...I suspect I may be the luckiest kid in the world

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day, 2010

Who would have thought on Australia Day 2010, I'd be here. Union Island, St Vincent.

We woke up in Clifton this morning and tonight we're going to sleep at Chatam Bay - perhaps one of the most perfect bays yet.

And, in between, we managed to do some school, sail, swim, go on a wonderful hike and eat a Caribbean BBQ. (I even had a lovely little nap this afternoon - very much an Aussie tradition!)

The view during the hike was magnificent. I'm thinking it would be quite easy to look at this every day. Building a house on this hill is being added to my list of future aspirations.

After the hike, we waited on the beach for the BBQ to be cooked. The chef tonight went by the name 'Shark Attack.' Not sure of any connotations.

To celebrate Australia Day, of course, there were beers on the beach and a game or two of Tag with the girls. No cricket, though. I can't play a one-man, one-team game, and, as the only Australian, this was looking to be the likely scenario.

Finally, after quite a few, "Only a few more minutes,' 'In a little Whiles,' and 'Not too much longers,' we had a BBQ feast of Tuna and Lobster. Well done, Shark Attack.
(Yes Dad, I'm quite enjoying Lobster - you should be proud).

But, the best was yet to come. After dinner came a heartfelt song from the Swiss fam in support of Australia and her birthday today. "Kookaburra sits in the Old Gum Tree.'
I'm thinking of writing to the Australian Government to ask them to change our National Anthem.

So, here's to a wonderful Australia Day - spent at the beach with a BBQ - just as it should have been. Except, I also got to add some non-Australians - an adventurous Swiss family and French skipper (who was introduced to the Kookaburra Song tonight) and some Caribbean sunshine and the boat, Libellule.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hello, Sunshine!

A brief hello from Grenada!
The country still living somewhere back in the 60's or 70's and I'm loving it.

I'm currently blogging in my secret black real-notebook-not-online but wanted to post a few photos anyway.

I'm currently somewhere under here:

I can watch children, and swim/lie in the sun at the same time. See, I can multi-task!

And, then, when the watching/swimming/lying is done, we take this boat back "home."

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Last Chapter on Dry Land

It's almost time to leave.
A million Thoughts are running around in my head. And the Thoughts are leaving their toys and books everywhere. Such a mess.
We leave in approx 36 hours. 2 sleeps. A day and a half.
Then many hours on a plane. And many many more on a boat.
I hope I don't get seasick. I probably should have bought medicine for that.
My room is the cleanest it's ever been. Too bad I'm moving out tomorrow.
Funny how you can spend days scrubbing the toilet for the inspection and then it not even be inspected during the inspection.
Actually, it's not funny. It's horrible. Inspect my toilet!!

I'm missing 2 parcels in the mail.
-----------> United States Postal Service, I don't have time to wait on hold for 45 minutes. I ended up giving up anyway and I didn't even get to speak to a real person. And I had to fake an American accent to get your voice recognition service to understand the number I was giving you. And, please stop insisting for a 5 digit postal code. The rest of the world doesn't use 5 digit postal codes!
And I'm no closer to tracking down my missing parcels!

I had a wonderful break over Christmas. I felt especially lucky because it was actually my 6th and 7th weeks of holidays in a year where I was only supposed to get 4. I got to eat Chinese Fondue 3 times in a week and Cheese Fondue once. Something strange has happened: I love Cheese Fondue. Where did that come from?

I went tobogganing twice. Also known as sledging here. And skiing once. I totally lost any scrap of dignity as foretold in previous post. I even took down an elderly gentleman. He was okay. But I couldn't apologize properly in French. (I told you, I've been learning the wrong language).

Tobogganing was awesome. The first time I went, I got through. I was too scared to enjoy it properly. It was a mean track and I feared for my life. And, as a result I was tense and mostly nervous the whole time. Fun, but fearful fun.
The second time was ah.mazing. The track was just as mean, 3.5 kms long and sometimes on the edge of really steep drops. I was scared. I'd bought a day ticket, which was the same price as 5 lift rides. So I had to ride at least 5 times to make it worth it. (I nearly died when I did that mental calculation).
After the first ride I was wiped. Ready to finish and soak my aches and pains in a hot tub. Did I mention it's 3.5 kms on a crazy track? Where you're sitting on a flimsy plastic thing with steel runners?
But - I had to make the ticket worthwhile (stupid mental calculations). And so we continued. And it got better. So much better. Something about letting fears and inhibitions go and just trying to go as fast as I could and keeping up with the boys. (Boys: always faster on the tobogganing track).
By the end of 5 rides I was soaked through my many many (waterproof: pfft!) layers but I was so satisfied. All tobogganing I'd done before: summer tracks, water tubing - paled in comparison. 17.5 kms going full speed with only a few inches between my behind and a whole lot of sludgy snow - did I mention I couldn't move the next day?

I could go on - but I need to sleep. New Year's Eve was a wonderful time spent with wonderful friends. Friends who feel like a gift.
We danced to juke boxes and set off our own fireworks. And I got to play a white grand piano.

My anniversary buddy left me for home this week and I feel sad about this. But - here's to 10 months and 10 days Nicole. Cheers!

I wish my IPod was bigger. I am loving far too many songs at the moment.

I've got one more day of being an au pair on dry land. One day. Of the routine that's been mine for the last 10 months and 10 days.
MLF3 laughed her head off today when she realized the pair from au pair sounded the same as the fruit pear. Most likely visions of me as a pear.

I must go - I need to finish packing and to sleep. It's so cold here....but I console myself with the fact that in only a few days I'll be sitting in sunshine. Probably getting burnt.

I don't think I'll have much internet for the next 5-6 weeks, so I shall see you then. I'm going to try keep a non-virtual blog (a la notebook) instead.

Trinidad, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent & Martinique - here I come! Please be kind. Rewind.

Ps. You wouldn't believe how many cheeseburgers I've eaten in the last week or two.
Pps. Happy New Year! Joyeux Anni!