Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Can't Stop Reading

Littletree is so engrossed in reading lately, she's chewing through books faster than we can get more from the library!

I can't even get her to stop reading when we're walking around...

I tried telling her to go and spend some time outside in the sunshine...

I told her to go play and climb trees...

Even when she's supposed to be practising her cartwheels for circus class, she manages to do them one-handed and keeps reading!

People keep telling me that kids who are allowed to structure their own time and have unrestricted access to a computer will spend all their time in front of a video game and never do anything academic or go outdoors... I'm sure that will kick in any day now.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Winter Solstice

So it's the shortest day of the year; the start of winter.

Aptly, our clear, warm days have abruptly turned into BloodyHellit'sFreezing cold and pouring rain.

Yes, oh scoffing northerners, we do have winter here. Today only got up to 18 degrees Celsius! That's only 64F!!

Thankfully we have a roaring fire to snuggle up in front of.

2013 - 1


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Home Sweet Home

The journey was long and arduous – not so bad, as far as international travel goes, but still about 14 hours all up, with two flights and a 3 1/2 hour stopover in Darwin, all overnight.

So it was a rough night. Littletree slept through the meal, and then wouldn’t eat it later when she was hungry because it was cold, and then wanted to save it for later, but it was seized by customs in Darwin (because a vegetarian pasta airline meal poses a threat to national security). So she was hungry and she whinged a lot. But she still managed to sleep for most of both the flights and the stopover.

In Bali, they wouldn’t let me take my mandolin as a carry-on and I was terrified that it would be damaged if I checked it in, but it did arrive safely, as did all our luggage, and us.

Lady Demelza and Uncle CJ were waiting to pick us up at the airport (so lovely to be met at the airport!) and whisk us home to our beds.

We got home totally exhausted, but happy to see that in our absence, Lady Demelza had spent a lot of time decorating our house and preparing it for winter.

Winter-weight curtains up in the living room

56 welcome home

pictures up on all the walls

57 welcome home

Littletree’s crafting and studying nook all organised and prettified

58 welcome home

Books sorted into the bookshelf

59 welcome home

And the whole place spic and span and scrubbed spotless.

So glad to be home again, and sleeping in our own beds. Though we do miss our “second home” on Gili Air.

I finally got all the photos uploaded, you can see the whole album HERE

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Last fling in Bali

So after our last night in Gili Air, which we enjoyed under a full moon

44 full moon

And a fascinating breakfast alongside the cutest tiny little ants ever which were kind enough to clean up the drips of honey Littletree spilled from her pancake

49 ants

And Littletree had said her billionth goodbye to the Indonesian kids in the family who ran our villas

47 sequoia naiela

We got on the boat to Bali…

It was not the best boat ride ever; of course, they were overbooked and we couldn’t get seats – I managed to make enough hullabaloo for the guy to let us sit up on the roof so we could at least sit down, and lo! There were seats up on the roof anyway; no idea why they just wanted to keep the rooftop vacant.

We landed on Bali to find it pouring with rain and many of the streets flooding

49 flood bali

(So glad we were in a minibus and not on a moped!)

And happy to arrive to our hotel to relax after the journey. The next morning, it cleared up a bit and we spent the day wandering around, ingressing and sightseeing a little, marvelling at what counts as a petrol station on Bali

55 bali petrol

– I even found a bar that was made just for me

52 spider bar

And having hacked all the portals we could, and gotten more massages than should be humanly possible, we set out for the evening to find the awesome night market we ate at last year, only last year, we’d gone there with some people who knew the way, and I only vaguely knew the rough area we needed to go to. I tried googling, but ended up somewhere very, very not where we thought we were going.

A surprise adventure!

By sheer chance we found ourselves wandering after dark around a random neighbourhood; thanks to googlemaps on my phone I vaguely knew where we were, but no idea how to get to where we wanted to go. At the point that Littletree was fed up with walking and just wanted to eat, we walked into the first place we came to, but Littletree got a bad vibe from it and wouldn’t even walk though the door.

Next door to that place we tried again, and it turned out to be a duck restaurant and we got the most delectable dinner ever! Duck fried rice, duck fried noodles and a spicy green curry duck. Oh, it was divine!

54 duck

And finally, after even more massages; time to get on the plane back to Australia…

Monday, 27 May 2013

Leaving Gili Air

The last days, sad to leave, but happy to be heading home, and saying goodbyes amid promises to be back next year.

Littletree did her daily Bahasa Indonesia work over breakfast…

66 bahasa indonesia lessons (478x640)

And we got to meet the freshly born twins, Nadiya and Nadira – the newest additions to the family we stay with on Gili Air (pictured being held by their grandmother and great grandmother.)

33 nadiya nadira twins (640x480)

Littletree spent our last morning playing with Naiela, the little three-year-old girl who lives next door to us; Naiela absolutely adores Littletree, and taught her a bunch of nursery songs in Indonesian.

46 sequoia naiela (480x640)

As a parting gift, Littletree decided to give her soccer ball to Naiela, seeing as proper soccer balls are at such a premium on Gili Air. A very valuable gift indeed!

39 playing with naiela (480x640)

Naiela was so happy, and Littletree too. Until finally, it was time for us to get on the boat back to Bali. The whole family came out to hug us goodbye, we shall miss them so much!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Last supper

To celebrate our time on Gili Air and say goodbye to all the families leaving, we had a big dinner at the Organic restaurant on the beach – even though about half the families had already left, we still had to book a table for 19!

It was an awesome night

25 dinner

And I got a surprise… everyone chipped in to buy me a dress; the most gorgeous dress ever!

27 dress

It was totally unexpected to get a properly wrapped present, and to feel the gratitude of all the families who came for the Unschooling Adventure. Of course, the dress is one I’d seen in a shop already, and I’d said that I thought it to be stunning, but they didn’t have it in green; only maroon, dark blue or grey.

But it turned out that the shopkeeper, a lovely woman named Annti, heard that I am a midwife, and she needed some advice about her newborn daughter, so I went to her place to help her out. Then somehow a bunch of the other unschooling mums conspired with Annti to have me a dress made specially in green. It’s the most stunning shade of turquoise, and I love it.

And it was great to spend some time with my friends

28 dinner alice caz ela lauren (640x480)

We’re so sad to be leaving Gili Air, but the buzz is already building for the 2014 Indonesian Unschool Advennture.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Life of Littletree

Littletree started her own blog, called The Life of Littletree

It seems that she plans to write about all manner of things; her adventures, science, kittens, and ALL the things!

You can check it out here:

10 new sunglasses Small (480x640)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Learning all the time

The kids are learning so much here; Littletree has her own budget to work out, which means doing her own haggling and calculating foreign exchange rates, as well as budgeting for her meals, bicycle rental and expenses.

Each day, Littletree gets a budget of 100,000 Rupiah, which is about $10. Her room at the homestay and breakfast are provided, but other than that, she has to budget all of her other expenses, including meals, drinks, snacks, bicycle rental, scuba lessons, tours, snorkelling trips, excursions, souvenirs, trinkets, coconuts…

68 millionaire (480x640)

The life lesson in budgeting and calculating money has been invaluable; she’s not only learning very well her 10,000 times tables, she learned very early on that if she splurges all her money on buying pearls from the hawkers on the beach, then she wont have enough left over to rent her bike the next day – or buy dinner! She’s also learned that she can eat a good meal of local food at local Warungs for only a dollar, and save up for when she wants something special, like a glass-bottom boat tour on the reef.

The kids are learning so much; not just arithmetic and accounting!

They’re climbing trees, and snorkelling and scuba diving; learning about the reef and marine life. Littletree even attended a lecture about conservation on the reef and joined in with a local clean-up project to collect rubbish from the beach and reef.

Learning to speak Bahasa Indonesia, and practising with the locals, making friends with local children and learning about their culture and customs, as well as all the social interactions… I couldn’t possibly imagine a richer learning experience.

And despite all the exciting world out there, I can still hardly keep Littletree’s nose out of her book!

60 reading (480x640)

And the girls are all keeping journals and spending a lot of time writing and illustrating their adventures on the island – somehow rather a lot of the daily budget seems to get spent on stationery.

56 writing (461x640)