It’s been so long since I went to our website that I couldn’t remember how to log in. Last year finished in a blur of heat and activity, and now we are in the long dark tea-time of the school summer holidays which is just a different blur of heat and activity – fewer peaks than the end of term stuff, but demanding on a more ongoing basis. I am reminded of being 15 and the JW’s asked my mother if she ever longed for peace, and she replied, probably slightly manically “yes, every day in the school holidays”. There were four of us kids at home too.
Joni and Teen have become each other’s chosen partner in crime for projects and activities, which is mostly great, apart from the daily outbreaks of warfare which require frequent and creative refereeing. On the bright side, today she has blitzed her room which we have been prodding her about for months. She paid Joni to help her. So now we can actually install the shelves that she needs in order to be able to organise her stuff. Joni is pleased with himself that he has learnt to make toast – something of an artform here, involves a wire contraption on the gas stove top and careful supervision in order not to set the house on fire. Danny has learnt to make his own squash/cordial, and has also enjoyed making popcorn with me a couple of times. Baby is busy making a creative mess of the house having discovered the freedom of crawling: we removed the computer out of Teen’s room, initially as a punishment but it turned out to be a positive move for both of them so it’s staying in the dining room. And everyone including parents is mortally grateful for our big paddling pool – 5000 litres of it – on the patio, it has been about the only hospitable place to be in the heat of the last few weeks.
Next week the boys and I are off on Scout summer camp to the hills so now I am busy with paperwork, resources, paperwork, fixing tents, paperwork, organising food, oh and did I mention paperwork? Bureaucracy is something I never get used to here, and this camp has been the worst. In addition to the usual truckload of Scout paperwork, we have also been given another two sets of forms and photocopies required by the province of Cordoba, and yet another heap as a free gift from the nation in order to travel with unaccompanied minors. Apparently this is all related to the issue of human trafficking. Personally I would like someone to point me to any example of how all this paper has led to a single person being saved from trafficking. How many bureaucrats does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Two. One to reassure the public that everything possible is being done, and the other to screw the lightbulb into the water faucet. The bus company informed us yesterday that they are sending a 60 seater bus for the same price as the 45 seater which we had ordered but isn’t available. So we have fifteen spare seats for the paperwork to occupy. The camp site is a new one to me, it looks like it has plenty of potential, and I am happy with the programme that we have put together, so hopefully we have the ingredients in place for a fun week with the kids. Martin is looking forward to week of relative peace. As relative as it gets with Baby demolishing the house around him.