An oasis in the desert

I have wanted desperately to blog for so long – its funny that i’m on an extended holiday and don’t seem to have the time – or maybe the space – it would be ideal to sit in the car and write about the world going by though generally the car trips involve the kids doing schooling in which case an adult (generally me lately though I’ll get to that in a sec) sits in the middle in between two kids while the other three are in the back…….or trying to cope with the heat (and it is getting so much hotter and more humid the more north we come) – with the windows open slightly otherwise it just gets too windy in the back.

WA is such an gynormous state – in some ways it has felt longer than coming across the Nullabor. Since we are on such a time frame to get to Darwin we seems to be doing many kilometres and wishing we could stay longer at the places we stop. I wont bore you with details of the trip so far as the kids love doing that though I’d love to share some of the trials and tribulations and funny bits of the trip so far……

Before I do that though – I must say that Cable Beach in Broome is an absolute oasis after the many many kilometres through the Pilbara – they almost seemed to never end – here is the sunset over the water as we were having dinner.

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So – for some ponderings…….

Firstly i must say how mostly wonderful and sometimes utterly awful the car can be – the kids are sitting with so minimal room and with absence of air-conditioning, it is blooming hot – it was ok coming over the Nullabor though the further north we go the hotter it is becoming and even though it is only 36C outside – it seems so much warmer inside – though mostly when I’m feeling positive i think it is building resilience in the kids and getting them used to countries where altered environments isn’t a given – then at other times i just think it is shit!

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The whole schooling in the car has been going great – as i was saying one of us sits in the middle between two kids (and since Perth that has been me because I stupidly forgot my license at Clare and RIch’s house in Perth while i was making a copy of it and since we already had one speeding fine our budget couldn’t afford any more – anyway – i have it back now thanks to Clare and the Broome PO) the kids need to spend about 3 hours per day solidly on maths, writing, reading and some sort of project – geography and history lessons happen as we go – as well as social studies as Kalika found out today when she was so worried that an Aboriginal man was asleep under a tree in the middle of Broome – she thought he wasn’t breathing and was most concerned – so there’s a lesson in alcoholism in the daytime heat!

The schooling usually is great for giving them focus in the morning though they did all start wanting to sit in the middle and have there work edited and read first! If they complain about it now i usually say “Well you shouldn’t have chosen to be born into such a big family” and that usually shuts them up.

Emilio is often so funny and cracks me up – often in this heat we are craving something cold like an ice-cream and we only buy them on special from supermarkets as they are so much cheaper – though in packets of 8! He feels very naughty being able to be the one who eats two!

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We were all very excited (and mildly surprised) to see this cyclist who had ridden from Melbourne for a youth charity – I love the kids seeing people like that and what is possible if you put your mind to it! Emilio will often talk to anyone.

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We stopped in Geraldton and met up with Fi, Banjo and Tanami – the weather was getting a bit chilly and windy in the afternoon and we thought we would let the kids play in the park for 10 mins before going home (where Fi was staying) for dinner – well we turned our backs for 5 secs and before we knew it Emilio and Banjo were totally wet in the water park – boots and all!

Zoi is often loud and bossy though she is such a koala like cuddler…….

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Our beautiful friend Kate Gilson gifted Sandy and I a month long web based mindfulness meditation course and initially i thought “When are we going to have the time to do that!” though since the sun gets up early and usually we are pretty knackered (and it gets dark at 6pm) we have been getting up early and doing our meditation – this is Zoi wanting to get in on the action – she is an “I’m awake – I need a cuddle” type of girl!

She often talks about great grandma who she seems to have connected with lots – this is a picture we took last year.

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Kalika can be such a wonder and self-assured and a joy…….

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She really misses her friends at school. She was so excited to ring Charlotte on her birthday a few days ago.

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Toby – great to spend lots of time with him – he’s such a thinker and can get so excited about things that we see and people we meet.

He got binoculars for Xmas and loves using them – he loves to explore. Yasi often complains that Toby wont let her cuddle him anymore – though the cuddles have happened as they’ve got excited about things and its so wonderful to see.

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Clare – Toby and Yasi’s fairy godmother took them out for a special treat – you can tell from their grins how special they felt.

Yasi is such a good helper and gets everyone into gear. She sees what needs to be done and will generally help out and o it – the challenge for us is to make sure she makes time to play.

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She’ll really give things a go at the moment – i am so pleased with her swimming skills (i never really learnt to swim and panic in water above my head so we have invested quite some time and $ into kids swimming lessons) and i was really impressed in Coral Bay when she came out and said she could dive down with her snorkel and just blow it out and keep breathing when back at water level.

The we come to the our of balanced moments – when any 7 of us seems to be able to go to total meltdown and nothing helps – even a mozzie bite can bring tears…….or a stern word – and its often to do with the heat and being in the car too long – like today we  had a wonderful day in the car – got to Broome by 1.30pm – got to the Cable Beach Caravan park and because we made some of the kids clean up their mess in the back of the car while the others went to the pool there was a total hissy fit climbing the rocks of the pool waterfall (quite high) and not coming down while yelling that we were bad parents and amusing the myriad of elderly people in the pool area – in retrospect we should have just had a dip in the cool water straight away rather than try to get the tent up etc etc etc but the benefit of hindsight isn’t always there with parenting – it’s also quite amazing how different your parenting can be when you think – oh – all these people are watching us! Sandy even held the gate open and asked them if they enjoyed the entertainment as they walked out!

Lets finish with a highlight – one of my highlights was listening to Toby as we were driving away from Monkey Mia and hearing how impressed he was with the dolphins and he now thinks he wants to be a ranger there – or maybe a volunteer first!

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Definitely a highlight to see kids connecting with friends and relatives and asking questions and being interested.

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Another really funny bit – Sandy was meditating one morning in Coral Bay so i took the kids up the hill to watch the sunrise – and i was doing some salutes or star jumpy things towards the sun and tried to get the kids involved telling them it’ll give them energy – well Kalika comes out with (in a very ernest voice) – “Baba – I have enough energy – if i get any more energy i will burst” I nearly wet my pants.

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Gosh it feels great to blog – hopefully i’ll have more time – hope your day has been fantastic and that you have had many chances to share a smile.

Baba Christos

4 thoughts on “An oasis in the desert

  1. Love love love reading all the stories, makes me laugh outloud and Sandy always touches my heart. Thanks so much for sharing! Love Corina

  2. Ahh beautiful Broome-town and surrounds. The stories of journey in all its forms. Great to touch base with your reality. We had an icy family swim in the King River yesterday – emerged tingling, awake and completly alive! Here’s hoping you get many family swims in the rivers and gorges of the Kimberley. Love to all. Kate et al.

  3. Loved this blog as it made me imagine the kids and what they were up to. Could almost see you all in the car, having lessons, having fun and then getting on each others nerves.

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