Friday, April 01, 2011

April 2011 update

This month Niall has been ploughing through his readings and doing oral exams and has just completed them all (as of today) all with Distinction. So, now on to the Thesis. To balance out all that hard work, he went on a HUGE walk with the local mountaineering club. He came home happy but very dehydrated and sore (esp. the feet!).

Connor had an excursion to a vineyard where they learnt how wine is made and did some grape stomping! Today is the second last day of school and they had a 'fun day' organised by the Grade 7 students as a fundraiser. They had a hall full of activities including Wii consoles, table tennis, pillow fights, tug-o-war, targets, DJ, obstacle courses and so much noise you wouldn't believe it. The kids had a great time - even Connor coped with the noise! Laura lost a tooth when she was eating a lolly - what a surprise!

Our housewarming was a great success with over 35 people joining with us from school, church, family and SPICE (spouses of students/lecturers) group. It was great to have everyone there and eat some yummy food (of course!). And our last suitcase of gear arrived this week, so now we have everything we're going to have! The delivery included some essential additional items brought over by Niall's Aunty Janet including vegemite, sunscreen, deodorant, decor containers and reusable shopping bags - all things you can't get here or are much cheaper/better in Australia!

Second hand kids bikes are hard to come by, so we have now bought the kids new bikes, which we will hopefully take back to Australia with us. Connor only just learnt to ride without training wheels before we left Australia; now he's going really well as he adjusts to his new bike (no back wheel brake), with gears! The bikes are part of their Christmas gifts from family in Australia, so it's been a while coming!

We have enjoyed a jazz concert in Cape Town (courtesy of Aunty Elaine) and continue to host friends at our house and have been to a friend's house as well. This has been a great blessing getting to know so many lovely people.

Fiona is enjoying SPICE group with many spouses from all over the world. We had a lovely picnic outing recently where we played 'air ball' (volleyball without the net!) - what a funny group we looked!

We recently were loaned a keyboard, so the kids are hoping to do music lessons starting next term. Fi's been using it for singing practise, now that she's started singing lessons. And the kids love using the keyboard to play rhythms and of course the inbuilt demo. God continues to bless us and support our needs.

We are both still earnestly searching for work and are praying that we will find something soon as we are drawing on savings now. Fiona is going to apply for permanent residency to make it easier to work here. Meanwhile, we are kept busy following up leads and sorting out various applications we need to complete for the Home Affairs Department (very archaic system here!).

While we know people are missing us (and us them!), we're forging ahead making a new life for ourselves here. Stellenbosch is a lovely place to live and we're all very happy. We're looking forward to school holidays starting this weekend, seeing Cirque du Soleil on Sunday and to a week in Pringle Bay at Niall's aunty's house. So until next update, so long!


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