They have this event here called the Australian Open… maybe you’ve heard of it?!? We returned to Melbourne in time for the Aussie Open and in time for another exchange couple from Red Deer, who are in Cooma for the year, to stay with us while the Open was happening.
Sheila and Adam Sillery stayed with us for a few nights and it was so STRANGE to hear Canadian accents (okay – really to not hear any type of accent!!!) for the time we hung out! I had met Adam and Sheila a few times but Brad had not met them at all – though you wouldn’t know it from the way the guys hit it off!
While Sheila and Adam were at the Open on the Wednesday, we registered the kids for school at Croydon Hills Primary and were lucky to meet Eoin’s teacher, Mrs. Browning (whose students call Boo). Mrs. Browning took about an hour to show us around the school. Eoin made a comment about the classroom and she said that it isn’t until the kids arrive and they start putting their work up on the walls that the classroom has any life to it… That until then, the classroom doesn’t really have any soul. I loved this as it is so true! This is the kind of statement that Eoin also really relates to so he has a good feeling about the way his school year in Australia is going to go! Hana’s classroom is across the hall from Eoin’s (just like at home) and she was pretty excited to find out that her teacher is MR. Sommers (yes – a Mr. – she was pumped to find this out!). I also popped by my school to get some help from the computer techs and to check the place out a bit. People are very friendly and ready for a laugh which creates a good feeling for my upcoming school year.
Thursday and Friday found me with two days of orientation downtown with all the other exchangees. Most of us are Canadian with a couple of teachers from the States, one from England and one from Scotland. There are only two other familes on exchange (kids are 7 and 5 in one family, the second has a one-year-old) which was a bit of a surprise. It was good to meet others who are here. We will be getting together every once-in-awhile on various excursions around Victoria.
We made the most of our last weekend before school officially began! Saturday, we celebrated Brad’s birthday AND Australia Day by going into Melbourne and having a wander around. We had a delicious supper and watched the fireworks, following that up with the Womens’ Final for the Aussie Open in Federation Square (televised on the big screen) with a few thousand people before taking the train home. Sunday, we went to Frankston and spent the afternoon at the beach. When we first arrived, it was pretty quiet – a few Aussies were there, all bundled-up and staying away from the water due to the wind! However, the sun prevailed and the wind died down. When it did, out came the beach cricket set we had brought along. At one point, there were 6 kids, 2 dads and a nana all having a go – it was a blast! The game ended when it became time for a dip and then a dolphin sighting had people running down the beach to get a closer look. Turns out, the dolphins had been swimming about 10 metres from the kids with the kids being oblivious to it! Monday brought a bit of a hang-out day and in the evening, we headed to the MCG for the Melbourne-Sri Lanka cricket match – the fifth in the series, with Sri Lanka already ahead, having won three games. Despite this, we had fun – there was a great atmosphere at the game – pyrotechnics, politically incorrect cheerleading, and a multitude of Sri Lankan fans outcheering the Aussies whenever they could! The game was called off for a bit due to rain but was finally back on after about thirty minutes. In the end, Australia lost by 2 points but it was worth the trip to go to the game. Eoin is obsessed with cricket and Hana also likes it so they have a go at it whenever they can – either at the cricket field at school or when we go to the beach.