here (€1.70/L, about $2.40!!). Alternatively, when Graham arrives, we will need a second car as we don’t all fit comfortably in the little one.
Tara has been to see her new school: it looked astonishing! It was a 22 minutes push bike ride, which she will have to ride every day to cover the 6.2km to the school. Return trip 12.4km, yep 44min total. Tara has been taken to the “School Campus” by aunty Marie-Claire. School Campus is not at school: it is the name for a special part of a shop where you buy all your school items in the school holidays. Tara did not have to buy her books. She has received a box with 19 books to use and to return to the school by the end of the year. The books cover subjects such as English, Dutch, Maths, Geography, History, Biology and French. Because the books aren’t ours, they all have to be covered with some sort of special wrapping paper, which can be taken off by the end of the year. So Tara and her mum have been covering and labelling books for one afternoon last week. This will be a new annual ritual for Tara! (and mum??)
The first day, Tara went to school in the rain: HELLO THE NETHERLANDS!! We will see how long she will “enjoy” riding her push bike. We already have done the course: “how to fix a hole in a tire”, as she had two flat ones in the first week she got her bike. Mum’s skills in this were rusty, but extant and now being passed on. Let’s hope she can do the next one herself.
In Tara’s class is another girl from overseas and from next week on, her and Tara will be given some extra Dutch lessons once a week, to catch up with the others. On Thursday, her school schedule ends at one o’clock; other days she will be in school till ten past three or 4 o’clock. On Tuesdays, she gets to sleep in: her roster starts at 9:20am then instead of the usual 8:30am!! Juna and Sveva start at 8:30am every day, come home for lunch -while mum is not working still- at 11:45am, then go back at 1pm to finish at 3:15pm. Except on Wednesday: that day does not have an afternoon session and thus they have the afternoon “off” from 12.15pm onwards!!
Juna and Tara both have started hockey training. Juna with Hockeyclub Gilze-Rijen (2km east of us) and Tara with Bredase Hockeyclub PUSH, which is on her way to school. Sveva will have a look at the local horse riding school next week, to see if she likes it….and can start horse riding lessons (Is the pope catholic??? duhhh…).
Our last days in Australia were hectic, emotional and fun at the same time. Here’s a link to photos of our last day at Killarney Vale Public school shared on Google (if the link doesn’t work, please copy and paste in your address bar): https://plus.google.com/105552326362977648892/posts/dhvfZfmqnM4
Patricia is still looking for a job. As soon as something changes, we will let you know here. Tuesday is her first job interview…. fingers crossend!!
That’s it for now folks, will catch ya later!
Xxxxxxx The Wayling-girls!!
As Graham is still in Australia…