Monday, February 28, 2011

Morning Coffee, Same Old Routine

I hope you are all having a good start to the new week. It's already Monday morning over here, so I've put the kids on their van to school and I'm going through emails and having a coffee before I walk to work. We're sliding into a pattern that's becoming well-worn, so that I listen for the sound of the rooster behind our apartment that wakes me up after my cell phone alarm wakes me. Then we have our cartoons and breakfast. We get downstairs to wait for the van at the same time another little girl across the street gets onto the family motorbike with her mom and her backpack and heads to school. The same guy with a cart of coconuts passes, another dirtier looking guy with a cart collecting recycling to re-sell passes squeaking his little horn, the same lady lights up a stove to barbeque meat for sale on the corner, the same few internationals walk by with their shoulderbags to work.
The big boys really needed this weekend, cause it's been a super busy week for them. Ernest is extremely diligent, so his teacher's penchant for detailed projects is keeping him up sometimes past ten o'clock. And the school is placing a bit more emphasis on Bible memorization than even the Catholics care to do (it's a bit more on the evangelical side of the spectrum, so the three older kids are responsible for memorizing Biblical verses each week, and Ernie has to recall details of multiple chapters). He has made dioramas of Navajo dwellings, bar and circle graphs of group data, essays and poems and a comic strip depicting Moses and the Israelites in Exodus. Yoshi seems to have less of this, but math homework is still causing some drama. And then there are the lessons and assignments that I’m giving them in math and grammar to keep them up-to-date on skills for next year back at Catholic school in the US. I ask our babysitter, Atey, to get them working on when they first get home until I come home from work. The late bus after swim team on Mon/Wed is tiring for them, since it takes kids to all kinds of neighborhoods, and doesn't deliver Ernie and Yosh to this building until around 7. Anyway-- they are busy boys, and so most weekdays we stay in the apartment together and plow through all this stuff.
They have linked up with friends all very quickly. Ernie has Joseph, a 5-year expat who's the son of a missionary and very nice; David, who's Chinese and a buddy; Yoshi has Narith, Seongyo, Darewin, Logan, David and Ricky. I was just asking him if he knows where his friends are from so I could share, but he says he has no idea. Tika has Joy, Ion, and Gabe. Puck doesn't tell me who his friends are, but he has started bring home schoolwork where he has written his name multiple times, and made some paper airplanes (they did a "unit" on airplanes). He sings the days of the week, and counting by tens, and tells me that it's important to sit on the place that says P-U-C-K on the floor. He is very fond of his new teacher, Mrs. Walker, who is a very sweet lady.